Communications minister, Barrister Adebayo Shittu has explained that he is more of an Ibadan man though he hails from Saki area of Oke-ogun of Oyo State.
The lawyer who was a guest on a television programme monitored by Inside Oyo, was reacting to questions whether merit or zoning should be adopted to elect Oyo State governor in the 2019 gubernatorial election.
According to the former lawmaker, ”to be asked to agitate to become governor just because I am from Oke-ogun will be demeaning to my personality. I see myself as an Oyo State person. Two of my wives are from Ibadan and I have also lived consistently in Ibadan since 1979. I have done my politics, profession, social life here. In fact, most of my children are ‘half Ibadan’ and ‘half Saki’.”
The outspoken former commissioner for justice said the votes from Oke-ogun, where he hails, delivered victory for Governor Abiola Ajimobi, adding that the governor acknowledged the fact when he came on a thank-you tour.
Hear him: “From the record of the 2015 election, the people of Ibadan didn’t vote for our party largely, it is people from my zone- Oke-ogun zone who voted for the governor which translated to his victory, because the people of Ibadan, in their own wisdom, chose to vote for Sen. Rashidi Ladoja. Of the 10 local government areas in Oke-ogun, it was only in Oorelope LG where APC didn’t win. In the remaining 9 LGs, we defeated all other parties. Iseyin LG came with the highest votes, followed by my own Saki West. And in acknowledgement of the fact that the votes of the people of Oke-ogun brought about his victory, the governor said that after him, it will be the turn of Oke-ogun to produce the governor. He said that affirmatively. That is on record.
“Secondly, as a person, I want to win on the basis of merit because I know there is no standard or criteria which will put down that I am not qualified to be a frontline there. I can easily tell you; there is no political office holder in Oyo State today who is my senior in politics. I have consistently being in active politics since 1979. With due respect to many others who are in political offices, there is none of them who came into politics 10 years after I started. And that should show you that in my own little right, I am a senior.”
Revealing how his acceptability in Ibadan fetched him a traditional title in the state capital, he said that “professionally, I have done well as a lawyer for 38 years. In social interactions, most Ibadan Indigenes are my friends and we have benefited from each other. Only last month, the Olubadan of Ibadanland sent me a letter nominating me to become Agbaakin Afiwajoye of Ibadanland tileloko (home and in disapora). And that is to show my acceptance by the Olubadan who is the symbol of Ibadan sovereignty. You should know that I have not disregarded Ibadan. So, why must I with all these in my favour, want to become governor of Oyo because I am from Oke-ogun. Even in Oke-ogun, I used to tell my people that I don’t want to be governor of Oke-ogun but that of Oyo State. And so whatever I am doing, by way of benefit or dividends, I want to spread it to all parts of Oyo State because I have followers who love me. As a matter of fact, in 2011 election, I got more votes in Ibadan than I got from my own area apparently because I have always lived in Ibadan,” he disclosed.