Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is no doubt a lucky man. He has survived many battles; while some were inflicted on him by his political enemies, others are self affliction.
Here are 9 hurdles that the governor has gone through in the last 6 six years of the APC-led state government in Oyo state:
1) In 2011, he was not favoured to win the ticket of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, as Femi Lanlehin, who was later pacified with a senatorial ticket, was the choice of majority of the members. He got the ticket.
2) In the build-up to the election, the then incumbent Adebayo Alao-Akala of favour with all the ‘deciding factors’ of Oyo politics which included the Ibadan elites, the Alaafin and the late businessman and Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land, Alhaji Azeez Arisekola Alao. He got their support, without even soliciting.
3) After winning, he was accused of side-lining most of the party-men with the appointment of the son of who-is-who in the society and nobody raised eyebrow.
4) He banned the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW. And for the first time, sanity returned to the hitherto troubled transport union. According to Thisday, the union’s ring leaders, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (Tokyo) has been rendered redundant till date and his archrival, Mukaila Lamidi (Auxiliary) is still in Agodi prisons for murder-related offence. Remember their third, Lateef Salako (Eleweomo) was murdered five months before assumed Ajimobi office as governor.
5) In the build-up to his re-election, he lost the two serving senators from the party- Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) and Ayoade Adeseun (Oyo North) to Accord and PDP respectively. To many people, there was no way he was going to be re-elected. But he broke the second term jinx.
6) Hardly had he settled down for his second term when he was confronted by his alleged move to ‘privatise’ public secondary schools. It generated serious troubles for him but it didn’t last and the policy has come to stay with the introduction and inauguration of the Schools Governing Boards.
7) Few month later, Ajimobi earned another sobriquet ‘Mr. Constituted Authority’ in a viral video altercation between him and students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, over inadequate funding of the varsity. It soon faded away, though the nickname has come to stay.
8) Not long ago, there was uproar over his plan to introduce a new reform through Justice Boade-led panel of inquiry on Olubadan Chieftaincy Law of 1957. He has won the war as the palace and Olubadan In Council who had earlier castigated him for dabbling into another needless controversy soon made a U-turn and has now thrown their weights behind the move, describing their initial standoff on lack of proper communication.
9) Just recently too, precisely May 29 Democracy Day, marking his 6th year in office, Ajimobi at a media interaction said he would unveil his successor during next year’s democracy day. He alluded to the fact that about 34 aspirants within APC alone were angling to take over from him but with a proviso that only five of them were being watched closely. As usual, that he had the effrontery to disclose that he would announce his successor next year expectedly drew the ire of many, who considered the statement as unguarded, diversionary and self-serving. The governor, however later issued a clarification saying that God, the ultimate decider of men’s fate would choose his successor.
However, with the opposition still in disarray with less than 18 months to the next governorship election, it remains to be seen if Ajimobi would not succeed in installing a successor especially if the latest statewide infrastructural developments are anything to go by.
Culled from Thisday.