The Wind Of Positive Change Called Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi

It is widely believed that Governor Isiaka Ajimobi has been a massive failure in Oyo state. Individuals nursing those thoughts of unwarranted assumptions should bear in mind that it is totally unacceptable to pay a good deed with an evil one. His victory at the recently concluded gubernatorial polls in Oyo state which was free and fair is a straight answer to any rising claim of failure. Over time the city of Ibadan has been termed as one of the dirtiest states in Nigeria.

The reputation of Oyo state has been adversely dented. A lot of indigenes of Oyo state find it difficult to stand their grounds as proud ambassadors of the state due to the odd tag attached to Oyo state. Most of the memes of people being local in their attitudes are always done with a reference to ''Ibadan people’’. This is evident on the blackberry messengers and other social media platforms. A friend of mine from Jos used to call Ibadan the city of 'brown roofs'. That was how bad it was. I had some dealings with entertainment in Lagos in the year 2012. A lot of my friends never believed I was from Ibadan. It shocked them. The same thing happened in my days at the University of Ibadan as a postgraduate student. Outsiders have a preconceived image of Ibadan people. They believe the indigenes of Ibadan are so local, dirty, not exposed with bad spoken English or English meshed with a terrible Yoruba accent. The government of Governor Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi has recorded several remarkable landmark achievements ranging from security to infrastructural facilities, healthcare in terms of the free health mission programme, free ambulance service, the 'Abiyamo' project to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality rate, undertaking a project on the construction of 62 primary healthcare centres in 60 political wards.
Newborn screening initiatives, fight against malaria and other diseases like tuberculosis, leprosy and hiv/aids, construction and dualization of motorable roads, boosting the state's capacity for revenue generation by paying more attention to the health sector and a host of several achievements that could turn this article into a very huge textbook if I decide to start analyzing. In order to prevent this article from being too voluminous, I will address a few of the cogent achievements.

In the aspect of security in Oyo state, Governor Abiola Ajimobi deserves a huge pass mark. I could remember what the city of Ibadan used to be like during the days of Late Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the great Kingmaker in Oyo state. Ibadan was filled with thugs with the strongest political backing. They broke the laws at their own freewill. The police force was so incapacitated. Molete was their dreaded hub through which they operated. Nefarious activities took place at Iwo road. It was an abode of dirtiness; the den of all manners of crime lords. It was a legal spot to smoke Indian hemp. Women were constantly harassed sexually at this point with the unlucky ones falling victims of rape. I could remember a particular incident that occurred while I was traveling down from Osun state some years back. It was around 6:30pm. There was an incidence of political crisis. For the first time in my life I saw these fierce-looking thugs over packed in several buses with cutlasses, charms and other dangerous weapons with them. The ever busy Iwo road was almost shut down. They beat up some people as well as smashed the windscreens of some vehicles at will. The owners were almost thanking them for that evil deed. I boarded a bus going to Gate, another bustop in Ibadan. Everybody was harassed badly but a little respect was given to commercial vehicles. I almost urinated in my pants. I was shivering in great fear. To my greatest surprise, there was an awaiting team of policemen at Iwo road. I developed so much confidence when I saw them but they were like toothless bulldogs to the political thugs who operated without fear. The heavily armed police team couldn't move an inch. They quietly stayed at the other end and watched a lot of people suffer in the hands of these wrong-thinking individuals. It was a testimony that I got home unhurt.

The case of the ill-fated attack on the workers of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo state (BCOS) during which their workers were brutalized in broad day light. I was listening to the broadcast of the evening news with my dad when we both saw the newscaster rounding up in haste and running away from the studio while a live broadcast was on. The office was stormed by some thugs from Molete who inflicted machete wounds on the workers and beating others to a pulp. This event was attributed to an exposure BCOS made about a political incidence. This is a limitation on the freedom of press in Nigeria. The perpetrators actually went scot-free .That was a big shame.

