March 28, 2022
It is an adage that goes “When you are silent over your neighbour eating raw insects, throat rumblings at night will make you uncomfortable and sleepless”.
Lagos was the capital of Nigeria from the colonial era because of its topographic advantage luring to the colonial masters. The rush and raspy busty of the commercial metropolitan Lagos inadvertently gave the serene location advantage to Abeokuta and Ijebu Ode which is now carved as Ogun State today, as Idanre is to Akure the capital of Ondo State.
Looking inward into the political emergence of Nigeria, Ogun State proximity to the nation’s capital of Lagos State played a vital role in producing political front runners in Nigeria political foundation up till today.
Among the product of proximity advantage from the serene Ogun State are; Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Late Chief MKO Abiola, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and many unnamed notable Nigerians that delved into political terrain from various fields of human endeavour, like Medicine, Law, Engineering and so on.
It is a fact the the advantage of proximity between Ogun State to the then Lagos Capital of Nigeria tremendously benefited the indigenes of Ogun State with direct access to information and federal government than any other city in Nigeria.
With the new shifted national policy spear headed by a Military dictator, President Ibrahim Babangida and our own Justice Akinola Aguda, An Akure Justice, born in 1923 to the family of Elijah Aguda and Deborah Fasu, a prominent Anglican couple of Akure in Ondo State.
The creation of Abuja history notwithstanding cannot be completed without mentioning Justice Akinola Aguda who headed the seven-man committee that recommended the relocation of the federal capital of Nigeria from Lagos to Abuja.
Justice Aguda died in 2001 in Lagos at the age of 78 and Lagos State since became relegated to the commercial capital of Nigeria after the creation of Abuja.
Idanre in comparison, is in close proximity to Akure the State capital of Ondo State. Idanre direct access to Ondo State capital could not be taken for granted as the children of the hilly community cannot wait and fold arms without naturally participating in the economic and political dispensation Ondo State with Akure the capital of Ondo State at their proximity.
As earlier stated, the era of independence from the colonial master paved way for democracy which ushered in personalities like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other Yoruba tribes into the forefront of political advocacy of self-governance through unitary government in Nigeria, the result of the agitation ultimately gave birth to regional government in Nigeria and Western Region of Nigeria was created.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo a lawyer by profession became the rallying point of attraction by his peers, he formed a political party that captivated the aura for the old Western State of Nigeria called Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
One of his closest friends , a building contractor and Idanre native, High Chief (Dr) Gabriel Akin-Deko was appointed the first Minister for Agriculture of then Western Region of Nigeria.
High Chief (Dr) Gabriel Akin-Deko fondly called Kekere Ekun by Chief Awolowo was not only appointed with Minister portfolio simply because of his friendly relationship with Chief Obafemi Awolowo the Premier of Old Western Region of Nigeria, but also with expectation that he will perform creditably well as a result of his educational background and upbringing from an agrarian community of Idanre where about 15% total Cocoa seeds of Nigeria are grown.
Indeed, the political appointment of High Chief (Dr) Gabriel Akin-Deko was a smart move as a right peg in the right hole for Ondo State in the then Western Region of Nigeria.
The College of Agriculture in Akure today has Chief Akindeko’s name on its blocks for commissioning of its building talk less of Onishere farming estate that was an agricultural development scheme unbeatable in the agricultural evolution in Nigeria.
Late High Chief (Dr) Gabriel Akin-Deko was appointed Pro-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology (FUTA) Akure by then President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Shagari under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
Old political stock like Chief Ayo Akintoba, Chief Agboola Akintan cannot be forgotten in the early stage of Political dispensation of Ondo State.
Going down the memory lane of Nigeria’s modern democracy, there came the need for Presidential system of Government and additional state creation that necessitated the need for the creation of a new Ondo State Government which was created on February 3, 1976, from the former Western State. It originally included the present Ekiti State, which was split off in 1996.
Akure ultimately becomes the capital of Ondo State, a close neigbour of Idanre Community.
