PRINCE Bamidele Ajayi, the Mogaji of Paripete ruling house is not a hiding man in Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria, even toddlers recognise him and salute him as Mogaji in every nook and cranny of the town.
His fame is dated back to 1970s when he was the leader of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) youth wing in Ago Iwoye. Then, he was under the tutelage of leaders like Baba YS; Baba Kaka, Baba Soloni and the mighty lion himself, Professor Sanya Dojo Onabamiro.
Prince Ajayi, however, joined his brother and friend, His Excellency Prince Segun Adesegun in the 90s when Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC) were formed by the then military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, to propagate and promote SPD in the town under the leadership co-handled by Honourable Osinnmi Solomon Adesegun and Aaare Jubril Martins Kuye.
In SPD, Mogaji displayed the stuff he was made up of as all their candidates from Governorship to Senatorial won with agape margin. His friend, Prince Segun Adesegun was then appointed the commissioner for Works and Housing in the State under His Excellency Olusegun Osoba. During this time, the major road in Ago Iwoye was constructed, that is, the road from Itamerin junction to Ona river. The intention was the construction of Ago Iwoye- Ilisan road in totality but the military dissolved the government and put end to every proposal and intention.
As if Mogaji was not done yet, after the June 12 crisis and with the announcement of party politics by the then Head of State, General Abudulsalam, Abubakar, Prince and his leader, Aaare Jubril Martins Kuye, became the face of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the town. That was when Mogaji really flexed his political muscles and bore his fangs. His leader was the governorship candidate of the party in the State, although Aaare eventually lost to AG’s candidate, Chief Olusegun Osaba. It was their collective efforts then that earned Aaare the ministerial portfolio he held in Abuja under President Olusegun Obasanjo. However, Mogaji with their group which was now strengthened with another strategist, Prince Segun Adekoya, proved their political prowess and doggedness as their candidate, Mr Adeite Osilalu won the only seat for the constituency in the State Assembly.
Both Mogaji and Attacker, who are by divine purpose cousins, were the lieutenants of Aaare in Abuja. It is to their credit that the Ago-Iwoye-Isara road was constructed. The major breakthrough Mogaji, his cousin, Prince Adekoya and the leader, Aaare JMK had in Abuja, however, was their success in personnel and development as hundreds of agoites were fixed up in different choosy, juicy and mouth wetting positions that ranged from military placements to the bank, insurance, stock exchange etc.
Prince Dele Ajayi was appointed as the interim Vice Chairman in Ijebu North Local Government by His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Justus Daniel. Although the tenure was shortlived to give room for the full-fledged elected Chairman of the Council, Mogaji made sure that he had something to show for this time and to his credit was the construction of the Shopping complex in Ibipe at Afin Ebumawe Junction.
Maybe his toughest fight politically was the need to have an elected Agoite as the Chairman of the Council. Ever since the creation of Ijebu North Local Government, it had always been a person from our brothers in Ijebu-Igbo. Prince Ajayi, however, became the arrow head of Agoite for Chairmanship campaign and that was what ultimately led to the government headed by the elected Executive Chairman, Asiwaju Tele Ogunjobi, from Ward 11, Ago Iwoye; in the Council. During this time, Idode road was constructed, the bigger and better motor part at Oke yesa was also put in place, primary schools were reconstructed and our traditional rulers too were made more comfortable with better cars.
No doubt, in Ogun State politics, Prince Dele Ajayi, the Mogaji Paripete is an elephant that deserves better than that we say a glimpse of something. He is the liquid in the bottle we called gin, the authentic engine room of Matagbamole group, the old fox and the master of the game. It then gladdens my heart to congratulate this giant who has genuinely toiled for the upliftment of the homestead as he celebrates his birthday today.
Happy birthday Mogaji, pepe lowu n saro, alele a le o ki aide to fo...love and hugs.
*Samson Okulaja sent in this piece from Germany