Severally cases of thuggery strived with so much progress. The security forces actually had no answer to this due to the supporting political climate at that time. Another painful occurrence happened towards the 2007 general elections during which an innocent woman was almost killed for walking pass Molete with a broom which innocently bought to sweep her home. We all know the broom was the logo of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and currently that of the All Progressives Congress (APC). This poor woman was beaten helplessly to a pulp. These thugs were never brought to book.
On the other hand, the image of the state was tarnished by the Newspapers. They generated so massive sales from covering the ever occurring mishaps in Ibadan. Ibadan was tagged the "home of Amala politics" Democracy was dealt a huge blow. Several leaders were handpicked by the Late Lamidi Adedibu. Democracy which entails vesting electoral powers in the hands of the people of the state and giving them a chance to choose who will represent them in power became a case of some powerful few enforcing leaders on the people by the manipulation of the democratic process to usher in individuals of unquestionable characters. The recently concluded general elections were so peaceful that kids hijacked the free days to kick balls on the streets. The cases of violence were either mere rumours or unconfirmed events. It is expected because there is nothing like perfection in the real world; it can only be achieved in the utopian world. A lot of people came out to exercise their franchise. Before the advent of Governor Isiaka Ajimobi, only the strong came out to vote, the elderly people in the state wouldn’t dare. That people gave the feeling of terrorism in town. It always entailed the maiming and killing of people. My own dad who is far above 60 years old never participated in the political process out of fear but this time, he didn't only vote during the presidential and gubernatorial polls, he also stayed behind to protect his vote peacefully. That is what they call trust and confidence in the state. It will amaze my readers that the Oyo state government declared a curfew on the 10th of April 2015 which was less than 24hrs to the gubernatorial election as a precautionary decision to protect lives and properties from any brewing act of electoral violence. It was slated for 4pm that day. Banks and other corporate organizations closed at 3pm. Since I work as an online journalist, there was much to cover at work. My company closed at 7:15pm, defying the curfew time. We had no fear whatsoever. I got a commercial motorcycle ride home safely. Nothing changed on the streets. People continued with their daily activities like the elections were far away. I received no distress calls from my parents because they have so much trust in the state. That is the kind of proactive governance we need. We all are aware of the political turmoil that marred elections in Port Harcourt. During the presidential elections, about 56 APC members were reportedly killed. Over 10 people were killed during the gubernatorial polls with several others sustaining serious life-threatening injuries. What about the political mayhem in Akwa Ibom and Delta state? Several accounts of political violence are online with gory pictures. It was on this note that Professor Wole Soyinka rated Nigeria below 40% in terms of democratic development. The Operation Burst Team which is a security outfit has been an amazing initiative. It’s a combination of the expertise of soldiers from the Nigerian Army, men from the civil defense corps, and policemen who are well trained in the act of combating crimes. This group has consolidated the efforts of other of other security operatives aligned with the Federal government. They operate on routine patrols all around the state to secure lives and properties. This has been an effective measure of curbing crimes and all manners of acts of thuggery.
Security is a state is very imperative; it’s a basic foundation on which other basic fundamental rights of human beings can be built. Any state that can't guarantee the security of lives and properties has failed in all ramifications coincidentally.

Another point worthy of note is the massive provision of infrastructural facilities which entailed the construction of roads as well as dualization of roads. Construction of a fly-over to ease transportation like we have at Mokola round-about. Urban renewal and beautification of projects on well-known parts of the state capital, Ibadan, among others and improved transport system. Oyo state took after the front-lining state with the introduction of mass transit buses called the ‘Ajimobi shuttle’. This is operated at a cheaper rate to assist the masses in Ibadan. One remarkable feature of this project is that it is totally free for secondary school students.

