Viewpoint IN BRIEF: The man the cap fits
By Kola Amzat
Without controversy, Governor Abiola Ajimobi remains a case study for progressive governance in Oyo State. Instructively, his antecedents and family background do not indicate a rich political history per-se, yet he has, on his own, created an awesome political empire for his family lineage.
It is also incredible that in the political records of Western Region or South-West, his name does not feature in the list of Awo disciples, yet he soars on wings, like eagles, in the political space of the state. In his almost eight years in office as governor, he has practically won all battles. Even though, quite a number of stakeholders weren’t on the same page with him, with what they perceived as his undue interference in traditional institution matters in the state, particularly, that of his native Ibadanland, where he crowned 23 new Obas in one fell swoop, the fact remains that victory came on his way nonetheless.
Elegant and well designed Mokola overhead bridge stands tall in the governor’s litany of achievements. The beautification of the entire state capital with amazing aesthetic, particularly the planting of flowers on strategic areas, like long stretch Iwo-road/Ojoo axis, is another reference point. In the league of such remarkable initiatives,is the lightening of some major streets in the state essentially, aimed at strengthening security. Owode to Alaafin palace road networks as well as Owode to Ojongbodu and Iseyin road axis, all in Oyo, are another a milestone recorded in the life of the administation.
In Ogbomoso, the construction of Ikoyi Express junction to Takie axis and Ogbomoso Grammar School has completely altered the direction of business activities in the ancient town. There are other flurry of developmental initiatives on-going, in terms of agricultural developments, rural transformation, construction and rehabilitation of road networks across the state.
As the curtain is gradually drawing on the action packed regime of the governor, the question on the lips of stakeholders is; who takes over the baton from him, to continue the obvious impressive leadership drive in the state?
In the last few months, we’ve observed the crowded group of aspirants, both in the ruling and opposition parties in Oyo, canvassing for stakeholders’ support .
As Ajumobi and the state political stakeholders strategically search for credible, experienced, reliable, astute and dependable leader to steer the ship of the state after the regime of the incumbent and now that the hour of decision seems closing by, the lovers of democracy and good governance in the state are passionately imploring them to look at the direction of Chief Niyi Akintola, the erudite lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In the crowded pack of aspirants, Akintola has become the rallying point. He is the last person you would see attacking personality. Most of the interviews he has granted to the media in connection with his aspiration have been essentially issues based. Besides being dependable,reliable,credible and trusted, Akintola is a bundle of humility, as well as an embodiment of humanity. At any point in time, you know where you stand. He marries these attributes with superb intelligence and deep knowledge in virtually all spheres. He’s well versed in economic, socio-political, cultural issues, as well as international and contemporary developments. Nature also endows him with sound health, as well as very rare interpersonal relationship. I have not seen a professional association, political, economic group as well as ethnic divide, where he does not maintain close relationship. His friendship cuts across all divides.
In political sphere, Akintola has paid his dues. Severally, he had deployed his law skills to fight battles for progressives in the law courts. He had defended and won battles for progressive governors, senators and other victims of electoral manipulations. Some of the beneficiaries of his law prowess are Adams Oshiomole, Ibikunle Amosun, Kayode Fayemi, Rochas Okorocha, Segun Mimiko and even Ajimobi. He also won senatorial battles for Andy Uba, Danjuma Goje in the law court. Over years, his involvement in ensuring that the progressives have control and dominate the political space of the South-West is legendary.
He was variously under the tutelage of the late Chief Bola Ige, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the late Abraham Adesanya, collaborating with them to enthrone democracy through the instrumentality of NADECO. Akintola was also Deputy Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly in 1999. His eminent status then offered him the platform to understand political dynamics, power intrigues as well as the genuine needs of people, a development that obviously gives him competitive edge over other aspirants.
With his pronouncements so far in several interactive sessions he has had with the diverse groups in the state, there is no doubt that Akintola is poised, not only to execute the APC manifesto in its entirety, should the governor and stakeholders ultimately heed the voice of the generality of the people by giving him the mandate, he will also reinvent governance by introducing an economic, socio-political and even, infrastructural development models that the people will be proud of. With his level-headedness and impressive consultation skills, Oyo is in for an administration that will have as ‘inclusiveness of all the stakeholders’as the centre piece.
Oyo has been the political hub of the South West, with the incumbent governor usually the rallying point for other geopolitical zones governors and their political activities. He is in good stead to play this role, considering his wealth of experience, interpersonal skills, exceptional maturity and emotional stability, vast knowledge of political, economic and socio-cultural issues, national and international exposure and essentially, his sharp mind, as well as high level of intellect.
As we inch gradually to the day of decision, we appeal to Ajimobi and political leaders across Oyo to consider the candidacy of Akintola, not only in the interest of the present and future generations, but, essentially, for our state to compete in all fronts with other rich states across the nation,as well as to ignite growth and development in the state.
* AMZAT is CEO, WKA Consulting Ltd.