Inside Lamidi Adedibu’s deserted Ibadan ‘palace’, crumbling political dynasty

Adedibu's 'palace' (Photo taken by Oladeinde Olawoyin)

A one-storey mosque stood adjacent the main building that was Lamidi Adedibu’s main building. There, he held sway as an oracle and dished out orders that were considered laws at a time in Ibadan and other parts of Oyo State. Time was 3:45 p.m. and this reporter just swaggered into the ‘Molete Palace’ of the late Ibadan politician and stalwart of the then ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party.

The afternoon sun baked the skin with fiendish delight. At the entrance of the commodious ‘palace’, about five weird-looking middle-aged men sat on a bench, leaving the gate ajar. A banner displaying Mr. Adedibu’s image occupies a part of the gate, swinging slowly to the rhythm of the afternoon wind. Easily noticeable was a narrow, tarred, deserted road that connects the entire ‘palace’ with the major road linking Molete and Oke-Ado.

Inside the ‘palace’, the imposing structure of the central mosque blurs the visibility of other buildings adjoining it. On a clear day, a visitor can perch on its veranda and behold the Molete overhead bridge. At a spot adjacent the mosque lies a poorly kept, dust-covered pavement provided for Muslim faithful for ablution. The pavement reeks of urine. There are about five buildings inside the compound but unlike what was the norm when Mr. Adedibu was alive, they all looked empty, dust-ridden and deserted.

At a far-flung corner of the ‘palace’, a white-and-brown-striped cow was grazing around. The space used to be the spot prepared for cattle, from which visitors and other appendages of power got their beef. There were no goats and pigeons, neither was there any sign of the usual Amala and gbegiri festival held on Fridays.

Beggars, political thugs, artisans, old women and others who thronged the ‘palace’ for favours have all disappeared. The place had become a ‘ghost community’.

As against the norm when the ‘palace’ was operated like a car mart with hundreds of vehicles occupying the open space, there were just six vehicles in the entire compound when PREMIUM TIMES visited – three cars were parked at the front of the main buildings; a bus was stationed at road leading to the gate; while two other cars were placed on the tarred road at the entrance.

The main building where Mr. Adedibu lived clings to the side of another building where political meetings were held. At the entrance of the building, painted in white and green, there are portraits of some deceased Nigerian politicians and foremost nationalists: Adegoke Adelabu, Ladoke Akintola, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa.

It is February 2018, about a year away from a major national election and few months to the state’s local government elections. Yet here in Mr. Adedibu’s Molete Palace, there was pin-drop silence and the entire place reeked of emptiness and inactivity.

For the old-time visitor, it was quite difficult to imagine this was the much-dreaded Lamidi Adedibu’s famed ‘Molete Palace’, otherwise considered the political ‘mecca’ of politicians and their hangers-on in Oyo State, the southwest region and beyond.

Adedibu as ‘Garrison Commander’

In 2006, former governor Rashidi Ladoja was ‘impeached’ by 18 members of a 32-member Oyo State House of Assembly, in clear contravention of the rule of law. Mr. Ladoja’s impeachment came against the backdrop of the crisis caused by an alleged money-sharing disagreement between him (Ladoja) and Mr. Adedibu, his estranged godfather.

Mr. Adedibu had in 2003 thrown his support behind Mr. Ladoja of the PDP, who contested against the then incumbent, Lam Adesina of the Alliance for Democracy, AD. Mr. Ladoja won the election. Following Mr. Ladoja’s impeachment, Adebayo Alao-Akala who was then deputy governor was sworn in as governor.

In the heat of the crisis rocking the state, the then national chairman of the PDP, Ahmadu Ali, had described Ibadan as a ‘Garrison Command’ and Mr. Adedibu as the ‘Garrison Commander’. Political analysts opined that Mr. Adedibu bestrode Ibadan like a colossus, with the covert support of the federal government, led by then President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP.

