Lamidi Adedibu (full name: Lamidi Ariyibi Akanji Adedibu) was born on 24th of October, 1927 at Oja-Oba, Ibadan. He was an aristocratic noting power broker in Oyo state.
He was described as “Father Of PDP” by the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Baba Adedibu joined politics in the 1950’s, when he became a member of the , Ibadan People’s Party and then joined the Action Group under Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Later he became a member of the National Party Of Nigeria (NPN) led by Chief Adisa Akinloye and Richard Akinjide. He became an increasing force in politics during the military reign of General Ibrahim Babaginda, during which the NPN exploited the open ballot electoral system into an instrument of electoral fraud. His brand of politics was described as a blend of populism and raw thuggery that often compelled either violent loyalty or violent opposition.
It was said that nobody assumed any political post in Oyo State without Baba Adedibu’s approval, leading to him being called “THE STRONG MAN OF IBADAN POLITICS“. His son, kamorudeen Adeline Adedibu, was elected Senator of Our South in April 2007. Senator Teslim Folarin , elected to the Senate for Oyo Central was his protégé. Sen. Rashidi Ladoja, who became governor of the state in May 2003, was another protégé, although by August 2004, Ladoja and Adedibu were locked in a fierce struggle over allocation of government appointees. As a great man in Ibadan politics, Adedibu has unleashed more than sufficient mayhem on the city of Ibadan, he has wrecked more than enough bedlam
He was pronounced Died On Arrival (DOA) at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan.
He had visited Lagos earlier in the day for a routine check up at a high brow hospital on Victoria Island. He returned to Ibadan in the afternoon and headed straight for the Immigrations office where he had an appointment.
One of his aides, Mr. Lukman Agboluaje, told Vanguard that it was while Baba Adedibu was going through some paperwork that he slumped. Vanguard gathered that the politician lost consciousness and was rushed to the ICU of the hospital but he died on the way. He was pronounced Dead On Arrival (DOA).
Adedibu died at the University College Hospital in Ibadan on 11 June 2008, leaving the chiefly rank and title of the Ekarun Of Olubadan to be assumed by one of his subordinates in the clan’s royal line of succession.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that Adedibu’s place and role would be difficult to fill. “There will be no one to equal his feat in the politics of Ibadan and Oyo State since its creation just as no one was able to equal the feat of Alhaji Busari Adelakun, alias ‘Eruobodo’.
“It is the end of an era,” Obasanjo said, adding: “nobody can replace him.”
The former president said Adedibu called him to say hello only two days ago.
His death shocking— Information minister
Also speaking on the death of the strongman of Ibadan politics, Information and Communications Minister, Mr John Odey, said his death was “quite unfortunate; quite shocking.
“We remember him as an elder statesman. We also remember his commitment to politics,” Odey added.
He is irreplaceable— Oyo Govt
In his comments, spokesman for Oyo State Governor, Prince Dotun Oyelade, told NAN that Adedibu
belonged to that uncommon specie. “They emerge only once in a lifetime.The governor of Oyo State is in France with Mr President and is making frantic efforts to come back home with the next available flight.
‘’Baba is irreplaceable,” Oyelade said of Adedibu.
In his tribute to his political mentor, Rep Lanre Agoro (PDP-Oyo), who expressed shock and belief, said he was a phenomenon whose type of politics would be difficult to find.
Mood of people in Ibadan
There was no visible jubilation, but people stood in groups discussing Adedibu’s death. Some who had been inundated with false reports of his death in the past were still skeptical even when it had already been confirmed that the politician was dead.
At his Molete residence, it was a ghost of itself as the few people who could muster enough courage managed to be there. Traders and other shop owners at Molete closed their shops for fear of being attacked by hoodlums who might want to capitalize on the opportunity to cause trouble.
A former governor of Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyodescribed the late politician as a man who lived well.
He said, “he was a very humorous man who got results from the style of politics he played, though his style of politics may not be elegant and learned. Adedibu had been a challenge. He played his game well.
Many condemned him that he played “amala and gbegiri politics, but the truth of the matter is that if you get to other politicians in Ibadan , they would not even offer you a bowl of amala.
“He died when his adversaries wanted him dead. He had his own weak and strong points. One should thank God for him.
Azeem Gbolarumi, former Deputy Governor
His closest aide, Gbolarumi who he made the Deputy Governor during the controversial impeachment of the last administration was too stunned to make comments. He was seen at the hospital around 4.41pm. He simply said, “there is nothing to say for now”.
Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa
The life of Chief Lamidi Adedibu has confirmed that life, is indeed, transient. May his soul now rest in peace.
Richard Akinjide, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice
May his soul rest in perfect peace.
Babatunde Oduyoye, two time member of House of Representatives.
End of an era. He had been in politics since the First Republic. My condolence to his family.
Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, National Vice Chairman South -West, said to really show respect for the man, the PDP flag would be flown at half mast.