It with a great sadness and an enormous sense of shock that I write this piece. I am obviously devastated at the death of Chief Enock Kolapomoye Ajiboso, The Chief Emeritus of Agege Political Family and The Eesa; Second in Command to the King, of Inisa, Osun State.
I have known Chief Enock Ajiboso for sometimes in Agege Politics, he was a two term Chairman of Agege Local Government and I knew him so well for the roles he played during the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Governorship candidate of the then Alliance for Democracy, AD in 1998 and his victorious emergence as the Governor of Lagos State in 1999 after the gubernatorial poll.
However, I became very close to him in 2005 when I joined his political group in Agege Politics; The Emeritus. I was a vibrant, participatory and contributory member and stakeholder in the Emeritus Group; Chief Ajiboso who we refer to as the Chief Emeritus was the Leader and Founder of the group.
We used Emeritus Group to galvanize support for the progressive party across Agege and Orile Agege axis of Lagos State. We used the platform to preach the gospel of progressive governance to the people through rallies, leaflet distribution and house to house campaign among other means.
Under the platform of Chief Ajiboso’s Emeritus Group, we mobilised support, campaigns and votes through out the nooks and crannies of Agege and Orile Agege for the emergence of Babatunde Raji Fashola as the Governor of Lagos State in 2007.
I remember that after the swearing ceremony of the then Governor Raji Fashola, Chief Enock Ajiboso was nominated for screening at the Lagos State House of Assembly as a member of Lagos State Executive Council but his screening was stalled by a petition written against his nomination at the House, hence he was unable to be screened, cleared and sworn in as member of Lagos State Executive Council like other nominees. He was nominated alongside Hon. Kayode Opeife at the time.
When the information came to us, I gathered other three or four vibrant youths of the then Emeritus Group and we deliberated extensively to save our Principal from the mess of the petition, then we decided to write a counter petition. If some people had written a petition against his nomination, then we should write a counter petition for his nomination. The petition supporting his nomination was written by my humble self and signed by four of us and submitted same at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Then the Lagos State House of Assembly then set up a 3 – man committee to look into the claims of both petitions. The committee was headed by the then Majority Leader of the House; Hon. Kolawole Taiwo; HKT. The committee invited us to appear in the House at an appointed date, we appeared but the other side refused to show up and the committee Chairman Hon. Kolawole Taiwo asked us to come back at a later date as they would have traced the address of the first petitioners.
We got back to the House of Assembly at the appointment later date and the committee informed us that the address of the first petitioners was a fake address and that the petition was a faceless petition. And that was how the House Adhoc committee led by Hon. HKT stopped a faceless petition that would have deprived Chief Enock Ajiboso’s rightful position in the cabinet of Lagos. Our efforts paid off as it formed a major part of reasons why the petition against him was dismissed.
Chief Enock Kolapomoye Ajiboso was then screened and sworn in at the Lagos EXCO Chamber by then Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and the portfolio of the Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives was handed over to him as the Honourable Commissioner. He served meritoriously in that capacity to the best of his ability and the rest is now history.
Another notable political scenario in Agege where I played a great role alongside other young minds and leaders like Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, Hon. Samuel Adejare, Hon. Amunikoro among others was the days of Agege Voluntary Campaign Organization; AVCO. In those days of AVCO, I was the Secretary in my Ward D, Papa Ashafa in Orile Agege which made me to contribute ideas and made strategic impacts in achieving the goals set up for AVCO and indeed formation of AVCO really changed the political scenario of Agege as growths, development and very many innovative ideas were brought to the front burner beyond premodial sentiments that used to characterised the space before then. Chief Enock Kolapomoye Ajiboso as a Leader in AVCO alongside others played a major role in achieving the goals set up for AVCO. AVCO indeed changed the face of Agege Politics for better.
His death earlier this year came to me as a shock, bearing in mind that not quite long ago he performed the marriage ceremony rite for his son; Akin in Lagos.
As we bury him, I must say that we will greatly miss him.
He was a fine man, a talented politician
He was someone who fought for social justice and brought courage, wit and humour to everything he did. He has a fine political mind and real commitment to public service.
Like his height, he was a hugely well respected and well liked man. He was no doubt one of the towering political talents of his generation, a sharp mind who deployed knowledge, experience and wit to wonderful effect. He will be strongly remembered for his sagacity and high sense of optimism in the face of very difficult situations.
His passion for making the society a better place will linger in our memories for long.
Agege, Lagos, Inisa, Osun and indeed Nigeria is poorer in human capacity with his permanent departure. His humanity and kind nature endeared him to so many people.
His oratory talent and persuasive way of speaking were ingredients that made people come together and us; come out victorious at various elections in Agege and Orile Agege
He gave leadership not to the progressive party alone but to the entire community of Orile Agege and Agege in Lagos State and also the entire community of Inisa in Osun State.
He was a religious man, a devouted Christian, who participated and contributed to the christiandom as an Evangelist at one point or the other when he was here.
With his cheeky smile and highland voice and few solemn words, Ajiboso captured the political hearts of Agege. Chief had a unique combination of political talent and public affection. He will be greatly missed by all and sundry.
May God in his Mercy grant him eternal rest and gives his family, friends, associates, followers, well-wishers, Agege, Orile Agege and Inisa Communities the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
“Gbogbo pata wa la ma sorire” those are his prayerful words every time we were having any meeting. I will personally miss that.
Sun re ooooo; The Chief Emeritus & Eesa of Inisa!!!!!
_Comrade Adeboye Adebayo is a Chairmanship Aspirant from Ward D in Orile Agege, Lagos State._
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