True to his name, Mr. Adedibu ruled Oyo State like a ‘garrison’. With the support of men of the state wing of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW–– e.g. Sule Adu, Lati Elewe Omo, Concord, Alado, Ismail Agbaje – he battled opposition figures both within the then ruling PDP and other parties.

In 2007, he supported Mr. Alao-Akala of the PDP and led the party to victory in the state. On June 11, 2008, Mr. Adedibu died.

Crumbling political dynasty

Since Mr. Adedibu’s death, his political dynasty has been thrown into disarray as many of his political protegees have either deserted his Molete home or deviated from his ‘style’ of politics and choice of political party.

Mr. Alao-Akala, believed to be one of the direct beneficiaries of the Adedibu brand of politics, has since defected from the PDP to the Labour Party, LP, and lately APC since he lost his re-election bid in 2011.

A former Senate Leader and renown Adedibu loyalist, Teslim Folarin, has also defected from the PDP to the APC, after he contested the governorship seat on the platform of the party in 2015 and lost out to the incumbent Abiola Ajimobi of the APC.

Similarly, Taofeeq Arapaja, the then deputy to Mr. Alao-Akala has since defected to the ruling APC in a bid to maintain relevance in the state’s political space.

Mr. Adedibu’s biological son who was the senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District before his father’s death, Kamorudeen Adedibu, has exited the political space in the state since he lost his re-election bid in  2011. When PREMIUM TIMES visited his campaign office in Molete, officials said the former senator could not be reached.

“He is just trying to stage a comeback and you can see the banner,” a resident of the area who craved anonymity told PREMIUM TIMES.

“He left here long time ago and we didn’t even hear anything from him. I think he is also preparing to come back in 2019,” he added.

Mixed reactions trail ‘legacy’

For Tawakalitu Ajibola, a trader at Oja’ba market in Ibadan, Mr. Adedibu was a colossus who she remembered for his support for the poor and the needy in the society.

Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES, she explained that the late politician’s position remains unfilled.

“He gave out rice and other things during festivals. Many people ate in his house on Fridays, he was a great philanthropist and benefactor to many. We miss him.”

But a butcher at Bode market, Tiamiyu Ajao, said the late politician’s death signalled the end of politically-motivated violence in the state.

“We have been enjoying peace in Ibadan since he left; we must recognise that too as a part of his ‘legacy’,” he said in Yoruba.

For the spokesperson of the Oyo State APC, Wasiu Sadare, Mr. Adedibu played his part in the political scene of the city and the state.

“Adedibu has left the political scene for good as no human can live forever,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview.

Speaking with our reporter, Maroof Asindemade, an Ibadan-based public affairs analyst, traced Mr. Adedibu’s authority to his role in the politics of the Fourth Republic.

He said, “The political heavyweight appellated as the garrison commander resurfaced at the return of democratic rule in 1999 but in a low-key fashion. He belonged to the All People’s Party, a less thriving political party at the time. Late Chief Adedibu regained political prominence when he became a staunch and prominent member of the ruling party then, the PDP. His house at Molete became a political Mecca for all shades of politicians and hangers-on who wanted one political favour or the other.

“Late Chief Adedibu understood the language of local politics and he deployed it to great advantage. The gate of his palatial premises was left open for poverty-stricken people and political opportunists who swarmed his house for food and financial favour; not to talk of those who hanged their political destinies on the late political godfather. ”

Mr. Asindemade, who lamented the manner politicians deserted the Molete home of the Ibadan politician, attributed the development to Mr. Adedibu’s refusal to embrace refined politics.

He said, “Chief Adedibu only empowered people with stomach infrastructure and once he was not there again to sustain the empowerment, people moved on to where their stomach would have sustenance.

“Chief Adedibu did not inculcate worthy political ideology into his political godsons and daughters. The result of this is that there’s nothing to immortalise him on; such that till date, no memorial lecture has been held in honour of the political enigma.

“Third, the maverick politicians did not leave behind offspring with the large heart and political acumen that he possessed. They could not manage the political dynasty the chief left behind. Molete home of the late garrison commander has become a shadow of itself.”

