When the breaking news filtered out on Friday that, His Excellency, Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State on Friday, has renamed First Technical University, Ibadan, conceived and established by late Former Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi after him.
The Political tower of Oyo State Politics shook to it’s foundation as many were surprised , applauding the development and few APC members had reservations , were kicking on APC WhatsApp platforms, alluding the immortalization as a reward of Mrs Florence Abiola Ajimobi alleged electoral support to His Excellency, Gov., Makinde against Senator Folarin OFR.
It was goalpoacher online medium that broke the news on Oyo State Chapter of Nigerian Union of Journalist , NUJ WhatsApp platform , i would later cross-check same on other verifiable and intellectual whatsApp platforms like Think Oyo , Oyo State Politics, Nigeria Democracy, e.t.c.
I chose not to join issues with anyone , i quickly placed call to Former., Special Adviser on Media & Publicity to Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi, a Veteran Journalist, Prolific Author/ writer and a Sunday Columnist with Tribune Newspaper, Dr Festus Adedayo to crave his indulgence to share rich- insights on the genesis of what an excellent idea Gov., Seyi ‘ POLITICAL-PETROL’ Makinde had achieved.
Dr Festus missed the calls, i waited patiently till he called me back and i reminded him what he ( Festus) shared in confidence with me on September 3rd, 2020 ( over two years ago) at his private office in Ososami, Oke Ado, Ibadan.
He expressly granted me permission to be able to lay credence to my piece.
Dr Festus shared privately with me, his conversation with Gov., Seyi Makinde at Hon., Babs Oduyoye mother burial remembrance prayer in ibadan.
Babs Oduyoye is a Special Adviser on Political Matters to Oyo State Governor, Engineer. Seyi Makinde and a former two terms member of House of Representatives, Abuja between 1999 to 2007 under Alliance for Democracy, AD.
Oduyoye represented Ibadan South West/ North West Federal Constituency and by 2003 , Late Abiola Ajimobi became a Senator under same AD platform with Babs Oduyoye as House of Representatives member in one of the federal Constituency in Oyo South Senatorial district.
Babs Oduyoye, Festus Adedayo, Diran Odeyemi, Prof. Adeolu Akande, Prof. Wale Adebanwi and few other’s are friends or better put ( UI connections).
I went on a thank you visit with my late lecturer at International Institute of Journalism, NUJ CENTER, IYAGANKU GRA , Ibadan, where i did my Post Graduate Diploma, PGD in Journalism, Mr Ganiyu Waheed to Dr Festus Adedayo private office in Ososami, Imalefealafia ( Tribune Newspaper area), on 3rd of September, 2020.
On August 22nd, 2020. Dr Festus had honored me ( Sai Rahma), as a Keynote Speaker at my father-inlaw 60th birthday- colloquium, a retired Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands and Housing , Osun State, Prince ( Esv) Tayo Hassan- Lamuye held at Owu Crown Hotel, Ibadan.
In his keynote address at the colloquium , Dr Festus described the Public Service as a realm where government benefits and give back to the society. He added that, a public servant is someone who has dedicated his/her life for Service of mankind, deployed as expertise for the development of society.
Former Oyo State Head of Service, Elder Adesoji Williams Eniade (Soji Eniade) Mni as discussant on the theme; ” Life in and After Public Service in Nigeria ” described a public servant as someone in a career position for a government department or agency built around competencies and professionalism. Eniade added that, the journey of retirement starts from the first day of appointment.
Fmr., MD of construction gaint in lagos, Costain West Africa Plc, Mr Ayodeji Ismail Karim ( Ayo Karim), as discussant on the theme; ” Land Matters and Affordable Housing in Nigeria ” urged related government agencies to look into modalities which can help people get affordable housing in the country.
Ayo karim further called on land and house owner’s to patronise quality workmanship, and standard organisation of Nigeria ( SON) , level of quality of building materials in their construction projects.
Former National Commissioner of INEC, Prof Lai Olurode and Oluwo of Iwo were Chairman and Royal father of the colloquium while former Osun State SSG, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade was the Host
Adebayo Mutalib OJO SAN, Bimbo Adekanmbi, Issac Ajiboye Omodewu, Alhaji Ambali Abiodun, Architect Salam Azeez, Senator Oriolowo, Elder Akeem Adebiyi, Chief Wale Arowomole amongst others were dignitaries that attended the 60th birthday- retirement colloquium held at Owu Crown Hotel, Ibadan.
My thank you visit to Dr Festus Adedayo would later turned to a critical discourse session about COVID-19 pandemic, governance in Nigeria, 2019 elections, Late Abiola Ajimobi and in particular political developments in Oyo state.
