One of the highly-skilled technocrats that the Buhari-led administration has succeeded in bringing on board is the current Minister of Communications, Mr. Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, a former Oyo Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. Shittu’s impressive dexterity and steady rise in politics have been timelessly and widely reported in the print and electronic media, leaving no one to doubt his competencies.
Since assumption of office, his ministry oversees all ICT projects of all MDAs in a bid to ensure effectiveness and cut-down on government expenditure. An indication of such unprecedented achievement was the emergence of an agency under his watch; the National Information Technology Development Authority (NITDA), as the Outstanding Government Agency of the year.
His outstanding performances and tenancy finally caught the attention of no less a personality than the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji Aje Ogugunniso 1. Though, the Honourable Minister hailed from Saki in the Oke-ogun region of the state, he nevertheless lives in Ibadan, the state capital, for the most part of his career life as a legal practitioner and a politician, not to mention his marriage to two illustrious daughters of Ibadan. His installation as the “Agbaakin Afiwagboye” is therefore “ibadanic”, timely and a dawn of new beginning in the state.
The chieftaincy title of “AgbaAkin Afiwagboye” calls for an analytical examination of the correlation or nexus between the title and the personality involved. To be an “Agbaakin” presupposes maturity and courage, which very lately, require an urgent resurgence in Oyo state. It is heart-rending that the quality of the government communications to the citizens of the state has, with due respect, been reduced to nothing. In a state where the executive unwittingly insults, denigrate and spite the citizens, the traditional institution is left with no alternative than to look inward for a better narrative for the teeming population of the young people to emulate and Shittu is, convincingly, a perfect model.
“Afiwagboye” eulogizes the character strength and emotional intelligence of an individual. Emotional intelligence is defined simply as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. A keen observer recently noted in one of the social media platforms that; “the Minister’s (Adebayo Shittu) brilliant responses to issues is non-secondant. Highly matured and very analytical. He’s got very sound knack in the political game”. Thus the cap of “Afiwagboye” fits no other person in the state than Barrister Adebayo Shittu (BAS). Hence the unsoundness of the school of thought that believes the installation of the chieftaincy title is politically motivated.
BAS has carved a niche for himself in the political landscape to have maintained a continuous relevance in politics of his home state, penetrating its nooks and crannies. He has gotten the gubernatorial traits, even without being a governor yet, and related with the people of the state since the second republic. The people of Oyo state, particularly Ibadan, have therefore become hands tied to make it a date with the new “Agbaakin Afiwagboye” at the Palace of Olubadan, venue of the installation, come Saturday, 11th November, 2017.
By Asojuure Idris Alao, Ogbomoso