Without Adedibu, PDP couldn’t have produced governor in Oyo during my tenure ― Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, in Ibadan, Oyo State capital said without the support of Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the late strong man of Ibadan politics, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not have produced a governor in Oyo during his tenure as the president of the country.
He described Adedibu as witty, honest and loyal politician who left an indelible mark in the politics of South-West.
Speaking at Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan during a book launch titled: “Adedibu The Strongman and Generallisimo of Nigerian Politics: An X-ray of the Political Life of a Colossus”, Obasanjo stated, “I am deeply concerned about this book launch. Within the time that I knew Baba Adedibu, he did excellently well.”
According to him, “Adedibu left an indelible mark in the politics of the South-West. I could remember a time I was discussing with him; he told me he contested election in 1954 and that was when I was in secondary school. My coming here today is to show appreciation to Adedibu.
“Without Adedibu, the PDP could never produce a governor in Oyo State when I was the president of Nigeria. At that time, I went to late Pa Emmanuel Alayande asking him why he did not like me again by not supporting our party’s governorship candidate (Rashidi Ladoja). Alayande said our candidate cannot win because he was not qualified enough to become governor.
“I called Baba Adedibu to relay to him what Baba Alayande told him. Adedibu said it was true. But he said if we conducted PDP governorship primaries 100 times, that person will win because he held the PDP structure. I told Adedibu that if the candidate wins the ticket, how will he win the governorship poll with what Alayande said?
“I asked Adedibu if it was possible for us to win the governorship election and he said if I want us (PDP) to win it was possible provided I wanted them to make it possible. I told him that they should do it and the outcome is what every one of us know.
“After we had won, I asked Baba to help us maintain peace and it was so. But some people do think they are wiser than the elders. You younger ones here, don’t disrespect elders.
“Long life is given by God’s grace and position is given by God. If you want to occupy any position by force, God will just laugh at you and if you take it by force, at the time you least expect, God will take it away from you.”
Earlier in his welcome address, one of the authors of the book and former deputy governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Azeem Gbolarumi explained that “this book is an in-depth exposition of the political profile of a man of timber and calibre, an icon, a kingmaker and godfather to countless elected representatives of people and political appointees across the length and breadth of Nigeria.”
Dignitaries at the book launch included former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, Senator Teslim Folarin, former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) in Oyo, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo, erstwhile deputy governor in Oyo State, Taofeek Arapaja; former Minister for Mines and Steel, Elder Wole Oyelese; the Chief of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde, Chief Bisi Ilaka; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Minority Leader of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Asimiyu Alarape among others.