Dr Festus shared in confidence with me what Governor Makinde asked him at Babs Oduyoye mum rembrance gathering about how can he ( Makinde) , immortalize Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
This was September 3rd , 2020 discussion about imortalization of Ajimobi by Makinde.
Dr Festus Adedayo told the Governor Makinde without mincing word , suggesting to him that, TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY be named after AJIMOBI.
Governor Makinde opined that, he had reservations about the Technical University and was thinking to merge it with LAUTECH, although, he ( Makinde) was still looking at the books, because, the government was just 1year and 3months old then.
Dr Festus further engaged the Governor that, the vision and core part of academic concept of Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Technical University was entirely different from mass usual production of Nigerian graduates that lack skills and not employable.
Governor Makinde thanked Dr Festus Adedayo and promised to further engage him subsequently on his resolution on how to immortalise Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi .
Essence of the import of my narrative is to clear the weak and opposite perception of some APC members about gigantic decision of Governor Makinde to immortalise Ajimobi with Technical University that, Ajimobi conceived while as Governor of Oyo State, 2011-2019.
Governor Makinde deserves to be applauded and commended for the noble decision.
The singular act of Gov., Makinde had politically-handcuffed opposition arena , particularly, Ajimobi family and it’s an unprecedented approach by the Governor to erase negative consequences of the burial episode for life.
The 2023 Oyo State Gubernatorial elections drama which Veteran Film Producer, Chief Tunde Kelani of the famous “Ti Oluwa Ni Ile, Magun ( thunderbolt) , Kosegbe , Saworo Ide ” would make epic movie’s from is well captured in my self- authored book ” MY ASPIRATIONS AND TRAJECTORY OF INTERNAL DEMOCRACY WITHIN NIGERIA POLITICAL CONTEXT” to be launched later this year .
The claims and counter-claims ongoing within Oyo state APC as a result of the poor outing of the party at the poll informed the weak opinion of some that, Mrs Ajimobi had just negotiated with Makinde to immortalise her husband while they would be okay for his re-election.
Personally, I don’t relate or talk with Mrs Florence Abiola Ajimobi despite, my political-relationship with her husband, Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi, because, I equally hold strong political-opinion about her political camp in APC attitudes and political contributions to the problem’s of congresses in the party with a political Veteran, (Baba) Chief Akin Oke, the former state Chairman of Oyo state APC for 11years.
But, it will be politically irresponsible for anyone in Oyo state APC or in Oyo State general to play down significance of Abiola Ajimobi imortalization by Governor Makinde under whatever circumstances, either politically or otherwise .
It’s also a myopic and lame political view to think Mrs Florence Ajimobi has political influence so massive that, could block electoral victory of Senator Teslim Folarin OFR at the just concluded poll and award victory votes for Egnr., Seyi Makinde.
Senator Teslim Kolawole Folarin OFR, is an intelligent man who knew the critical fundamentals that, made him lost at the poll, he might chose not to share or discuss with supporter’s or party members.
The critical fundamental that, was 20percent but, that, provoked 60percent of Senator Teslim Folarin OFR loss at the poll were issues of the party ward congresses to state level and another 20percent was the Candidate’s selection process which further damage the cohesion in the party and this sent political signal to Bourdillon which later formed 60percent of political understanding with the incumbent.
Since the split in conduct of congresses with tendencies in the party struggling for the soul of the party. It was a big task doing better at the poll especially, the Governorship election.
The National Assembly Elections in Oyo State had already become a thesis for PhD students well also detailed in coming book later in the year.
Governor Makinde was beatable, even if , he would have won, not to an extent that, earned him over 300, 000 votes margin but, the political variables did not favour Senator Teslim Kolawole Folarin OFR.
All those crocodile tears by some APC members is just sycophantic and not the basis of the political situations and realities of our loss to Makinde.
APC by ourselves, we broke the golden political-eggs long before election day.
Senator Folarin OFR , did all possible political best to manage the political issues generated from deliberate political action’s that , polarised the party, but, not successful.
It’s convenient to write that, Governor Makinde is just being politically realistic and smart, lashing further on downfall of APC in Oyo state to quickly shape himself ahead of 2027 election as the momentum must be sustained to convince new Villa Occupant that, he is unifier.
Oyo State APC must brace up in earnest, the better for the party as 2027 race begin now.
I sincerely appreciate deserving gesture of Governor Makinde on Technical University in honor of Ajimobi as this is a lifetime benefit for Ajimobi heritage like Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Micheal Opara, Ahmed Bello and few other’s patriots in Nigeria and the world.
Azeez Fatai Adesokan is journalist, Public Affairs Analyst and APC member.
In part 2 next week …
How Oyo state APC crisis began, how and Why we lost the 2023 Guber poll in Oyo State.