Olabimtan: Garlands to a Dutiful Comrade at 60

By Olusoji Alakuro


One of the most devoted teachers, bouncy mentor, decisive and purposeful administrator and cerebral speaker turned progressive politician that Ondo State ever produced, Victor Adekanye Olabimtan, turns 60 on the surface of the earth today. How time flies!


To describe Olabimtan, a descendant of Supare-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State as a man of the people, peace and harmony is an understatement.


Olabimtan is a man of repute and a dutiful soul who has been actively serving his people for about four decades and never gets tired. As a classroom teacher in numerous secondary schools in Ondo state and the present day Ekiti State, many of the students he mentored are today Doctorate Degree Holders.


His flair for Education led him to become a leader in the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the old Ondo State. He was consequently radical and unbending in demanding for the better rights for Teachers in the old Ondo State leading to his incarceration in Akure prison by the then government of Ondo State in 1993.


As a lawmaker representing Akoko South West Constituency-1 in Ondo State House of Assembly between 2003 to 2007, this man of the people sponsored more than 10 bills tailored towards ameliorating the well-being of his people. As Chairman of the Ondo State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), he ensured that dearth of teachers is drastically at  secondary schools in the State.


I say expressly and unequivocally that the last time Ondo State Government employed teachers into the secondary schools in the state was when Olabimtan was the chairman of the state TESCOM.


Human development they say is the most important form of development. The civilization of a particular society is pre-determined by the power of human development. Thus, it is this area that Olabimtan has proved himself as a man of uncommon conscience.


When God catapulted Olabimtan to the position of federal commissioner representing Edo, Ondo and Ekiti States in Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja, he used his network in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory to supervise the employment of Youths into Federal Government agencies. Not just in Akoko but in Ondo State and other states he represented.  We can say arguably that no other Politician in Akoko in the last twenty years has had impact on human development as Hon Victor Olambitan.


And to simply put for the record and posterity, Olabimtan used his influence to increase the number of Ondo State indigenes on the payroll of federal government from 1,872 to 3,567.


A community leader per excellence; Olabimtan represents the league of the polished cosmopolitan men of the elite society and a rugged man of the local village bar who lives out the chivalrous life of protocols, ceremonies and courtesy and at the same time, love dining with beggars and people of the lowly trough of life. My friend and Leader, Victor whom I love to call “Adekanye”, is a leader of all men who appreciates the varieties of our common humanity.


Olabimtan represent the elitism and populism schools of thought and as well possesses the intellectual prowess to balance idealism with pragmatism. A product of the prestigious University of Lagos, Akoka, Olabimtan is a man who does not need to know you before helping you to climb to stardom. As at the last count, over 50 of my friends and colleagues’ children have secured gainful employment into federal civil service through the help of this man of the people.


Today, despite occupying enviable political positions in the past, Olabimtan cannot be counted among those who wield financial influence among the elites because he has used his money to serve humanity! He has used his hard earned earnings to uplift many people from squalor to opulence.


Olabimtan is among the greatest men that marked a new epoch in history and of course a man whose lifestyle has been a model. Throughout his amazing teaching career, Olabimtan was resilient. His office when he was the principal of Agbaode Orimolade Grammar School, Ikare-Akoko was a Mecca of sort for all. He was like a father and mentor to all his students.


Olabimtan is a man of the people whose fame transcended beyond the cosmos. He is closer to his community as he never considered himself alien to his subordinates.  He spends his holidays in his Supare Akoko country home. The wide academic and public service experience of Olabimtan with his delight is a preamble and armament that prepared him for what he is today. He was born a pauper but fought poverty and starvation to become a chief corner stone.


To his students, comrades and colleagues, his name is simply Olabimtan. The name is ubiquitous. It is extremely rare for any character in the academic and political parlance that Olabimtan be called an Honorable. This is not to mean an inexcusable disregard for his awe. This was due to the conventional belief that a man of repute should be simply called his mere name.


A dedicated community leader, kind-hearted philanthropist, compassionate humanitarian, astute politician and a role model to the younger generation who has had a towering impact on many people in Ondo State in particular and Nigeria in general.


One must not be surprised that he has lived all his life for the cause of humanity. Those who know him growing up as a young man have testified to his uncommon compassion towards his fellow man. Considering the fact that he never came from a smooth background, he has ensured humility remains his watch word.


A man embedded with the spirit of sportsmanship and contentment. Despite the barrage of inadequacies that marred the September 2016 APC Gubernatorial Primaries in Ondo State in which he was a contestant, Olabimtan stood with the Party despite several entreaties by the money-bags to him to leave. He didn’t just stay; he coordinated logistics for the campaign and eventually landed the APC candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu into the Alagbaka Government House in Akure.


Victor Olambintan has distinguished himself among the crowd of motley cacophony. A fine-gentleman to the core; a graveyard silence enveloped the whole of Akoko when he was abducted by heavily armed young men a year ago while on his way to Abuja. My friend, brother and confidant, Victor, remains one of the few politicians that do throw their houses open to all and sundry across ethnic and religion divides.


Olambitan abhor seeing youth unemployed. Even if he could not provide jobs immediately, he was always full of advice. He leads and gives directions at will.  The fact is if you go to Olambintan for help and he fail to help you; it means that he has not the means to help at the time.


Lastly, quoting the words of Joanne Walmsley, a British Inspirational Speaker, the number 60 is the Mother’s number and it is essentially a working, building number. It symbolizes responsibility and service, which needs to be achieved through love, nurturing and protection. According to Walmsley, the mission of the number 60 is to create harmony, peace and tranquillity in their environment and to add to the beauty of this earthly garden.


60 thrive on beauty and needs to be comfortable in all areas of their lives – emotionally, spiritually and physically. The personal goal of the 60 personality is to provide for others’ wellbeing – to create security and harmony – to love and be loved.


Thus, as Olabimtan clocks 60 today in the life of service to humanity, l say expressly that to say that he is a man of peace and harmony, as posited by Joanne Walmsley, is an understatement; he’s a kind man to work with. His mission, by virtue of his feats so far in public service, has been the nurturing and building of humanity and the younger generation.


As he turns 60 today, all l can say is that he remains a symbol of courage, resilience, honesty and sincerity of purpose and hard work. He is a symbol of community development and epitome of humility whose head has been decorated with a legendary muffler by the good people of Supare-Akoko, his country home and the Akoko people at large. Live on Olabimtan.


Alakuro, a renowned journalist and Director General, Victor Olabimtan Initiative for Change and Emancipation (VOICE) 2016 wrote from Akure.


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