Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has paid tribute to late Chief Lamidi Adedibu describing him as an honest politician, who helped the Peoples Democratic Party win the governorship election in Oyo State in 2003.
Obasanjo said this while delivering the theme address at a book presentation in honour of Adedibu at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan on Thursday, adding that the late politician left good legacies.
At the event were former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala; Senator Teslim Folarin; Chief of Staff to the Oyo State Governor, Bisi Ilaka; and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji.
The former President, who wrote the prologue of the book titled, ‘Adedibu the strongman and generalissimo of Nigerian politics’, noted that loyalists of Chief Adedibu never left him because he was very generous.
Obasanjo said, “He (Adedibu) said he contested in 1954 against the father of the man, who was seeking to contest the governorship election then (2003). I looked at him again and he said he was sure of what he said.
“Baba was good to us and that is why I came here today and the same thing for some of the people here. We would not have been able to produce a PDP governor in Oyo State when I was the President.
“I went to Baba (Emmanuel) Alayande when I was the President, because he took me as a son. I asked him, ‘Baba, don’t you love me again?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you support our party?’ He told me that the person who was in control then was not competent to be governor in Oyo State and I understood.
“I called Baba Adedibu and he confirmed what Baba Alayande told me. He told me that if we conducted primary election 100 times, that person would win because he was in control of the party then.
“Baba Alayande had hinted me that the person was not competent to be governor and Baba Adedibu said he would win the governorship primary. Then I said if he won the primary election, how would he win the election? Baba Adedibu told me that if I wanted it to be done, it would be done and I told him to do it. That was how we won.
“After we had won, I asked Baba to help us maintain peace and it was so. But some people do think they are wiser than the elders. You younger ones here, don’t disrespect the elders.”
Obasanjo also disclosed that he learnt many lessons from the late politician, recalling that the prominent politician would put any money given to him on the table and asked his followers to share it.
In his address, a former deputy governor, Hazeem Gbolarumi, said the late Adedibu contributed greatly to the appearance of many elected officials.
He said, “This book is an in-depth exposition of the political profile a man of timber and calibre, an icon, a kingmaker, and godfather to countless number of elected representatives of people and political appointees across the length and breadth of Nigeria.”