Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku is one political figure that needed no political- introduction in Oyo State politics, as a whole and the cosmopolitan and ever sophisticated Ibadan South West-Ibadan North West Federal Constituency, in particular.
‘Dino’, as fondly called by many, started his political career as a consistent progressive politician under the tutelage of Great Lam Adesina, former Governor of Oyo State. He rose through the ranks to become a factor of great reckoning produced by ward 12, Ibadan South West Local Government, which, incontrovertibly, has ever remained a determinant ward in terms of voting population in our entire Pacesetter State.
Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku is never an emergency or accidental Federal House of Representatives aspirant. He is one of very few who truly stood by the party, most especially during the gloomy days of the defunct Aliance for Democracy, AD, when the party was booted out of Agodi Government House by the PDP in 2003.
Since Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku was lured into politics by a grassroot political Garrison Commander, in person of his great leader in the ward, Elder Odetola a.k.a Baba Two Naira. The old politician made progressive ideological politics very fascinated to Otunba Ajanaku circa 2001. And since then, Dino had remained politically steadfast and consistent. That, unequivocally, was evident in his three consecutive contests for House of Representatives seat of IBSW/IBNW Federal Constituency in 2011, 2015 and 2019 to be precise.
Now that we are in another season, where political hypocrisy thrives, paid agents, commissioned to run down credible aspirants that could deliver the much required majority votes to a party like the All Progressives Congress, APC, in any given electoral contest, were on the loose and a political colossus like Ajanaku should not expect a smooth ride.
A quick flashback to his last contest in 2018, prior to 2019 general elections, which was characterised with coercion, manipulative primary, political blackmail of varying degrees and dimensions, tainted with primordial, mundane and sectional narratives, with a view to imposing an unpopular candidate by the then political establishment on the sophisticated Ibadan North West-South West Federal Constituency, conscripted Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku, the people’s choice and loyal members of the party to leave the All Progressives Congress, APC in the federal constituency en-mass.
The unfortunate development took a very devastating toll on the performance of the party, as APC was preyed upon. That singular unpopular political choice made and the resultant effect was not limited to the party losing the federal constituency. APC lost the much needed Oyo South Senatorial seat to the PDP, which fielded a relatively unpopular candidate and this dovetailed into the eventual loss of the Oyo Guber election, a novel political episode birthed by a coalition, which installed an under-dog Guber Candidate of PDP.
Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku’s becoming a political phenomenon in Ibadan North West-South West Federal Constituency was not just a coincidence but hard earned. It is never a feat achieved by a day or a year political goodwill but, it was a product of constant and eventful political activeness spanning over a decade.
For someone, who has never been in any elective office to have consistently identified with his constituents, those outside his constituency and the party herself in particular both in cash and in kind, Otunba had really proven the humanity underlining his philanthropic gestures beyond reasonable doubts.
He singularly gave new big generator running into millions of naira to Chief Akin Oke led excos at the then Yemetu and Oke Ado Secretariat, amidst millions of naira expended on party excecutives at the State and his Federal Constituency. At some point, especially during and AD/AC/ACN days, he and few other progressive were responsible for funds sourcing to pay office rent and other essential needs of party in the state.
Through Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku Foundation, ORAF, scores of indegent students had become beneficiaries of his scholarships, which has produced graduates and post-graduate students from Ibadan. ORAF Widow Support Funds for businesses, without doubts, had greatly rescued 200 selected widows across the Federal Constituency from the claws of poverty. Each of the beneficiaries was supported with nothing less than 200,000 naira in the last 10 years.
Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku is never a limited person. He believes in democratic norms and tenets. He also believes only God gives power to whoever deemed fit but he detests dictatorial tendencies, impunity, socio-econo-politico-cultural injustice and lack of reward system.
He has passion and vision to offer quality representation that would be anchored on the mantra of selflessness and democratic deliverables for his people of Federal Constituency. His conviction in reward system is second to none.
He had always mentioned it to the ears of many that he would rapidly sponsor a bill and lobby his colleagues both at the green chamber and red chamber for upgrade of a Federal Institution at Moore Plantation, Apata to a Federal University. This, according to him, would not only solve the problem of shortage in capacity development required in agric extention, in tandem with the sustainable development goals, but also galvanise the overall economic growth and development of Federal Constituency.
Youth engagement would be enhanced through direct and indirect jobs creation and services. According to his estimations, the fortune of the artisans in the constituency would positively change, as promotion of small scale investments and infrastructural development along that axis would provoke unquantifiable value-chain development in Ibadanland, as a whole.
Ajanaku’s aspiration, in my humble opinion, is not self-serving nor a personal appetite/endeavor but one, which guarantees that our people have voice that is truly theirs in the National Assembly. He is truly a quality aspirant that APC would need to reflect positively on his candidature, political value at the polls, not his religion nor any sectional considerations that has retarded us as a country, if considered on a larger scale.
The Rotimi Ajanaku, that I know, is not a pretentious character. He is communal in nature, genuine in humility and a great family man that cares.
If ‘OYO STATE APC’ is truly thinking of reclaiming her lost fortune at polls come 2023, critical consideration of quality Individuals that can win elections, like Otunba Rotimi Ajanaku, is a key component of assurance for the party.
The noble path, politically, is for the party’s critical stakeholders to embrace reality than fiction.
Foko, Ward 06,