There is nothing quite as powerful as a humiliating loss to make a man humble. That is the fate of the outgoing Oyo governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who suffered big defeats four weeks ago when he lost his bid for the senate and two weeks ago when his preferred candidate for governor lost to the PDP candidate, Seyi Makinde.
On Thursday, Makinde visited Ajimobi at the Oyo Government House, alongside his deputy governor-elect, Rauf Olaniyan, and other members of his team. Gov. Ajimobi offered a solid advise to Makinde that may have proved useful to him if only he applied it himself in his eight years in power.
“You must beware of praise-singers and avoid acrimony,” Ajimobi said. “I want you to encourage inclusiveness and accommodate those you know can add value to your government and the state.”
Ajimobi’s leadership was the opposite of inclusive. Residents of the state believe that he actually allowed the praises from supporters to get to his head. At one point in 2017, Ajimobi told the Olubadan of Ibadan, “I am the head and the leader. I can dethrone you.” Last August, he demolished Yinka Ayefele’s Music House, the building valued at about N800 million that housed Fresh FM radio station. Ajimobi denies it, but the general belief was that he took the action because of the criticisms he was receiving from the station. This is the same governor who said this to peaceful protesting students of LAUTECH who had been at home for eight months due to a strike action by lecturers: “If this how you want to talk to me. Then do your worst. Eight months. Eight months? Is that something we have not seen before?” He told them then with all the arrogance he could muster that they did not have the right to protest against him because he was the “constituted authority” and then he demanded an apology.
Now he is advising another person not to listen to praise-singers.
Other things Ajimobi told Makinde:
- “We have achieved, and may the Almighty God grant you the wisdom to also achieve the best. We want you to leverage on our achievement and improve upon those we are yet to achieve.”
- “The most paramount thing is to leverage on our achievement and we will support. All we want is the development and progress of the state.”