Over the past five electoral cycles since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, the late titan of politics and former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Dr Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala had been the one who dictated where the pendulum of Ogbomoso politics swung to and till he took his last breath on the 12th of January, 2022, Bobajiro of Owu kingdom still had in his political camp a sitting House of Representatives member and a state house legislature.
Otunba Alao Akala made it visible to the people of Ogbomoso that political parties are just vehicle for candidates to their destination and he was the driver.
The coming of Akala first as deputy to Ladoja and later as substantive governor marked a shift in paradigm in Ogbomoso and Oyo state politics. Alao-Akala’s gave hope to a lot of young people of Ogbomoso and Oyo state to aspire and occupy different political positions in the state irrespective of the circumstances of their birth. For this and more, he had drawn the ire of those who had been benefitting from the old order and who, when they had the opportunity to make a difference failed very woefully.
However, now that Oyato’s political camp and Ogbomoso have faced the reality of losing a political titan who often led them whenever the political atmosphere changed and dwindled.
let’s start by putting this bit in its historical context. Indeed, historically, Ogbomoso stands at the confluence of several historical junctures, from Yoruba, the South West and the Nigerian federation. Ogbomoso was significant in defining the fate of the old Oyo Empire especially in resisting the calvary force of the invading Fulani. Ogbomoso would also significantly contribute to the erosion of the power of the Oyo Empire when it shifted its allegiance to Ibadan, the then rising military town, which defeated the Fulani in 1840.
This political strategy of pragmatic reading of times and seasons of politics has led Ogbomoso into being a significant bloc in the politics of the South West and of Oyo State. The rise of Chief S. L. Akintola and the political and ideological disagreement with Chief Obafemi Awolowo would further entrenched Ogbomoso’s political significance in the South West scheme of things. It was therefore inevitable and logical that Akala’s incursion into Oyo State politics would be from the platform afforded by Ogbomoso as a political base.
The late Alao Akala further made Ogbomoso a force to reckon with in Oyo State politics as this was evident in how political positions were being zoned in different political parties. Now that Alao Akala is no more will Ogbomoso not lose its political base?
Since the days of late Alao Akala, a lot of political leaders have tried to stand on their own and command their own political camp, but none overpowered the Oyato camp, notable among them is Senator Hamzat Ayoade Adeseun who for reasons known to him and maybe Late Alao Akala, will never stay in the same political party, but that’s another topic for another day.
Also Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola, a former Majority Leader of the Federal House of Representatives, whose foray into politics was to the late governor’s credit. Established her own political camp in 2015 after disagreement erupted between her and her benefactor and till date she seems to be declining, has records proved her not to have won any elective position as a candidate and godmother.
Another force to reckon with is Hon Segun Dokun Odebunmi famously known as Bunvic, who is the only politician who can boast of winning election after leaving Alao Akala’s camp. The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation and Ethics represents the people of Ogo-Oluwa/Surulere which falls into Oyo Central Senatorial District. Though Bunvic constituency falls within Ogbomoso Zone, his political tentacles would be hard to spread across Ogbomoso main city which falls under Oyo North Senatorial District and with this, he is not likely to be a generalissimo of Ogbomoso politics.
To mention also is Senator AbdulFatai Omotayo Buhari, a brilliant and experienced politician, but seems to be more of Oke Ogun than Ogbomoso and hardly can he boast to be a political gladiator in Ogbomoso South not to talk of Ogbomoso Zone. Despite being in active politics both at the state and federal level, the two term sitting senator is being accused of focusing more on oke Ogun development than his hometown, which seems to be hunting his political presence at home.
Several political camps are also in Ogbomoso but none seems ready to shoulder both the responsibilities and looks capable to grab the bull of political base of Ogbomoso by it’s horn
Meanwhile, another the political image and influence of Alao Akala, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi rode from a member of the Oyo state House of Assembly to Member House of Representative member and today, Chief of Staff to Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State leads the OSE political base.
In April 2021 even before he became the Chief of Staff, speaking at the coronation reception of Segun Ogunwuyi as the Otunba Mayeloye of Ijeru Kingdom, His Excellency Engr Seyi Makinde noted that the former member of the Oyo State House of Assembly and House of Representatives has good records in all the places he had served in the country, adding that his footprints are still noticeable in the House of Assembly many years after he left.
The governor said: “First, I want to say that this honour is well- deserved and I want to thank God that one of us is being honoured in his homestead. They do say that prophets are usually not honoured in their homes but this one is being honoured at the grassroots.
“I am glad that one of our own, who is also one of the future leaders of this state and country, is being honoured in his home base.
Segun Ogunwuyi seems to have faced and won a lot of political battles more than those ahead of him and his contemporaries, as most of the wars seem to emanate from Ogbomoso, but he has been able to prevail. Fate seems to be following him and with the respect he keeps commanding among political, social and religious class, it shows he’s the new sheriff in town to fill the vacuum.
In all the past electoral cycles, political parties opposing Ọmọ Ìyá Aláró were relatively unknown to the people because of his dwarfing dominance.
More importantly, the political parties almost since the announcement of the INEC timetables for elections then had accepted their fates at losing woefully at the elections because of their lack of preparedness before, during and after the elections. Their hopes of winning were usually placed on other zones. During the governorship election in 2015, one of the members of the All Progressives Congress at Ojude Ipako unit 05 once said “we knew we were not going to win Ogbomoso but we are going to win Oke Ogun, Oyo, Ibarapa and Ibadan. You can go and eat your votes”. He said this when it was obvious that his party was losing the vote count at his unit.
The entrant of Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi as one of the leaders of opposing parties against the Alao-Akala camp has once again proved him to be the new Sheriff in town as no stone is being left unturned in making his party, the People’s Democratic Party rub shoulders to shoulders with Alao-Akala political base. It is true that political parties are the drivers of any aspiration but this is why the party Alao-Akala belonged to until his death is deliberately not mentioned because their leaders then would rather not lift a finger to prove a political point but would deliberately choose the easy way out which is docility and assailable paths.
Apart from his brilliance, he seems to be the only political camp lord who is ready to work with both old and new entrants. The Ogbomoso South born politician has held firm his political base, a test others have failed. He has taken up the unifier role beyond his federal constituency, and I believe his political achievements, political tolerance, experience, humility, comportment, large-heartedness, grassroots acumen are what will make the people of Ogbomoso follow his leadership.
Therefore, now that power has actually gone back to the people which is what it is supposed to be, Ogbomoso politicians and gladiators need to leave the wheel of Ogbomoso political vehicle to SEGUN EBENEZER OGUNWUYI the way they left it to Late Chief S L A Akintola and Late Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala in other to tackle Ibadan dominance and the new Oke Ogun agenda in town.
Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi is the new sheriff in town, and he needs support and prayers to make him sustain Ogbomoso political base.
writes from Ogbomoso.
Edited by: Mariam Olaitan (Her Royal Excellency)