It is exactly nine years since the demise of strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu.
His death has ‘killed’ the political aspiration of many politicians within and outside the state, InsideOyo.com reports.
Many people didn’t believe the story. Not even the many thugs who visited his Molete residence every day, for daily ‘amala and gbegiri’. Some who had been inundated with false reports of his death in the past were still skeptical even when it had already been confirmed that the politician was dead. That day, many had arrived his house very early as he had promised some of them goodies. He was billed to travel out for medicals, 13 months after leading Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala to victory, as governor of Oyo State.
Adedibu was nice and wicked. It depends on the person talking about him. But to many, he dragged development in the state backward. He didn’t enjoy any formal education, yet he installed many kings. From far and wide, he was known. During his reign, there were two Alaafins; the real one and him, who held forth as Alaafin of Molete
Like every humanbeing, the end came for Adedibu on June 11th, 2008, at 80. That afternoon, after returning from a private hospital in Victoria Island, Lagos, where he had gone for routine check up, he went straight to the Agodi office of the Nigeria Immigrations Service for an appointment. He was said to be going through some paper work when he slumped and lost consciousness. He was immediately rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the University College Hospital, UCH, where he was pronounced Dead On Arrival (DOA).
Meanwhile his godson, Alao-Akala was in far-away France when he died.
While some people were crying that their benefactor was gone, some heaved sigh of relief; that Oyo State has been delivered from bondage.
At his Molete residence, traders and other shop owners at Molete closed their shops for fear of being attacked by hoodlums who might want to capitalize on the opportunity to cause trouble.
Below is the list of the 9 politicians who have not been finding it politically-easy since Adedibu died.
1) Rashidi Ladoja: On many occasions, the peace of the state was threatened by the late garrison commander but the then governor was unperturbed. Adedibu was carrying Ladoja, who would later become governor of Oyo State, everywhere, to solicit votes. Trouble started when it was time to share poitical positions. That led to his impeachment. Though he was later vindicated by the court, he has never won any election since then. He lost his return bid to be governor in 2011 and 2015.
2) Adebayo Alao-Akala: The estranged deputy-governor was governor for the 11 months Ladoja was away, due to impeachment. Through the help of Adedibu, he became the first non-Ibadan to become governor in the current Fourth Republic, in 2007. He lost his re-election bid in 2011 and 2015.
3) Hazeem Gbolarunmi: He was deputy to governor Alao-Akala during the 11 months the latter used when Ladoja was impeached. Except when he graduated from the Law department of the University of Ibadan, he has not been in limelight since Adedibu died.
4) Kamorudeen Adedidu: He is one of the sons of the late politician who became a senator in 2007, few months before his father died. He also lost his re-election in 2011. And since then, nothing has been heard of him.
5) Teslim Folarin: He wanted to run for House of Assembly election before the late leader fell for his accent. He won election to represent Oyo Central in 2003 and 2007. In fact, he holds the record of being the only person to have represented a district twice in the history of the state. He wa even given a return ticket to The Senate in 2011. He was even Senate Leader. His bid to govern Oyo State was thwarted in 2015 as he came distant fourth. The current political clmate doesn’t favour his 2019 bid.
6) Taofeek Arapaja: The former council chairman was a member of the House of Representatives till 2007 when he was made the running mate of Alao-Akala. He was Ambassador till 2015. He has not won any elective position since Adedibu died.
7) Robert Koleosho: He was given the ticket to represent Oyo North senatorial district by Adedibu and he won. Since 2007 when he left The Senate, he struggled politically until he called it quit.
8) Gbenga Babalola: He represented Oyo North senatorial district till 2007. To solidify his relationship with the late strongman ahead of his re-election, he allegedly got married to one of the younger daughters of Adedibu but he was unable to get a return ticket.
9) Moruff Atilola: He holds the record as one of the longest-serving speakers of Oyo Assembly. In fact, in Oyo town where he hails, he is the only one to have represented a state assembly twice. He has gone ‘solo’ since 2011 when he left office.