For Akeem Olatunji, spokesperson of the Oyo State Chapter of the PDP, the late Adedibu was a great politician in his era; but time has changed.

“Unlike in the past, thuggery and rigging associated with the politics of Adedibu era are no more in vogue as the electorate are now more enlightened and prepared to defend their votes,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in a chat.

“Although PDP missed Chief Adedibu’s organisation skill and generosity, the party is fortunate to have Sen. Rashidi Ladoja as the Leader of PDP in Oyo State and Kunmi Mustapha as the State Chairman of the party because the three were instrumental to the victory of PDP over the ruling AD government in 2003 despite intimidation and harassment suffered in the hands of the then AD government.

“Oyo State PDP as presently constituted is in safe hands and well prepared to replicate the winning streak of 2003 when PDP won the presidential, National Assembly, governorship and State House of Assembly by landslide.”

He hinted that if the party won the gubernatorial election in 2019, it would dedicate the victory to the late Adedibu.

“According to our leader, Rashidi Ladoja, and the state chairman, Kunmi Mustapha, PDP victory in 2019 will surely be dedicated to the memories of Late Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu as a mark of respect to the great leader,” he said.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: Revealed!!! The Only Way Left of Getting an Extra Large Manhood and also Last Up to 38Mins+. Get the Insider Secret Here


TEXT AD: This NAFDAC APPROVED Solution Will Make You Stay Longer Than 40Mins In Bed Tonight And Help Your Erection. Click Here To Read The Free Reports


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

    A very brief lesson on the vanity of life. Here today, gone tomorrow, how you touch lives and live yours is what matters, here and in eternity

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      Well said. May i also add: Your contribution to knowledge, and participation in scientific and living standards advancement for the development of your entire species. Aristotle, Socrates,, Newton, Fred Meischer, Rosalind franklin & Maurice Wilkins, Nickola Teslar, Guglielmo Marconi, Tom Edison Einstein, Watson and Crick, Robert Noyce & Kilroy, Tim Berners lee, Neil Papworth, Marc Andreessen and Jamie Zawinski etc, Alan Turin, Richardson, Copernicus, Gates. Jobs, Me or another Nigerian? (wink), and so on, and so forth, These men the true hero’s of our species and should be adored as role models. Even in death the contributions are still the foundation (first DNA strand/cell/atom/nucleus/Cog in the wheel etc) that lead to more human advancement that will forever touch the lives of people till the end of Humanity. That is the best wealth and Riches ever…

      Shame our politicians want to live a life the like’s of musicians in a music video.

      Thats why i say the most humans of Earth are still mostly mentally primitive barbaric.

  • Ezekiel. J.

    Lessons for all men to leave behind a good legacies and not live a riotous life like some of these evil and selfish politicians. Vanity upon vanity all is vanity therefore we all must serve God and humanity faithfully and righteously.

  • Ade#

    Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu.. Oke ti won mi, ti o mi. Baba played politics the way he best understood it.. No matter what anybody says, his mastery and understanding of the local politics was legendary.

    • omoagbala60

      Atunbotan ni won so.

      • Ade#

        Who am I to Judge?

  • Eyo

    Chai, I can believe what I am seeing. unbelievable. In the end Adedibu ended up a colossal failure of woes. Do good and touch lives while you are alive.Existence with all his glory is nothing but emptiness. when these folks are stealling destroying lives you think they will never die, look at how Adedibu ended, just like Abiola, everything went away with the winds-like dust they vanished away

    • Suleiman Alatise

      It’s same for everyone, rich or poor, everything will varnish at the end.

      • Millrnium Child

        That is not what we are saying. We are complaining that Premium Times
        is using style to support Muhamadu Buhari. Look now, why should the
        educated journalists of Premium Times go inside the house of illiterate
        politician like Lamidu Adedibu, why, what for? Has Premium Times entered the house of real scholars like Professor Awojobi before?

        No, so you can see the bias we are talking about here. Because
        Nigerians have been complaining too much that Buhari doesn’t
        have or cannot show any Wasc/Gce certificate, Premium Times
        has now made it point of duty to be going inside the houses of
        past illiterates to convince the masses that illiteracy is okay.

