Shortly after the adoption of Senator Abiola Ajimobi as the governorship candidate of defunct ACN in early 2011, Barrister Bayo Lawal former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice under Governor Lam Adesina defected to Accord Party in what looked like an aberration for a committed Awoist and steadfast Lamist. At an informal meeting where his matter was discussed, the duo of Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, now Chairman National Lottery Regulating Commission and Chief Akin Oke who is now serving as State Chairman of APC (He was then serving as ACN State Chairman) told me to speak with Chief Bayo Lawal because according to them, he did not belong to Accord. As a progressive, he will be like a fish without water lacking the presence of his political soul mates.
I knew Chief Bayo Lawal for the first time in December 2007 and I have remained close to him since then. Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle introduced me to him in order to handle my litigation at Oyo State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal where he prosecuted my case to victory before Justice Peter Ige led tribunal with diligence, honour, modest and sincerity. The case was handled almost “Pro bono publico” because of his belief in it. My closeness to the Kishi born elderly lawyer has been like that of loving blood brothers and it was well known to every leader of the ACN then. This was the basis of my assigned role to speak to him after many leaders have made fruitless attempts.
Prior to the imposition of Ajimobi on the ACN, Chief Bayo Lawal was supporting Barrister Olufemi Lanlehin to be the governorship candidate of ACN. Both of them defected to Accord Party but Senator Femi Lanlehin later returned to ACN to get the party’s Senatorial ticket. The question then was why was Chief Bayo Lawal crying more than the bereaved? I was shocked to the marrow with the answer of my good egbon. He told me that he didn’t leave ACN because Lanlehin was not picked but because Ajimobi was picked. He indicated that Ajimobi is so callous and heartless that whoever supported him to win will regret it. Now i know better, Hon Peter Odetomi, Dr Ismail Adewusi, Wasiu Olatunbosun, Bayo Olagbenro, Murphy Adigun Hammed, Lowo Obisesan, Sarafa Alli, and Kazeem Adedeji and in fact Yekini Popoola knows better. In fact, everyone in Oyo state has at least at least five horrible stories to say.
Barrister Lawal reminded me of Ajimobi’s first attempt at governorship towards the tail end of Governor Lami’s administration in 2003. According to Bayo Lawal, baba told him that he will never allow Ajimobi to become Oyo State governor because he will cause five serious and irreparable damages if he reigns and while the havoc he will cause as a senator can be manageable and bearable, the danger he will constitute as the Chief Executive of the state will be irreparable. This is one of the reasons why he was pushed to the senate in 2003 and Prof Taoheed Adedoja was chosen instead of him in 2007. However, the wise men in Bourdillion imposed him on Oyo ACN in 2011 and he has ended up dishing out maximum suffering on every one of us in the pacesetter state.
According to Chief Bayo Lawal, as far back as 2003 the visionary late Lam Adesina foresaw that Ajimobi will do the followings:
1) Destroy himself
2) Destroy his Party
3) Destroy Ibadan land
4) Destroy Oyo State and Government 5) See the end of Lam Adesina
As I ruminate on these issues, I wonder if our late enigma was a soothsayer. I also imagine how good Oyo state would have been if the wise men that imposed Ajimobi on us in 2011 had listen to our baba’s voice of reason to pick Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Dr Ismail Adewusi or any of the others. They would have saved the Constituted Authority from embarking on self destruction or what do you call a seating governor who had to use mobile policemen to conscript his own party men to vote him at the senatorial primaries? What could have destroyed a political party more than having more than 70% of its member defecting to another party and preparing to lose 2019 election?
Nothing could have destroyed the traditional city of Ibadan than destroying her culture and balkanizing the traditional institution thereby creating avoidable crisis among the traditional rulers. The state is worse off with people’s loss of interest in the government, the electoral system and the citizens now seeing themselves as Oyo, Ogbomosho, Ibarapa, Oke Ogun or Ibadan because of a government that lacks social cohesion and publicizes sectionalism instead of achievements.
Two days before the death of Baba Lam Adesina, on November 11th, 2012, I spoke with Jide Lam Adesina, his biological son who was then staying with Baba at St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos supporting him to recuperate from diabetes. Jide called me on 9th of November 2012 and told me a few things I needed to know about what baba had discussed with him about me and Oyo state politics. The most saddening and touching is that baba felt his illness was not ordinary and it was getting protracted while his spirit was getting weak because of administrative impunity, maladministration and the hijack of party structure by Ajimobi. He was particularly saddening with the composition of the State Executive and removal of sum of us as Chairmen Caretaker Committee in our local government. He said baba made a statement that “If I am lucky to get out of here alive, we must rearrange the party and government of Oyo state before this man kills me.”
The recent remarks of by good brother and Omo Oloore, Hon Dapo Lam Adesina cannot be anything but factual. It is a corroboration of the vision baba saw in 2003 and even at the point of death. This should be a lesson for Oyo state voters to learn how to avoid candidates imposed from outside the state. They cannot like us more than we like ourselves. They will only continue to milk us and dish out killers.
Former Chairman, Caretaker Committee Ibarapa Central Local Government, Igboora