From time immemorial, depending on where you stand, they have sometimes turned out as their bosses best substitutes, some have been acclaimed to be overly ambitious and some have been perceived to be rendered absolutely useless, while some have gone ahead to succeed their principals, either via their outright endorsement or by some political craftiness.
The fact however, remains that several controversies trail the office and persons who have been privileged to occupy (and those currently occupying) deputy governorship positions across different States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Still trending is the news that Engineer Rauf Olaniyan was impeached and removed from office as Deputy Governor of Oyo State on Monday 18th July, 2022 following allegations of gross misconduct levelled against him by the Oyo State House of Assembly which also subsequently adopted the report submitted by a seven man committee that was put together by the Chief Judge of Oyo State. Sequel to the approval of his nomination, Barrister Adebayo Adeleke Lawal was sworn in same day as Deputy Governor of Oyo State.
His Excellency, Barrister Adebayo Adeleke Lawal, aged 68 years, hails from the ancient town of Kishi, the headquarters of Irepo Local Government in Oyo North Senatorial district of Oyo State. A former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice between 1999 and 2003, he was until recently, the Chairman, Oyo State Housing Corporation, a position where he exceled. He is happily married to a retired commercial bank executive; Her Excellency Chief (Mrs) Ajibike Lawal.
It is pertinent to note that the history of deputy governors is usually not well written and/or preserved, hence, this expose on the past deputy governors of Oyo State since her creation in 1976.
Oyo State Deputy Governors in History
Sequel to the creation of Oyo State from the Western State on February 3, 1976 by the military government of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed, the very first elected deputy Governor of Oyo state was Chief Sunday Afolabi, deputising the sage, Chief James Ajibola Idowu Ige (SAN) from 1979 to1982. Chief Bisi Akande was Chief Bola Ige’s Secretary to the State Government in 1979 and when the Deputy-Governor, Chief Sunday Afolabi resigned in 1982, Chief Akande moved up to become the Deputy-Governor.
On August 13, 1983, NPN’s Victor Omololu Olunloyo won the keenly contested Oyo state governorship election. He defeated the incumbent and main opposition UPN candidate, Chief Bola Ige. Dr. Olunloyo was deputised by Ogbomoso born Alhaji Olatunji Mohammed (SAN). Worthy of note was the fact that an unprecedented total of 3,004,715 (Three Million, Four thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifteen) votes were cast with Dr Olunloyo of the NPN having 1,603,267 votes (59.40%) as against the incumbent Chief Bola Ige of the UPN who had 1,095,877 votes (40.60%) of the five political parties that took part in the election. Unfortunately, the duo of Olunloyo and Mohammed only held office briefly as the military regime of General Muhammadu Buhari took power in December 1983.
The military on taking power, ran the country across all strata of government from 1983 till 1992. Major General Oladayo Popoola was Military governor between January 1984 and August 1985.
Brigadier General Adetunji Idowu Ishola Olurin was in charge in Oyo State between September 1985 and July 1988. Major General Adedeji Sasaenia Oresanya was Military Governor of Oyo State from July 1988 to August 1990.
Colonel Abdulkareem Adisa was in charge from September 1990 to January 1992
In 1992, Civilian rule returned to Oyo State with Chief Kolapo Olawuyi Ishola who was democratically elected as Executive Governor and served between 2nd January, 1992 and 17th November, 1993 flying the flag of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He was deputised by Alhaji Ahmed Gbadamosi.
Navy Captain Adetoye Oyetola Sode heralded the return to military rule in Oyo State as Military Administrator from 9th December, 1993 to 14th September, 1994. Colonel Chinyere Ike Nwosu took over also as Military Administrator from 14th September, 1994 to 22nd August, 1996.
Colonel Ahmed Usman was in charge between 22nd August, 1996 and 16th August, 1998 .
Commissioner of Police Amen Edore Oyakhire ran the affairs of Oyo state as Administrator from 16th August, 1998 to 29th May, 1999.
The fourth republic then started in Nigeria with Alhaji Lamidi Ona-Olapo Adesina taking the reins of leadership in Oyo State from 29th May, 1999 to 29th May, 2003 under the Alliance for Democracy (AD) political party. He was deputised by Oke Ogun born Barrister Iyiola Oladokun.
On the 29th May, 2003, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), received the mantle of leadership in the very first successful handover of power from one democratically elected government to another in the country. He was deputised by Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala. Worthy of note is a brief interruption in his tenure when the Governor was impeached in January, 2006 and eventually reinstated in December 2006. Suffice to say that the deputy Governor; Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala was sworn in as substantive Governor during the eleven month hiatus in 2006 during which he had Barrister Hazim Gbolarumi as his deputy. Governor Rashidi Ladoja eventually completed his term on 29th May, 2007 with his deputy; Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, taking over from him as Executive Governor of Oyo State in the next dispensation.
Ogbomoso born Otunba (Dr) Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala was sworn in as the Executive Governor of Oyo State on May 29, 2007, having as his deputy, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja who is currently the deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Senator Abiola Ajimobi took over and served (for the very first time) two consecutive terms as the Executive Governor of Oyo State from the 29th of May, 2011 to 29th May, 2019, flying the flag of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). His deputy was Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo.
His Excellency, Engineer Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is the incumbent and eighth Executive Governor of Oyo State. He was sworn in on the 29th of May, 2019 alongside Engineer Rauf Olaniyan as his deputy. Engineer Rauf Olaniyan was however impeached and removed from office as Deputy Governor of Oyo State on Monday 18th July, 2022 following allegations of gross misconduct levelled against him by the Oyo State House of Assembly which also subsequently adopted the report submitted by a seven man committee that was put together by the Chief Judge of Oyo State. Sequel to the approval of his nomination, Barrister Adebayo Adeleke Lawal was sworn on the same day as Deputy Governor of Oyo State.
– Oladayo Ogunbowale is Special Assistant on Communications to the Governor of Oyo State.