Olabimtan: Dossier of a quintessential leader at 60

For Victor Adekanye Olabimtan, a veteran classroom teacher, lover of the lower class, compassionate humanitarian, valiant comrade and grassroots politician, who turns 60 today, God has been most kind and humane to him.

 

An indigene of Supare-Akoko in the present day Akoko South West Local Government area of Ondo State, Olabimtan has been a blessing and God sent to his community, state and the nation of Nigeria at large.

 

The man had always had the “fire” in him since his days as an undergraduate at the prestigious University of Lagos, Akoka (UNILAG). While at UNILAG, he was the secretary of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) Students’ Vanguard.

 

The young Olabimtan alongside other comrades fought oppression from the management and even organized programs against the military governments. Olabimtan is a man who exhibits tenets of progressivism with his actions and doings over the years.

 

He was also a one-time secretary of National Association of the defunct Akoko North-East Local Government Area, pioneer secretary of the National Association of Secondary School Teachers and eventually the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers in his local government where he covered grounds and made greater exploits.

 

His rising political profile, primarily premised upon sound commitment to the wellbeing of his people did not distract him from concentrating on building an impactful career in teaching.

 

He joined the Ondo State Teaching Service Commission in 1983 after completing his mandatory NYSC where he served as lecturer at the Bauchi State College of Education in 1982 /83 service year.

 

Thus, as a Class Teacher, Vice Principal and Principal in virtually all notable Secondary Schools across the old Ondo State, now Ekiti and Ondo states, Olambitan remained focused on his teaching career and his desire to get the best for his people.

 

He retired from teaching service as a principal in 2001 to become a Director at the esteemed National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Ondo State.

 

He got to the pinnacle of his political career when he was unanimously elected by his colleagues as the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly in 2003 where he reigned as the number three citizen of the state from 30th June 2003 to August 2006.

 

By September 2007, an unprecedented jubilation greeted the appointment of Olabimtan as the Chairman of Ondo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM).

 

Teachers in the state were glad that a colleague of theirs who knew the worth of teachers and how to advance the course of education at the Secondary School level had been appointed. It is worth mentioning that he did not disappoint them as he stood on their side throughout his tenure.

Under him, over 2,000 teachers were recruited into the state teaching service which incidentally was the last time Ondo State Government employed teachers.

 

Olabimtan was in September 2009 appointed by the Federal Government to represent Edo, Ekiti and Ondo states as a Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission. Olabimtan bowed out early in 2015 to enable him realign his political aspirations with the popular wishes of his people.

 

The performance of Olabimtan did not only impress some leaders of thought but made them conclude he was cut out for greater achievements in life. Back home, Olabimtan had remained a major determinant of socio-political issues in Akoko Land.

 

Through the Unity Party of Nigeria, Peoples Solidarity Party, Social Democratic Party, United Nigeria Congress Party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and now All Progressives Congress (APC), Olabimtan had enjoyed the solid support of his people.

 

In 2014, Olabimtan threw in his hat into the ring and decided to run for Governor of Ondo state. He traversed and canvassed across the state selling his plans and programmes to the people but sadly, he lost the primary election of his party, APC to Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who eventually won the general election and the current governor of the state.

 

At such period when it was believed by political elites and social commentators that the then major opposition party in Ondo State, the APC was going to crumble like a pack of cards, Olabimtan, against all odds didn’t allow that to happen; rather, he picked the pieces and forged ahead. The Akoko man didn’t leave the party, he openly congratulated Akeredolu and changed his focus.

 

He was made the Director General of the APC Campaign train and he led the campaign train to victory after properly selling the party’s manifestoes to the populace.

 

The team of Rotimi Akeredolu /Agboola Ajayi was captained by this foremost “street” politician who painstakingly toured the entire 18 local governments of the state promising the message of hope to the already dejected and pauperised people. Olabimtan’s love and passion for human development is has no comparison.

Those who have been gainfully employed by his rare commitment to human development and benevolence are countless across Nigeria and particularly Ondo State.

 

The youths fondly call him “Baba Empowerment” because of the countless number of people he empowered at various time through his privileged positions.

 

I am sure that the people of Ondo state especially his people in Akoko axis would never forget him for this unprecedented achievement. A dedicated community leader, kindhearted philanthropist, compassionate humanitarian, astute politician and role model to the younger generation who has consistently used his privileged positions for the comfort and wellbeing of the less privileged; as he join the league of Sexagenarian, one can’t but pray that God adds many more years to his life to ensure that his good works for the people continues. I pray that God in his infinite mercy continue to give him more grace and energy needed to continue in his service to the development of humanity.

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