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OYO 2019: Akintola and the search for Ajimobi’s successor

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.

 


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