With a towering status, Yunus Abiodun Akintunde is one of the strong contenders for the top job at Agodi House, Ibadan, come 2019 governorship election in Oyo State. In this piece, Femi Ogbonnikan beams searchlight on the profile of the governorship aspirant from Oyo Central Senatorial District and the strong agitation for power shift to the zone, among others
Deft and calculated in his approach towards clinching the 2019 Oyo State APC governorship ticket, despite the large number of the aspirants that have joined the fray, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde leaves no one in doubt, about his pedigree and antecedent to remain the most favoured candidate and the successor of the Abiola Ajimobi.
Recalling their closeness, Akintunde, until his exit from the Ajimobi cabinet during the first term (between 2011 and 2015), was a Commissioner for Works and Transport (between August 2011 and November 2012), and an Executive Assistant to the governor (between April 2014 and May 2015).
Having distinguished himself with his past strategic and sensitive responsibilities, political pundits have maintained that the 55-year-old politician stands a better chance at the party’s primary than his co-aspirants.
Besides, it is viewed that his foray into the governorship race has changed the course of action and rekindled hope in the young elements, yearning for generational shift, against the ‘status quo ante’ of the old and recycled politicians that have been bequeathed as the ancient practice in the pace-setter state.
At the inception of the third republic in 1999, the Oyo-born politician began his political career and he was appointed commissioner, in Oyo State Civil Service Commission (between 1999 and 2003); Chairman, APC State Registration Committee for Osun State (January 2014); Chairman, APC State Congresses Committee for Kwara State (April 2014); member, APC House of Representatives (serving members) Aspirants’ screening committee (December 2014); and member, Executive Advisory Committee (EAC) for the re-election of Ajimobi (2014/2015).
He is currently the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Trade Codes Limited, a building construction, real estate, energy and environmental consultancy services firm.
All these have combined to boost his political experience, both in the public and private enterprises, and they have, in no small measure, exposed him to the knitty-gritty of governance, on account of his closeness to the powers-that-be.
Humble, amiable, kind and articulate, Akintunde was born on March 6, 1962 in Onikanko Compound, Pakoyi, Oyo town. He attended Ansar-Ud-Deen Model Primary School, Balogun, Oyo town (1968-1975); Oranyan Grammar School, Oyo town (1975-1980); The Polytechnic Ibadan, Oyo State capital (1982-1985); Lagos State University, Ojo Campus (1985-1990); and University of Ibadan 2013 and to date). Besides, Akintunde holds an MSc in Energy Studies; Master of Public Administration (Human Resources and Personnel Management); BSc (Hons) in Physics; and an OND in Physics with Electronics.
With the strident agitation for a power shift to Oyo Central, a district yet to occupy the Agodi House, Ibadan, intensifies, it is believed that Mr Governor is already beaming his searchlight in the direction of the zone for his successor, come 2019, in the interest of fair play, equity and justice.
A consistent and an unassuming politician, Akintunde is a toast of many people, including both young and old that foresee a new dawn beckoning at them, if he is allowed and offered to the governorship ticket. No doubt, at the recent 79th birthday of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Atanda Adeyemi, the first class monarch patted Akintunde, whom he usually calls by his first name, Yunus, on the back for using his good office, when in saddle, by bringing development close to the ancient town and its environs.
It was gathered that the Alaafin is stoutly throwing his weight behind the emergence of Akintunde, in his bid to succeed the incumbent governor in office, come May 29, 2019.