The modern political emancipation in Nigeria that extended its political aura to the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, an Ogun State stock through UPN political party to Ondo State paved way for Chief Adekunle Ajasin, one of his trusted friends as flag bearer and ultimately became the first elected executive governor of Ondo State.
Chief Adekunle Ajasin’s choice by the cerebral Chief Obafemi Awolowo cannot be separated from the concept of the recognizable dominance of academia of Ondo State indigenes in Nigeria’s political space, with uncountable professors.
Chief Adekunle Ajasin’s teaching profession cannot be an accident to his choice as a pioneering Ondo State civilian governor that is poised to evangelize the free education agenda of the UPN.
Idanre neighbourhood was noticeable with the calibers of people that surrounded Chief Adekunle Ajasins’s administration with the likes of Chief Bisi (Ojukwu) Akinfolarin – a silent businessman and party chieftain with no political appointment but influential in decision making process of the Chief Adekunle Ajasin’s administration of UPN in Ondo State.
Late Chief Blessing Kayode as the first elected Member House of Representatives in Lagos under the Unity Party of Nigeria. Honourable Olasoji Akinlalu, Chief Ebun Ogunyimika and other active political appointee from Idanre kingdom.
The party configuration from Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) to Social Democratic Party (SDP) was like same old wine in the new bottle that bred many Idanre sons and daughters into politics, notable few among them are Late Chief Blessing Kayode as party chairman (SDP) and other notable players like Chief P.A Babalola, Chief Duyile Korede and Asiwaju Banji Kuroloja
Asiwaju Banji Kuroloja, an uncle opened my eyelids to politics, a favourite student of Mr.Tai Solarin of blessed memory who founded Mayflower school, Ikenne Ogun state and appointed him as his personal staff.
It was at this Ikenne that the destiny paved its way for Asiwaju Kuroloja when Chief Awolowo contacted him there and subsequently picked him to become his private secretary and publicity secretary.
Asiwaju Banji Kuroloja was eventually seconded to Ondo State on political appointment after many years of service as Editor of Nigerian Tribune Newspaper, a newspaper publication firm of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, He eventually became the first publicity secretary of UPN in Ondo State. As his will have it, many Idanre breeds had been assigned to head information Ministry in Ondo State with the likes of Mr. Ayo Akinbobola (late), Hon. Kayode Akinmade and Hon. Yemi Olowolabi of recent.
Noticable sons and daughters of Idanre also had since been actively participating in Ondo State political fora from various field of human endeavors. Among which are Chief Olu Akinyelure, a core party chieftain in the present ruling APC government at Federal level and alongside is Engineer Ade Adetimehin at Ondo State level of APC as party chairman.
This history book for modern Idanre political actors cannot be completed without including some professionals that filled the political stream of Idanre community, starting from the Anthropology professor of Social Science Professor – Dr. Niyi Akinnaso, to Medicine class of profession – Dr. Omotayo Dairo, Dr. kola Ademujimi, Dr Oluremi Akinbobola, and so on.
The Law sector has Professor Barrister Jones Jejelola, while the accounting sector attracted second term Distinguished Senator Ayo Akinyelure to politics, a Senator of with whom I served as first Senior Legislative Aide at the Nigerian Senate chamber, Abuja between 2011 and 2015.
The present metropolitan of Akure has Oke Aro quarters as one of its
fast-growing quarters, now fully occupied by majority of Idanre people, where land developers of Akure and Idanre builds and developed estates closer to each others as neighbours.
As the trace of land boundary between Sango Ota of Ogun State and Lagos-the commercial capital of Nigeria today becomes virtually invisible, so also is the 1952 Oluwole land dispute between Akure and Idanre community becomes irrelevant today.
Current and modern estate or infrastructural development of Ondo State has tremendously configured community proximities as a key factor in political and economic blueprint that favoured Idanre Community as a neighbour to the seat of power in Alagbaka by nature.
It is hopeful and expected therefore that Idanre community will continue to take advantage of its proximity to Ondo State capital for the development of its agrarian heritage, commerce and human capital
Hon. Wole Akingbasote writes from Huntington Beach, California-USA