        • Mogadishu.

          Are you OK.. You are seriously sick and if you didn’t treat yourself before next year,Buhariphobia will definitely kill you.

        • omoagbala60

          Smartly illogical.

        • GbemigaO

          Seriously ? The human mind at times !

        • Ade Omowest

          So you think you are educated? Your standard is inferior to that of a Corporal in the Nigerian Army not to talk of a Sargent. You are really sick in the head.

        • wode

          What a thought! What a mind! Imagine! just imagine how somebody’s mind is working. So twisted? Who says Buhari, like any other being, has no lesson to learn from this beautifully compiled piece. This is pretty less of politics but more about emptiness of human existence. Everybody, and in deed everything, is going to become a history. We all need to make best of the opportunity we have now as some other time, we won’t be here again. It has nothing to do with rich or poor, educated or uneducated, young or old.

  • Hinds Peter

    Science was at one time a branch of philosophy.Philosophy and science has diverged since ancient times.Well with philosophy failing(economics politics sociology and all the social sciences).You can not be vex with a man trying to solve the problems of the masses using science.And science has it’s rightful place.Science transforming an agricultural Soviet Union(Which was Marx’s original intent).In to an empire that could hold it’s own even in modern times.The social sciences have pressed buttons and failed miserably.What is wrong with trying science which has been proven to work.Is pride and power going to send black people further down the drain.Or is some one going to jump out of the gutter and say i am going the other way.Which is a logical antithesis.I am saying that in stead of using the emotional side of the brain(you know i like that man).Use logic.Is that unreasonable?Peter Carlos Hinds.King of the Zulus.Barbados.

  • Hinds Peter

    It is not only the stench and decay of this palace that concerns me.But the equal decay of the black mind.You send a man to Europe to specialize.And he comes back with a grand agricultural vision.If he had said that he wanted to do agriculture in the first place.He could have been given a plot of land and a few seeds.And we would spare the expense.Universities and colleges demanding high fees and subventions.Could these colleges improve the quality of their content first.Then ask for increasing funds.Another thing about some one who has passed through the gates of a college.Is that on completion.They throw the text book in the gutter and go forward.Well if you had known this in the first place.He could have been with the boys.Yes a failure.But a failure with out great expense.The mind has got to improve first.The environment will automatically follow.Peter Carlos Hinds.King of the Zulus.Barbados.

  • Kareem Haroun

    I read the his beautiful peace with a bit of nostalgic feeling. I have never been to Molested home of Adedibu, but the of its description is very. So sad. Where are his wives??

  • Galantman

    I may not agree with Baba Adedibu’s style of politics, but I do admire his caurage and strong belief in his methodology ie “amala politics”. May his soul Rest In Peace

  • DO GOOD

    ‘Dibu, the “garrison commander” of Molete, the grandfather of impunity! All about the memory of the unjust, cursed rather than blessed. ‘Dibu!! A lesson for all, to fill the gap of what we failed to learn from his counterpart Adelakun. How soon “Dibu is reduced to rubles and ashes, the Arisekolas have also vapourised into thin air. God is great!

  • Zacchaeus Akinleye, ME, P.E.

    Obasanjo empowered a glorified political thug as “garrison commander”to undermine the will of the electorate in Ibadan, even the ripples of the instability of that era is not yet fully dissipated. The same Obasanjo is the inciter-in-chief urging Nigerians with short memory to dismiss a man being criticized for not hauling accused persons to prison because PMB is committed to the rule of law. Decent citizens should call OBJ’s bluff and tell him to stop assaulting our sensibilities.

  • Efe Warri

    Such is life…PDP should get it into their empty skulls that the days of rigging election results are over.
    The PDP style of politics is dead and long gone.

    • Mizch

      And what is APC made up of, the likes of Audu Ogbe, Amaechi, Tambuwal, etc?
      In the face of registered under-aged voters in APC domains, what is the definition of corruption?