Lagos State deputy Governor Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat has told of how his path and that of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu crossed.
Hamzat’s first public office was the State Commissioner for Science and Technology during the tenure of Tinubu.
In an interview with select newsmen on the occasion of his 56th birthday, the deputy governor said they first came in contact in the United State at a business meeting while telling his life story.
So, I started doing IT stuff. I went to Morgan Stanley. That is how I met ‘Asiwaju’ one day when we were having a meeting and he came in as the Governor of Lagos State, of course I had heard about him from my father but I had never met him. So, after the presentation and I was the only black person and he said ‘Ha! Femi Hamzat. Which Hamzat is yours?’
And I said from Lagos State. He said ‘You are the son of my leader? ‘ki ni iwo n se ni bi? (What are you doing here?) and I said I needed to survive, that is it. One of the reasons why it was easy for me to come back was that my father’s birthday is June 13 and by June 12 Abacha’s government would have arrested all of them. By the 8th, 9th, and put them wherever they wanted to put them. It was a bit discouraging and that is how I decided to go and that was how I met ‘Asiwaju’ and the rest, as they say, is history.
He knew what I was doing and he wanted to be sure, and that is when Lagos State was doing ERP implementation, what people called ‘Óracle’. He said ‘You know we are doing this and you are doing it overseas, why don’t you come home and help us complete it?’ I did not initially take it seriously, but he was putting pressure that he needed people who had done it overseas and did it well to come and do it. But I now said ‘Sir, I like to work in the private sector not necessarily government and that is what I know.’ So he organised and I had an interview with Oando, MTN, and Oceanic Bank. So, Oceanic and Oando took me but I went to Oando and from Oando we started implementation successfully and he said ‘You need to come and help us in Lagos and that is how I became a commissioner.’