From Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
On Thursday, December 17, 2020, eminent personalities gathered to launch a book in honour of the “Garrison Commander of South-West politics”, Chief Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan.
Dignitaries at the event include former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former Deputy Governor, Hazeem Gbolarumi, Senator Teslim Folarin, former Deputy Governor Taofeek Arapaja, former Minister for Special Duties, Elder Wole Oyelese Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji while the Chief of Staff to Oyo State Governor, Bisi Ilaka represented Governor Seyi Makinde.
The book is entitled “Adedibu the strongman and generalissimo of Nigerian politics”, co-authored by Hazeem Gbolarumi and Chief Lekan Saka.
The book is the chronicle of life and time of the political legend and event which could be described as indelible in the minds of residents of Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.
Apart from gallantry quality the late legend was known for, people cannot forget the reign of thuggery and other antisocial activities during his political reign in Ibadan and Oyo State generally.
But the man has some qualities similar to legendary Ibadan warrior whose name is used to make the ancient city famous and his name is Iba Oluyole. Iba Oluyole was a garrison commander of Ibadan warriors whose leadership quality is second to none.
The legendary Iba Oluyole, historically was born in Old Oyo to the polygamous family of Olukuoye by Omoba Agbonrin, a daughter of the Alaafin Abiodun. Alaafin Abiodun happened to be the only king that conquered the tyrant Bashorun Gaa in the old Oyo due to his gallantry quality.
Iba Oluyole is regarded as the founder of the present Ibadan by virtue of his many conquests which ensured the survival of Ibadan city till date.
Just like Oluyole, Adedibu who is from Olupoyi family lineage in Oja-Oba in Ibadan also had his ancestral lineage from Iba Oluyole from his mother’s side. According to family head of Iba compound, Alhaji Nureni Akanbi, Adedibu had been a leader right from his childhood. He described his leadership quality as incomparable.
According to him, Adedibu was born and bred in Iba Oluyole compound and later identified with family compound of his father when he grew up. Another most interesting thing about the late politician is that, he got his surname, Adedibu from his maternal side. According to Alhaji Nureni, the name of his father is, Adegoke Adeduntan but rather Adedibu adopted his maternal uncle’s name as surname.
Adedibu was born on October 24, 1927 at Oja-Oba, Ibadan, a member of the Olupoyi chieftaincy ruling house. And his root can be traced to Iba Oluyole ancestral lineage from Oyo. Adedibu entered politics in the 1950s, when he became a member of the Ibadan People’s Party, and then joined the Action Group under Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Later he was a member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) led by Chief Adisa Akinloye and Richard Akinjide. He became an increasing force in politics during the military reign of General Ibrahim Babangida, where he backed the candidature of Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua in the Social Democratic Party together with other politicians such as Babagana Kingibe, Atiku Abubakar and Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila. His brand of politics was described as a blend of populism and raw thuggery that often compelled either violent loyalty or violent opposition.
Adedibu who was described as father of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, died at the University College Hospital in Ibadan on June 11, 2008, leaving a power vacuum in Oyo State PDP which later resulted to party crisis.