Six years after former governor Lamidi Adesina’s death and less than 7 months to the end of his tenure, Governor Abiola Ajimobi is yet to immortalize his late political leader.
Lam died on November 11, 2012 at a Lagos hospital after months of protracted illness. This was after Lam had rejected advises to be flown abraod. His corpse arrived Ibadan in an Ambulance with number plate LA156A08 at exactly 3.20 pm and was lowered into the grave about one hour later.
Lam, who was governor of Oyo State between 1999 and 2003, was Ajimobi’s teacher at Lagelu Grammar School, Agugu, Ibadan. Till he breathed his last, Lam was the progressive leader in the state. He led the campaign that got Ajimobi into power in 2011.
Within that same year, Ajimobi had immortalized many people including those who didn’t contribute to his electoral success. The road that divides Ibadan, the state capital, into two halves – Challenge-Molete-Bere-Oje-Gate-Iwo Road was named after late populist politician, Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu. The dualised road from Challenge to Sanyo end of Ibadan was named after late Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola. There are many more examples.
Late Lam’s political associates, who spoke to OYO INSIGHT, confirmed that the last time Ajimobi visited the Felele home of the late former leader, who he calls ‘Uncle’ while alive, was in November 2012. The former First Lady, Alhaja Sarat Adesina, still lives in the same building.
The only ‘tangible’ thing Ajimobi did to honour Great Lam, one of Lam’s associates said, was the declaration of 7 day of mourning. “Today is the 6th year rememberabxe and it is 2:00 clock, not even a press release has come out from Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s media office.”
In a recent letter, Lam’s 40 year old son who currently represents Ibadan North East / South East federal constituency, Hon. Adedapo Lam-Adesina reminded the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, how Ajimobi has not deemed it fit to name an edifice after his father despite the fact that the governor has named edifices after other personalities in the state.
The young Lam-Adesina had written Tinubu to tell him why he could no longer be in the same party with Ajimobi. Majority of late Lam’s followers had defected from the APC following alleged marginalization and irreconcilable differences that arose during the May 2018 congress.
He explained in the letter that Ajimobi was working to destroy the legacy left behind in the state by his late father whom he said contributed greatly to the emergence of Ajimobi in 2011.
“Sir, the most shockingly saddening experience in my relationship with the Governor came in October 2012, at the height of my father’s sickness. I had approached the Governor on a Thursday to seek his permission to travel to Lagos to check up on my ailing father. He told me that I did not need to seek permission to visit Baba Lam and that I should go ahead and extend his regards to him. With this encounter, I proceeded to visit Baba, only to return to work on Monday to meet a query from the Governor demanding explanation from me on why I absented myself from work on Friday. I responded to that query date 12th of October, 2012 stating how I had sought and got the Governor’s permission before embarking on the trip. I have attached a copy of the query and the response to this letter,” Lam-Adesina explained in the letter.