The difference between great leaders and poor ones lies in their ability to think about the future of their followers.
A couple of years ago, I was with ex-governor Olusegun Mimiko. We were on our way to the airport in Abuja when I received a call from Ibadan that late Ajmobi had cancelled free education and introduced school fees for secondary school children across public schools in the state.
My mood changed and trust Gov Mimiko, he quickly asked, “Wole hope you are ok?”
I narrated what my caller had told me and Mimiko asked me to call Ajimobi. However, I declined, telling him I had my reservations about the Ajimobi-led government.
Prior to becoming governor, Ajimobi was a fantastic human being, an Ibadan man to the core. I will give you a very good example of Ajimobi’s love for Ibadan people.
During our struggle to rescue Oyo State from the jaws of political businessmen, the Adedibu, Obasanjo and Alao-Akala invasion of the Agodi government house, he was always on the people’s side.
However, after he became governor, PDP members who waged war against him when he was struggling to claim his mandate swapped on him and became his confidants. They are like that, they have no jobs and love anybody in government.
They are friends of men in power not those behind power.They have nothing to eat other than the government. Anyways, I don’t want to waste my precious time on them, that’s their way of life.
So, Gov Mimiko called Sen Ajimobi to rescind on his decision on suspending the free education system in Oyo state and I quote, ” Egbon, please rescind on your decision on this secondary school levy. Even by
asking them to pay N2,000, most of them can’t afford it. This is the only gain for the masses left behind.”
Ajmobi’s action coincided with the time he demolished many shops in Ibadan to pave way for the expansion of roads that were never constructed.
Many parents withdrew their wards from secondary schools and this has accumulated into the large number of hoodlums currently reigning terror in Ibadan.
Some of the people who had supported Ajimobi’s decision actually enjoined free education during the time of Chief Bola Ige. We are all grateful to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Bola Ige and Deacon Baba Alayande of Oke Offa Atipe. They were great sons of Yoruba land and I will use this opportunity to pray to Allah to grant their souls Aljannah Fidau.
To all Oyo State sons and daughters, it is high time to put pressure on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to return the recovered N2bn stolen during Ajimobi’s administration to the government’s purse.
They returned recovered loots back to the Kwara State Government so why are they holding what belongs to Oyo State?
The High Court in Lagos has ruled in favour of the EFCC in a case of FG vs Heritage Bank and others. N2bn will go a long way to improve the standard of education in Oyo State.
Wole Arisekola writes from Ibadan.