- How He Became The Godfather Of OYO APC
+Why All The Top Aspirants Need His Blessing
Politics in Oyo State is hotting up at the moment. Right now, there is a video circulating on whatsapp, where the governor at a public event years back was quoted as saying everyday he prays to God for 3 things. The first prayer is for God to let him serve him well. The 2nd prayer is for God to let him use his position to help the masses of the people. And the 3rd is for God to let him make a huge success of his current position as Governor.
“After being Governor, I don’t want any other position again in public life”, he said matter-of-factly. At that event was the late Alhaji Arisekola Alao, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo and Sheikh Jamiu among other dignitaries.
But interestingly as his tenure draws to an end there are strong indications that Gov. Ajimobi, like his fellow ex-Governors, is eyeing a Senate seat which is the Oyo South Senatorial seat. And the general feeling is that he would win hands down, because of his towering political image. Right now in Oyo State politics, one man whose name has become a major subject is the governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi. He has not only built himself into a big political brand, but also built Oyo State into a bigger brand, to emerged the ultimate leader in the state’s politics and a political godfather of Oyo APC. Before now, the likes of the late strong man of Ibadan politics Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, the late business mogul, Alhaji Azees Arisekola, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the governor used to dictate who gets what as far as Oyo politics was concerned.
But since the demise of both Arisekola and Adedibu, Ajimobi has stepped into bigger shoes to become the ultimate leader, godfather of his party and a major force to be reckoned with in Oyo politics. And he has survived, playing the role perfectly well. Ajimobi sure knows how to play his political cards. He has come out of many storms unhurt and has won several political battles. He has also recorded many firsts in the history of Oyo State. He is the first to win a second term election as governor, first civilian governor to construct a flyover, first governor to pay 13th month salary for workers three times consecutively, the first governor to introduce free transportation for workers and students, the first governor to introduce Health Insurance Scheme. His firsts are legion.
While Ajimobi’s political exploit has remained a big surprise to many of his rivals, however, those who had worked with or know Ajimobi very well would readily say that he is a genius. Someone, who thinks out of the box and always ahead of his opponents in the scheme of things. But his political prominence and power didn’t just happen overnight. It came about through commitment, hardwork and determination. Ajimobi’s antecedents and achievements in the corporate world before joining politics are testimonies to this fact. When he returned to Nigeria in 1977, he became a senior consultant at Management and Industrial Company in Lagos: Then he continued his career at Modulor Group of Companies in Maryland as a manager.
In 1979, he became the youngest manager ’’Consumer Product Manager’’, later the youngest divisional manager. With his sterling performance, he was promoted to Corporate Credit Division. In 1987. He became lubricant manager in a Shell subsidiary and was transferred to Aviation Department. In 1993, he was to later become operation Director for Togo, in the Shell subsidiary, overseeing West-Africa. In 1995-1996, he was the All States manager in the Shell subsidiary, he became the Executive Director in 1983. February 2, 2001, Ajimobi later soared to become the M.D and Chief Executive Officer of National Oil and Chemical Marketing company. His landmark achievements were improved share-holders’ fortune and profit for the company.
In 2003, after 26 years of meritorious service in oil and gas sector, he voluntarily retired to go into politics.
Over the last fifteen years that Ajimobi has joined politics, he has been able to build a formidable political structure for himself. He was elected Senator in 2003, representing Oyo-South Senatorial District on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). He contested and lost the state’s governorship race in 2007 under the auspice of All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). He re-contested in the April 2011 elections on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and was elected Governor of Oyo State. He was re-elected governor in 2015, on the platform of APC.
As governor, Ajimobi has broken many records, he has recorded unprecedented achievements and they have earned him many appellations like ‘Koseleri’, ‘Atunluto’ etc. He has, in his palm, the structure of Oyo APC as the party leader and a major stakeholder. He has won all Ibadan elders to his side and royal fathers are with him. Another thing that Ajimobi has working for him are his projects that are spread across the state. Virtually all the nooks and crannies of the state have felt his government’s presence in one way or the other.
All these and many more reasons make him excel. Ajimobi has the political/financial capacity to execute an election and achieve good result, and that is why everybody, who wants to be governor must have Ajimobi’s blessing. Having achieved so much and having raised the standard of governance in the state. That also explains why top aspirants in APC are currently applying all kinds of tactics and underground moves to curry favour of the governor ahead of 2019.