The father of the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, Elder Olutayo Soyode, says in spite of his daughter’s position and the exalted office of her husband, he dreads going to Aso Rock for a visit. He said going to the villa was like going to jail, given the way his movement would be monitored and he would need to sign various forms before he could go out, for security reasons.
The 74-year-old said he loved to be free and he wasn’t the type to sit in one place and be watching television under heavy security.
Soyode, who was a close associate and son-in-law to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, explained that it was the will of God that Prof. Yemi Osinbajo rose from being a university lecturer to become the Vice-President, and that all his daughter wanted to be was a confectioner despite being a qualified lawyer.
He recalled that by the time his late wife, (Dolapo’s mother) was delivered of Dolapo in the United Kingdom where they met, he was believing God to have a male child, as it was customary in his family to have a male as their first child. However, he said if she had been a male, he might not be as close to her as they are today.When asked how often he visits the villa to see his daughter’s family, he said, “I don’t go there often. Going there is like going to jail, as far as I’m concerned. It’s like locking me up. The way you see me, do I look like someone that can be kept in one place and before I could go out, I have to sign papers and there would be plenty phone calls? I would just run mad, because I’m not used to such.
“I’m a free man. That place (Aso Rock), is a very good place but I’m not the type to live there, so I don’t go there often. Anytime I go, I do give them time, like telling them I was coming for two days. I don’t even live with them. Let us say we are in Abuja now, you possibly can’t visit me for this interview. They won’t allow you to come in, and if you have to, you would have to sign different papers.
“If I go there, I would be there alone, watching television. I can’t do that. I would rather stay where they can visit me and anybody can see me.”
So, how does it feel to be the father of the wife of the Vice President?
He replied, “I don’t have any special feeling because I have been in politics for a long time. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was my father-in-law, who is the President Nigeria never had, as far as I’m concerned. I was by his side and I worked with him full time. I have been in the limelight for a long time and so all these are just icing on the cake.
Attesting the fact that Dolapo Osinbajo took after took after her mother, Elder Soyode said, “I must be energetic because I was a seaman. The mother was very reserved and she’s like that too. I call her Dolly Baby. She is very tactical, like Papa. Don’t look at her meekness as weakness. She’s light-hearted and she has always been quiet.”
Did he ever have to spank her?
“I wasn’t the type to spank; but I know how I dealt with all of them. Tell me any child that does not like ice cream, biscuits and sweets or going to amusement park. The person would not go, and I was an expert in that. The mother had more money than myself but I must do something that my children must remember me for. Papa too was giving me his car once a month to take them to the amusement park.”