The dualization of roads at Dugbe, Eleyele, Mokola, Adamasingba, Oke-ogun and others was a strange development that shocked the people of Ibadan who have been used to cases of being promised and failed by past leaders. This initiative is very futuristic. It will encourage the influx of companies and other investors to Ibadan as it is being experienced already. Ibadan is a very fertile ground for business to grow. It is the largest city in West Africa with a growing population of over 4 million people. With the high congestion in Lagos state, Ibadan can tap from the challenge economically due to the geographical closeness shared with Lagos state. Development they say will always come with its own gains and losses. This led to the destruction of some illegal roadside shops. The Governor was seriously criticized for this act but he is justified since the motive is for the general will/interest of the society which is the essence of the state. Ibadan people should learn from the circumstances that surrounded the development of China during which the borders were closed to encourage local production as well as the growth of local industries. This appeared very disastrous and unbearable at first but at the end it was highly beneficial even to generations to come. Officially China is the largest economy in the world. What about the financial expenses of the United states of America during the cold war era in 1945 that lasted for over 40 years with the Defunct USSR? America spent heavily on the military in 1980, a time of great Cold War tension, every week, $700 million per day, $500,000 per minute, and $8,000 per second on military weapons just to stand a chance against the Defunct USSR. Today this accounts for the status of USA as the ruling hegemon in the world.

He also invested much funds in the renovation of the famous Agodi garden whose reputation only existed on paper before now. Before the emergence of the candidacy of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the state of the recreational centre has been deplorable which consequentially led to it abandonment. Today, the state is very beautiful and attractive. On special holidays and weekends, Ibadan indigenes visit this great place to cool off and get entertained. Personally, i was shocked when my cousin called me from Lagos that she would like to come to Ibadan for the purpose of paying the recreational centre a visit. It goes a long way in telling you how the good deeds of the Governor had spread fast.

Today the level of cleanliness of Ibadan has been upped. The Oyo State Waste Management Agency (OYSWA) enjoyed proper funding under the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and ever since has been effectively operational in disposing wastes as well as its management. This has made the environment safer for human habitation and curbing the spread of diseases among the growing population. The War Against Indiscipline (WAI) team have been so functional. They have excellently compelled the indigenes of Oyo state to clean their surroundings. Several levied sanctions have been some sort of deterrence to curb dirtiness in the state. This is a swift change from the old culture of backwardness in the state.

The YES-O employment initiative was another measure to reduce the rate of unemployment in the state. It brought that Lagos discipline to Ibadan. Through this initiative, several unemployed youths were gainfully employed and assigned various developmental roles. Life began to get better for the indigenes. It so sad the size of the workforce had to be cut down because a lot of unscrupulous participants started hijacking the initiative to promote thuggery, victimization and other detrimental actions. In conclusion, Governor Abiola Ajimobi deserves my praise in that aspect.

On a penultimate note, i will not fail to mention how effective his governance has effectively broken the wings of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Ibadan which has been soaring high on an anti-developmental note. This ground has in the past groomed a lot of thugs that disrupted the peace and day to day activities of the Ibadan people. They were accused of all manners of atrocities with other unscrupulous leaders using them for to foment chaos. The government of Ajimobi deserves a gold medal for relegating their activities to the official road transport affairs. This has promoted the required respect for the constitution of Nigeria, promoted peace in the state as well as set a role model legacy for the coming generation who could be misled by the animalistic behaviours of those ahead of them.

Lastly, I think Governor Ajimobi also deserves much commendation for calling back the famous singer, Adigun Abolore popularly known as Alapomeji 9ice to come serve the state as his Special Adviser. He is expected to invest his wealth of experience acquired in Lagos in Oyo state. This young man is the inspiration the youths in Oyo state need right now. I am of the strong view that he will certainly do well. Over the years he has carved a niche for himself in the music industry. Several youths look up to him and he will be a good role model to them. Recently, Governor Abiola Ajimobi showed his high level of responsiveness to problems in the city of Ibadan when he spontaneously replaced the power transformer donated and withdrawn by the People's Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate, Senator Teslim Folarin. The Governor's ever-listening ears and vigilance over the state got a wind of the darkness experienced by the people residing at Sabo area and immediately, he responded with the provision of a power transformer with a bigger capacity which has been successfully installed for the betterment and comfort of the Sabo people.

I feel so proud of the Governor and the odd part of this is that i am originally from Edo state but i have been in the great city of Ibadan for over 23 years. This state has contributed to my personal development and in the nearest future i hope to give back to the advancement of the great state. God bless Governor Abiola Ajimobi! God bless the ancient city of Ibadan!! God bless Oyo state!!!

Osayimwen Osahon George
Online Editor and Political Scientist (
Jetheights Services Limited
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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