Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Barely 17 days after leaving office, the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, on Sunday made his first public appearance in Ibadan, the state capital.
Ajimobi made the appearance at a reception organised for him and his wife, Florence, to celebrate his eight-year governorship tenure that ended on May 28. The ceremony was held at the Ibadan Civic Centre, Idi-Ape on Saturday, which was organised by the the family of Bashorun of Ibadanland, Chief Kola Daisi, whose son got married to Ajimobi’s daughter.
Dignitaries in attendance included former Chief of Army Staff, Gen Alani Akinrinade (retd); Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof Idowu Olayinka, and one of his predecessors in office, Prof Ayo Banjo; Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun; and a business mogul, Otunba Subomi Balogun.
The roll call also comprised a former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Gen Raji Rasaki; former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Bayo Adelabu; Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Oladipo Akinkugbe; an industrialist, Chief Bode Amao; a legal luminary, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN); Agbaakin Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi; and so on.
In his address on the occasion, Ajimobi, who thanked the people of Oyo State for giving him the opportunity to serve for eight years, noted that the litigation instituted by the Association of Local Government Chairmen (ALGON), Oyo State chapter, under the leadership of Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, against Governor Seyi Makinde, for sacking them, is in order, saying the law is on the side of the embattled chairmen.
Ajimobi, who said he chose to be silent on the issue because “silence is golden at a time like this,” enjoined the embattled chairmen to continue to fight for their rights, and he prayed that God would make them to be successful.
He also advised the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2019 general elections, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, who lost to Mr. Seyi Makinde, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to take stock of what led to his defeat and take corrective steps to redress them so that he would have opportunity to become governor in the state in the future.
Earlier in his address, Daisi, who is the founder of Kola Daisi University, Ibadan, noted that Ajimobi has been exemplary in his private and public life, “in that he touches nothing that he does not adorn. Taking account of the complexities of all political offices, his performance in office had been exemplary and his achievements have been prodigious and momentous. I am indeed very proud of him and so is the entire family.
“I have no doubt that he entered the turbulent waters of politics at the appropriate time and at the appropriate level, where he had the opportunity to hone the required skills, learn new in ones, as well as set high standards for public service. At his relatively young age, he must still be available for nobler public service.”