By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
The late Ibadan strongman, Chief Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu, may have gone but his works and legacies still speak volumes in the political settings of the nation and Oyo State in particular.
On the 24th of October, 2020, Chief Adedibu would have clocked 93 years had been alive.
Before his passage on June 11, 2008, two distinct contacts initiated book projects on him. The two books were dear to his heart and he was anxiously waiting for their outcome which was not to be.
The two initiators, Lekan Saka (An Outsider) and Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi (An Insider and confidant to him), had a providential encounter recently and decided to come up with a one-stop reference book on Chief Adedibu to document his political style and life as well as his political successes.
Also, his failures, the way he relayed himself to Lekan Saka and his team during their interactions and familiarization on his political life as well as how Dr. Gbolarumi saw him play politics for over 30 eventful and productive years.
The book, “ADEDIBU: The Strongman And Generalissimo Of Nigerian Politics, An X-Ray Of The Political Chief Life Of A Colossus” captures adequately the political life of the sage.
Hence, this unique and tedious intellectual effort on Baba Adedibu as he was fondly addressed coupled with other accompanying events that will herald the book to the public domain.
This work no doubt will go a long way in reviving the philosophy of Adedibuism and immortalizing the quintessential political legend of high repute so that the very interesting political exploits of Chief Adedibu can be incorporated into an educational resource for the present-day politicians and for posterity.
The former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Gbolarumi, in an exclusive interview with WESTERN POST highlights more on the essence of the book and unfulfilled dreams of the generalissimo.
What’s the motivation behind the book, “Adedibu, The Strongman and Generalissimo Of Nigerian Politics and “An X-ray of The Political Life Of A Colossus,”. Besides, why are these books coming out this time?
Chief Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu was a political leader, model, and legend whose strides and achievements in the country, Oyo State, and politicians would forever be indelible. There must be something to showcase, remember, and celebrate him so that the young politicians will know who Adedibu was.
The book is a revelation of political activities and philosophies of the generalissimo, and it is over 500 pages. The book will be officially presented on Thursday at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan.
We want people to know the other side of Chief Adedibu because some people believed he was a wicked person. This will be helpful to the new breed of politicians.
We have not seen any politician fill the vacuum or wear the shoes of the late political warlord. What can you say about this?
It is not something that will be easy for anybody to venture into. Baba Adedibu wielded a very powerful and strong political base that nobody can occupy.
For instance, in my own case as the closest person to Adedibu, I cannot wear his shoes because they are bigger than my feet. His cap is bigger than my head. The size of Baba Adedibu’s shoe is 45 while mine is 42. His cap is 25 and mine 22.
With this, you will agree with me that I cannot fill the large vacuum but continued to work to sustain his legacy. That’s why we are honoring him with the books.
It is not going to be easy for any politician to wear his shoes or cap. His style of politics was motivated by God Almighty because he was chosen by God to be a leader of great dimension and capacity which he was before he passed on. A leader like great Adedibu doesn’t emerge by vote or appointment, he emerged naturally and was ordained by God.
What would you say were his unfulfilled dreams?
They are many but I believed he lived very well. He achieved a lot at 81. His achievements in the political terrain of the country cannot be unraveled because he made men and women in the sector who are still relevant in Nigerian politics to date.
One thing he couldn’t realize during his lifetime was the college of science and Technology which was on course then. He wanted to establish the school which had been named, Adedibu College of Science and Technology by the Nigeria University Commission but the dream didn’t come true as a result of his demise. He was a great leader with foresight and unimaginable abilities.
What is your advise for politicians in the country?
I want to encourage politicians to be good in the course of their service to humanity and to also have the fear of God at heart. This will help them be good leaders to the people. They should operate on good principles that will endear them to the heart of the people. This is the hallmark of politics and leadership.