The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi has now turned into a political colossus of sort in Oyo State, riding roughshod on his perceived political opponents within and outside his political party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), as well as the good people of Oyo State that elected him into office. The Governor, his wife, Florence and their cronies now run the State as their personal fiefdom.
Many are aghast at the Governor’s many betrayals to several individuals, political groups and even businessmen and professionals who all had the good intentions of helping his government to succeed. Little wonder that his government and personality has become so unpopular!
Chief amongst these alleged betrayals is that of his political benefactor, the late Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina, former Executive Governor and Leader of the ACN in the State during his life time. Facts available to us reveal that while the late Lam was alive, the governor shunned all his entreaties and previous agreements on political alliances and political appointments of key officers of government. This, our sources say, came from his sense of insecurity and personal ambition to create and empower his own group to ensure re-election in 2015. But whether this would work remains hard to be seen as the indices on ground show him as a highly-unpopular governor in Oyo Sate. In fact, no other sitting governor in Oyo State has been this unpopular and so out of favour with the people, so much so that after two years in office, the governor couldn’t dare to conduct local government elections, for fear of his party losing out completely at the grassroots.
He was alleged to have equally sidelined major characters within the Lam Group, who all worked assiduously for his election, during the lifetime and even after the death of the Great Lam. His appointment of Dapo Lam Adesina as a commissioner in his cabinet many say is a subterfuge, as the young Dapo does not have the wherewithal, both in experience and political stature, to adequately cater for the Lam Group nor form a political group to reckon with.
Another of the groups Governor Ajimobi betrayed by reneging on his promises to them are his other gubernatorial aspirants within the ACN; some of whom he practically begged and prostrated before to support him after the ACN imposed him on them, rather than allow all the aspirants to go for primaries. He begged them with a promise that if they and their followers worked with him to ensure his victory at the polls, they were going to run the government together for the good of Oyo State. But the moment he became the governor, he not only side-lined them, but discarded all their lists of faithful for appointments and political offices like he did to the Lam Group.
Another dimension now introduced by the governor in his betrayal agenda, is the treatment meted out to business professionals with brilliant ideas and concepts, whose sole aim is to partner with the State Government to deliver on his transformation agenda promise. A particular case was that of an Infrastructure Bank that was supposed to partner the state as regards the five-star hotel project.
After several months of deliberations and consultations, the state later left them and signed an MOU with another consortium. At the moment, it was gathered that the project is in a state of confusion and the state governor through its economic adviser begging the bank to come back to their rescue.
A classic example of another betrayal was given by the Chief Consultant of Pathway Media International Company, a Media Strategy & Communications firm with core competence in corporate publications. Said he, “I met with Governor Ajimobi twice, one on one, after several discussions on phone and text messages, and I discussed with him our ideas and concepts on how to further add value to his person, his government’s transformation agenda and Oyo State in general through an enhanced communications strategy framework primarily aimed at spreading the good news about his person, government and Oyo State. It was after our second meeting at the Governor’s Office, Agodi late at night, and as he came out to see me off to the corridor that he called on his adviser, Toye Arulogun and introduced us after which he said to me “Toye is my right hand man, feel free to discuss with him and he will report back to me”.
I had three meetings with Toye Arulogun, Gbadegesin Busari, the governor’s Special Adviser on Information and some other members of the Governor’s strategy team, submitted my proposal at the first meeting and asked to go through it so that we can agree in principle on the aspects they want to work with us. Toye Arulogun, after scanning through the outlined strategies and their mechanics, opined that we should limit our discussions to two aspects namely the publications of a uniquely designed and creatively packaged brochure to describe the essence of the 33 LGAs and a top quality quarterly magazine to chronicle the activities of government and preserve them for posterity. These two, he confirmed they have had no submission for up to that moment.
At the second meeting, he insisted that we should come up with creatives for both the brochure and magazine, adding that we will be making a presentation at the Council Chambers the following Friday by 10am, and that he will be presenting these and his team’s submissions to His Excellency that weekend. That day was a Wednesday. I rushed back to Lagos, brainstormed through the night with our creative director and came up with a design that will explain our thoughts and concept in a very simple yet effective format. This we presented at the Council chambers on that Friday morning. But midway through the presentation, Toye Arulogun said we would need to move to his office to continue the meeting, as there was to be a meeting with a visiting team at the Council Chambers. This we did.
From that time, he started avoiding my calls and ignoring my text messages to ask him what the outcome of his submissions to His Excellency was and the status of our expectations. I had to call him with a number he didn’t know as mine before I could get to speak with him. And it was during that conversation he dropped the bombshell when I asked him of the status of our presentations. He said “you know how this thing works now. Some other people have made presentations on the same things you did”. I reminded him of what he said at our first meeting that there were no submissions or proposal on brochure and magazine except ours at that time. And he couldn’t say anything, but excused himself from the call on the pretext that he had to lead the Governor out to a function. That was the last time we spoke. He never got back to us whether on cost or design alterations.
It was apparent from that point that something fishy was going on. All my attempts to speak with Governor Ajimobi from that point or to brief him on these developments were rebuffed as he ignored my calls and the text messages I sent to him to explain what was happening and that he should please come to my rescue. Shortly after, the governor changed his phone number and I have been unable to reach him on phone since. What later confirmed my suspicions that the governor may be in the know of the hijack of our proposal and concepts, happened at the final burial outing for the governor’s mother. The governor, while going round to warmly greet his guests at the party, suddenly turned very cold and very unfamiliar when he got to the table where I was seated. This seemed strange, compared to the warm and familiar greetings shared in the past, having been his guest at his Oluyole residence even before he became the candidate of the ACN and subsequently the Governor. I remembered at that meeting also, he promised he was going to invite me into his strategy team, but failed to do so thereafter.
The annoying part of the whole story is that both the brochure and the magazine have now been produced using our concepts with only a name change for the magazine. Both the magazine and brochure are said to be a production of the Media Team in the Governor’s office. And the governor now carries these works about to distribute and flaunt at all the functions he attends, most recently at the Island Club, Lagos on Tuesday April 9, 2013. Somebody’s sweat and labour, imagine!
This shows a classic case of intellectual plagiarism, which is very unbecoming of a responsible government, he concluded.
As if that was not enough, another team of consultants led by a Lagos-based marketing company was said to have designed a carnival concept for the state which eventually got approval of the state government. But, shortly after this, things were said to have changed from smooth to rough when some elements complained of being sidelined in the scheme of things. They are the people said to be very close to the governor and his wife.
To the amazement of the consultants, government cleverly staged another carnival tagged “Samodun”, with same concept and model of the earlier proposed. This magazine gathered that the company was in the process of dragging the state to court for copyright theft.
The governor has equally betrayed the people of Oyo State who voted him into office by breaking his campaign promises to them. Said a highly-placed source among the core inner circle of his Ajumose group, “one of the things we discuss often is His Excellency’s campaign promises to major interest groups and trade unions, as well as generally to the good people of Oyo State. His Excellency made a lot of promises to almost each of these groups and to the people living in certain areas/communities during the campaign. Some of us tried to warn of the dangers in making those promises, but the hawks within the group saw it as being politically expedient at the time and one way of getting the people’s support. We have been battling to resolve these failed promises, most of which are very difficult to fulfill or outright impossible.”
We have a team already compiling all these promises made at every campaign rally by the governor, including his other betrayals to individuals, groups and the entire people of Oyo State. If you have a case, please contact us.