Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, despite his busy schedule still creates time to ease off tension. Ademola Adeyemo reveals that he does this through constructive engagement with his people at townhall meetings
Before Governor Abiola Ajimobi assumed office as Oyo State Governor, he had no illusion that the job of transforming the former capital of the old Western Region would be an easy task, but he was determined to make a difference. To him, changing the habit of the people to conform to acceptable standard anywhere in the world was the first and required patience and perseverance.
Upon assuming office, Ajimobi was confronted with an array of challenges. From the problem of poverty to over-bloated civil service, growing unemployment, flooding, indiscipline, poor environmental standard, dwindling revenue and many others, the problems were legion. But he refused to be overwhelmed.
One thing that seems to be going on well for him is the fact that he believes that with a vision, a good leader could drive through any developmental agenda.
It is to that reason that whenever he is not politicking or performing official engagements, he does nothing outside of what would add value to the course of governance in the state and as conceived by his administration.
Here, Ajimobi finds time to relax and with his people. He does this through their constructive engagements on the state of the state and of course, the way forward. This idea, some have tagged a townhall meeting but in a different version.
Yet, whenever he is not consulting with the people, he also relaxes by reading books. “I read a lot. I am also a television addict. I love exercises. Every morning, I jog at the stadium. I also enjoy playing with my family.”
Confident that his administration is on course having achieved a lot in different sectors of the state, he said: “I will say my administration’s greatest achievement has been the peace on the horizon as against the period when unprovoked and unwarranted violence took place almost every other day.
“One other gain is the listing of Ibadan by the Financial Times of London as one of the top 10 investors’ destinations. Oyo State is now being recognised. Even the World Bank and others are now beginning to show interest in the state because of our transparency; our good governance and management style. We are getting away from this rural state syndrome where what people think is how to tell lies, how to pull people down, destroy others and engage in brigandage,” he said.
For Ajimobi, politics is like business; it is managing resources to achieving set goals and objectives. “It is the effective utilization of those resources to get results that determines a successful politician. Your resources are mainly human beings and that is why you must have objectives and ensure that you accomplish those objectives.”
With major roads and city entrances wearing new looks, it is almost predictable that Oyo would dot a completely new look at the expiration of the tenure of the current administration by 2015.
However, it is not unlikely that his push for a better state may have been informed by his choice of role models.
“I have many role models. Professionally, a man called Moshood Akanbi, a brilliant engineer. He was the managing director of National Oil when I joined the company in 1979. Politically, my role models are Chief Obafemi Awolowo and late Alhaji Lam Adesina. Socially, my role model is not necessarily a Nigerian, Rock Feller. My role model intellectually is Professor Wole Soyinka and strategically, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Religious wise, it is somebody who preaches and behaves according to what he preaches.