5 Great Things Ajimobi Would Be Remembered For In Oyo State
On Thursday, the news of the demise of Abiola Ajimobi, the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, filtered out. This development was against the interest and wish of many well meaning Nigerians who had raised a voice of prayers for his quick recovery. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
News had it that his death was orchestrated by coronavirus complications. This emphasised the reason why you should keep staying safe as the pandemic is still ravaging the world. Well, the concern of my piece is to look at some of the great works of Ajimobi as a governor that people of the pacesetter state would remember him for after governing the state for a record-breaking two-term tenure.
I know most comments on the social media do not favour Ajimobi; they paint him as if he didn't do anything tangible while he was there. I don't belong to his camp too but we cannot deny the fact that he remains the best governor Oyo State has ever produced. You want to argue with this fact? Calm down, I'm going to roll out facts and figures to support my assertion.
1. Bringing peace in Oyo State
Before Ajimobi became a the Governor of the state, Oyo State was one of the most volatile places in Nigeria. Miscreants used to have a field day; people were maimed and killed at will. Thugs under the pretense of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) made gods out of themselves. They saw themselves as an indispensable part of every government. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
They were willing tools in the hands of every government, especially during electioneering against the opposition. One could not spend an hour in any given motor park in Ibadan, the state capital without nursing the fear of a possible attack. It was pitiably that bad.
However, Ajimobi changed the narrative with his coming into the scene; he redefined and rebranded governance. He stood as a man and faced his fears. He restored security and sanity in the state. Today, you can walk at Iwo-Road at will, you can sit confidently at Ojoo and do whatever you want at Challenge. You may not like Ajimobi for anything but you need to acknowledge him for this.
2. Instituting the culture of quality projects
In terms of number of projects done and distribution across the state, I would chosen Adebayo Alao-Akala as a favourite but his projects were wishy-washy. When Ajimobi came on board, he changed the narrative. He gave the order that projects carried out in all parts of the state must be of a certain minimum standard. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
It was Ajimobi became a governor that Oyo State stopped using blocks to construct culverts and gutters; as a contractor, you either settle for rocks or concrete. He paid attention to projects, unlike his predecessors that would only award contracts without adequate monitoring. He was particular about his legacies and thankfully, we are giving a positive narration today. The administration of Seyi Makinde is building on the legacy Ajimobi left behind.
3. Establishment of the first technical university in Nigeria
Oyo State isn't just a pacesetter by name but through deeds too. When Ajimobi came on board, the state had no its own university; it was only LAUTECH which is jointly-owned with Osun State. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Since separation isn't an easy thing, Ajimobi thought of how to establish a university that would be solely owned by Oyo State. He assembled team of experts who came up with a novel idea; Technical University was conceived. The idea came when the country was in deep recession but instead of allowing the idea slip away, he masterfully sold the idea to Central Bank of Nigeria who bought into it. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Today, Technical University is up and running, even though Ajimobi is no more. The university is the only one in Nigeria that is focused on harnessing the technical prowess of students, instead of focusing on theories alone. There are still great days ahead of the school and we will better appreciate Ajimobi's effort by then.
4. Construction of Mokola Fly-Over
If you were conversant with Ibadan and Mokola to be specific, before the construction of the overhead bridge there, you would know that it is one of the incontrovertible legacies of Ajimobi. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
The place was always clumsy and annoying because motorists spend long hours there. It was really affecting the economy of the state. People were losing much of their valuable time there. In his first-term, Ajimobi constructed the fly-over bridge, thereby mitigating the effect of the traffic gridlock.
5. Introduction of 13th month salary
I know some people are not aware of this; they thought it is Seyi Makinde that instituted it. This is far from the truth. When Ajimobi came in 2011, he started paying 13th month salary by paying civil servants twice in December but due to the effects of recession on the state, he couldn't continue with this in his second term. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Since he curried the favor of the state workers with it, Makinde also thought it well to implement it. In other words, it was more of a challenge to Seyi Makinde.
Ajimobi led an impactful life and we can only wish his family the fortitude to bear this loss.