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Baba Obe, Asiwaju Tinubu And My Ambition – Monsuru Obe

Monsuru Bello, who has adopted his father’s alias, Obe, was the vice chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area from October 2008 to October 2014. This covered two terms of three years on the saddle. It is significant that he held the portfolio as the Supervisor for Works enabling him to oversee the construction of over 168 culverts to link many hitherto disconnected streets, build two public primary schools- Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Primary School, Ageke and Oladele Alake Primary School, Ailegun. His tenure also witnessed the construction of three new primary health care Centres, the first customary courthouse and six public toilets.

When, in October 2014, he announced his ambition to run for the chairmanship of the Local Council Development Area, many residents and groups turned out en masse to endorse him. The community development associations, the traditional chiefs, the traders and artisans, the South-South Leaders and the Igbo leaders took turns to vouch for his character.

Then, the political calendar changed. Until recently, when the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission announced plans to hold elections into the councils soon.
Freelance journalist Nurudeen Adebayo visited his home recently and found that it is already a beehive of activities as political associates were seen strategising. 
What is perceived to be Monsuru’s political asset within the indigenous community is the fact that he is standing as successor to his father, Alhaji Nurudeen Obe. Alhaji Obe was the political leader of the community who influenced how it voted in elections. But more than that, he was one of the earliest loyalists of Bola Tinubu, who in the early 1990s visited Ejigbo to seek votes for his ambition to be a senator. Will this become crucial in his chances to get the support of the party machinery?

In this interview, Monsuru Bello bares his mind on his pedigree and chances:

Who was Alhaji Nurudeen Obe?
Alhaji Nurudeen Obe was my late father. He was the leader of the landowning family of Fadu Mewon. In that position, he facilitated the efforts of many strangers who wanted to settle in Ejigbo for land. Because he was very honest in his dealings, many people saw him as a father and it soon became his appellation.

In 1992, the recognized parties were the Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the National Republic a Convention,NRC . The overall political leader  was my father Alhaji Nurudeen Obe.

How did Alhaji Nurudeen Obe get into politics?
My father, Baba Obe had a very strong relationship with  Chief Lateef Jakande, former governor of Lagos State and  the  Action Group (AG) which metamorphosed to Unity Party  of Nigeria  (UPN) in 1979 led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Please can you tell us your daddy relationship with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu?
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu visited my father in 1992. He was running for the senatorial seat of Lagos West. He came  through the late Iyaloja of Jakande who was popularly known in Yoruba as Iyami o bi’mo ode.  She was the first Iyaloja of Jakande Estate.

I remember his first two visits. I remember clearly because I was the organising secretary of the ward at that time. The first visit was to meet my late father and second visit was to meet with members of executive led by late Alhaji Muhydeen Rabiu Keshi who was the ward chairman (ward K) now Ejigbo LCDA along side with Prince S A Adewoyin.

There were two political groups, the Ase group led by Chief Jakande and the Primrose Group, now known as Justice Group. It was the discussion following the intervention of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that, for the first time, led to the bridging of the two groups to work together for the success of his senatorial ambition while my father remained the leader.
Asiwaju contested his primary election against Dominic at Ojo Local Government secretariat. Despite the heavy rain on that fateful day, my father stood in the rain and made sure that every delegate voted as we agreed to do. He ensured the victory of Asiwaju Tinubu in that election and contributed to making his votes the largest nationwide.
Unfortunately, following the event, my father developed a high blood pressure conditions and battled the condition till he passed on six years later. May his soul rest in peace..p
We heard that the progressive organised befitting burial for your late father,how true is it sir?
Yes,My father died 20th of 1997, the likes of our National leader Asiwaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu,the late Rafiu Jafojo,Late Engineer Funso Williams,Chief Muniru Baruwa,Late Otunba H O B Balogun,late Chief S I Banjoko and host of other important personalities put efforts togther and funded his burial in recognition of his political stature.