Not all that are born with silver spoon end up being kings, but many that emerge from low background succeed in the wearing crowns.
Ishaq Abiola Akanji Ajimobi belongs to the class of people who have emerged from low background to prominence in human history.
Born on december 16th, 1949 into the family of Pa Ganiyu, a tailor who later became a Member of the House of Assembly in the old Western region and Alhaja Dhikrat, a trader, Abiola Ajimobi inherited the legacy of service.
After his birth in the ancient Ojaaba area of Ibadan, the young Abiola started his education at Saint Patrick’s Primary School, Oke-Padre, and completed his primary education at Ibadan City Council Primary School, Aperin.
His secondary education was at Lagelu Grammar School, Agugu, Ibadan where he did not only excel academically, but was also active in athletics, table-tennis and football which earned him the nickname, “archipelago”.
Still not satisfied at a time when secondary school result was a passport to white collar jobs, Abiola Ajimobi’s educational pursuit took him outside the shores of the country to the United States of America where he bagged a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Finance at the State University of New York, Buffalo.
He also earned Masters in Business Administration, in operations research and marketing, specializing in finance at Governors State University, Illinois. On returning to Nigeria, Abiola Ajimobi worked in the oil and gas sector for 26 years where he rose to become the managing director/ chief executive officer of an international oil company.
Having spent his productive years in the private sector, the spirit of service to the masses spurred him into politics in 2003. He was elected as senator, representing Oyo South Senatorial District on the platform of alliance for democracy.
In the spirit of his philosophy that the best form of godliness is service to the masses, Abiola Ajimobi sought a higher platform to serve his people, he contested for governorship and he recorded a resounding victory.
Governor Ajimobi in 2015 put his goodwill to test by seeking re-election, his victory broke what was considered the second term jinx, to become the first governor to be elected twice in the history of Oyo State.
The success story of Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s administration began with the restoration of peace and security to the hitherto state of lawlessness.
His belief was hinged on the fact that no development could thrive in an unsecured environment.
Truly, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital has become the investors’ destination and in the last seven years, scores of companies have berthed, providing hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.
Another giant stride of Governor Ajimobi is the massive road construction in the state, top among them was the Mokola flyover in Ibadan, which
was the first by any civilian governor in the state.
Others include the dualization of entry points from Oyo, Ogbomoso, Iseyin and Eruwa to the city of Ibadan.
Many road projects have been completed in Ibadan metropolis, while others are in progress, in fact, at a time, Ibadan was virtually turned to a construction site which earned the governor a nick name of “Mr Transformer”, the man is a perfectionist, with zero tolerance for failure.
Abiola Ajimobi means many things to many people who see him in either negative or positive perspective, but to Ajimobi himself, he is a focused leader whose principle, as he always quotes, is guided by the advice of a one-time African first lady Rosalynn Carter “a leader takes the people to where they want to go, a great leader takes the people to where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to be”.
The Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, CCII , rolled out the drum to celebrate one of the proud sons of the soil, the fifth Aare of Ibadanland, who has contributed tremendously to the peace and development of the ancient city.
A “thank you birthday” to mark Governor Abiola Ajimobi at 69, organized by the council climaxed with Ibadan Foundation for Advanced Democracy instituted in his honour.
In fact, celebrating Ajimobi at 69 is a recognition of hard work, an appreciation of a change agent, it is a commemoration of a visionary leader and above all, an admiration of an astute politician.
Indeed, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has successfully etched his name on the sand of time and will surely be remembered, even by posterity, as the builder of the modern Oyo State.