By Abiodun Ogunrinde, Ibadan
In what seems to be an expression of anger and disappointment over the announcement of the Oyo state ministerial nominee, a group called Oyo APC Revolutionary Youth Movement (OARYM) has condemned the leadership style of the former Governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi describing him as wicked, self centered and unreliable. The group advised the upcoming leadership hopefuls of the party, specifically, Adelabu, Tegbe, Zacheus and Ayandele to stop listening to Ajimobi as his promise is not worth a sheet of paper.
The case of Tegbe was cited as having been dissappointed by the former Governor three times. The first was when he promised him the ministerial slot in 2015 but his name was secretly submitted along three other names. This indecision and insincerity on the part of the governor made President Muhammadu Buhari settle for Barrister Adebayo Shittu as the Oyo state nominee in his “Change” cabinet.
The second time was in 2018 when Tegbe was encouraged by the former governor to join the APC and started youth and widow empowerment programs with a promise to help him secure the party Guber ticket at the primary election but he failed him again by settling for Adelabu under the excuse that Adelabu was more acceptable to the electorates. To pacify Tegbe, Ajimobi promised to give him the state’s ministerial slot with Adelabu as the executive governor. He has again failed to deliver on his promise as a relatively unknown Sunday Dare, a Tinubu’s loyalist was rewarded with the only slot for Oyo state.
In the same vein, another loyal boy to the former governor, Zacheus Adelabu Adedeji has also suffered disappointment in the hands of Ajimobi at various times he looked up to the Governor for uplifting. Having been left out of Governor Ajimobi’s cabinet after his first term, the former Commissioner for Finance was eyeing a Federal appointment as the country’s Postmaster General. He relied so much on the support of his former Boss, Senator Ajimobi who refused to lift a finger to enable Zach get this appointment. The vacant position was lost to one Chief Bisi Adegbuyi riding on the support and effort of former Ogun state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. This second time, Ajimobi promised Zach a ministerial nomination but unknown to Zach, his name was submitted to Bourdilon alongside another candidate Joseph Tegbe. Again, he failed to secure it for any of them due to his insincerity and indecisiveness.
For Adelabu, recent vehement opposition to Adelabu’s nomination as a minister by Ajimobi actually revealed that his support for him during the gubernatorial election was a pretence and insincere. Ajimobi was only playing along to enable Adelabu cover up his acts on getting to government. As known to many people before the release of the ministerial nominees list, Adelabu was the automatic choice of APC leadership both at the state and national level with the support of Asiwaju, having invested so much and being the party’s candidate at the last election, which he lost due to no fault of his. His name was sent for all necessary security checks with positive reports.
Also, through the assistance of Rtd General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Dr Olusola Ayandele’s (Eruobodo) name was also submitted to the Presidency as a substitute to Adelabu at the dying minute but security checks were difficult to be administered on him due to lack of time. So, a few days to the release of the list, it was meant to be Adelabu or Ayandele in the alternative. On getting to know this, Governor Ajimobi swung into action and opposed these two choices vehemently. He claimed that he gave Adelabu the Guber ticket at the expense of others and that he still had a pending case at the Tribunal for which he hoped he would get victory. So, he should step down to allow one of his other boys take up this opportunity. He also mentioned that Ayandele’s choice would not galvanise the support required for the party from other regions as he was from a minority section of the state.
He subsequently recommended Tegbe and Zach to Tinubu for consideration because the governor does not have direct access to the Presidency. Having seen this lack of support for Adelabu and Ayandele by their leader, and apparent indecisiveness in the two names submitted, Asiwaju Tinubu saw this crack or gap in Oyo state team as an opportunity to pick a neutral person and reward a loyal lieutenants of his, Sunday Dare. This will prevent Asiwaju from offending any of the disagreeing parties. Sunday Dare’s choice was easy to sail through just a day to the release of the list as he already had a recent security check administered on him when he was appointed as an Executive Commissioner at the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). That is how all Ajimobi’s boys lost out of the whole race. This is wicked, uninspiring and self serving.
What is the worth of a leader that can not produce other leaders. Out of the seven ministerial nominees for the South West zone, five of them are Tinubu’s proteges and loyalists. Aregbesola, Fashola, Mamoora, Niyi Adebayo and Sunday Dare are all from the Bourdilon school of politics. Arch Olamilekan Adegbite was nominated by Governor Ibikunle Amosun having served him as Commissioner for Works during his reign. Today we have Ambode, Sanwoolu, Akabueze, Fowler, Dabiri, Osinbajo, Ipaye, Adefulire, etc serving in one form or the other at the Federal level, all because of the support of their leader, Asiwaju Tinubu.
Governor Ajimobi needs to stop parading himself as the Jagaban of Oyo state politics because he lacks everything that it takes to be a Tinubu. And Ajimobi has displayed all these selfish and wicked traits long ago but we were all blind to it. If a leader could serve in the Senate for 4 years and ruled as a state governor for 8 years but failed to find a suitable competent person among his lieutenants to succeed him, then, he is a failure himself. Ajimobi only thinks about himself, his wife, his children, and his in-laws alone.
No one else matters to him. He wooed Adelabu to the Guber race because he didn’t want any of his lieutenants that knew his secrets to succeed him in government.
The apparently innocent CBN Deputy Governor also thought Ajimobi liked him so much and preferred him to others overnight, but he was ignorant of the fact that the former Governor only wanted to use him to cover his acts and dump him after his first term.
Our advice to all these young emerging leaders in our party is to take their faith into their hands and unite among themselves to chart a new cause for the party.
It is actually Ajimobi’s usual style of divide and rule that he has been employing to set these young men against themselves to continue to establish his relevance and perpetrate himself as a political godfather.
He knows quite well that if these people work together, his leadership can easily be questioned and his gimmicks discovered.
At the age of 70, we are of the opinion that Ajimobi should retire and leave the stage for younger ones to run the politics of the progressives in the state.
He is just a party elder and no longer a respected leader of the party.
We also call on the party EXCO to wake up from their slumber as their docility and inaction allowed Ajimobi to take over the party machinery and created discord among party members.
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