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Opinion: Oyo 2019: Ismail Olalekan Alli, If Not Now, Then When? – By Tosin Adesina



Alhaji Ismail Ọlálékan Alli

When you take a look at Lagos state and the continuous development the city of aquatic splendor is witnessing, what readily comes to mind is the continuous political leadership the state has witnessed since the year 1999 till date and why it has remained so. This not far-fetched as political leadership in the state has been handed over to technocrats that have little or nothing to do with politics. These are individuals that have excelled in their chosen field of endeavors with proven records, and have succeeded in repositioning the state in accordance with its developmental plan.

However, you can hardly say such about the neighboring Oyo state. Prior the Abiola Ajimobi administration, the state was not doing well in all ramifications especially as it relates to infrastructure and environmental issues.

In fact, in January 2008 Minister of Urban Development, Mrs. Halima Tayo Alao described Ibadan and Aba as the dirtiest states in Nigeria which shows complete leadership failure in the pace setter state.

Today, that is not the case as the current government in Oyo state has revamped the state environmental sector and we now have a clean and green Oyo state. This can also be said of other important sectors like Education, Health, Security and total welfare of Oyo workers. As at today, the state government is not owing its civil servants despite the fluctuating state of the economy that has crippled some states in the federation.


This inference is important to take you through what exists in the pace setter state before this political dispensation and the onus lies on us to prevent the state from sliding back into what it used to be. The best way to do that is to seek the continuation of these laudable developmental processes.

One man that has spent the past four years behind the scene as the partner in progress in building the new Oyo state that we have is Ismail Olalekan Alli, the secretary to the Oyo state government. The secretariat of any seat of power is unarguably the official think tank of the administration and we are lucky to have someone like Alli handling that for us.

Unassuming, cool, calm and highly intelligent. Alli, 61 is not a public servant you see around town while the business of governance suffers mishap, he will rather spend his time thinking about the next important moves to better the lots of every citizen of Oyo state. The state has given a lot to him in the past four years and it’s time for him to give back. He has decided to do it in a grand way due to the unending clamor for his service by the good people of Oyo state.


Olalekan Alli who graduated with a B.A in English from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in the year 1979 and a Master’s degree in Industrial and Labour relations form Nigeria’s Premier University, University of Ibadan in 1982 is the latest aspirant in Oyo APC gunning for the topmost seat in the state. Few weeks ago, he submitted his letter of intent at the State APC secretariat and it turned out to be a carnival.

Swarmed by thousands of his supporters drawn across the thirty three local government areas in the state, he declared that his interest in the Oyo state governorship project is to further the repositioning of agriculture as the basis of industrialization in the state, enhancing the ongoing development in the state health, education, women empowerment, sports and commerce which are the hallmark of the Abiola Ajimobi administration of which he is part of. With an unalloyed commitment to education which is the bedrock of development of any society, he is ready to invest more in the state educational infrastructures that is currently undergoing refurbishment by the Oyo state government as total commitment to education has remained a front burner of his philosophies.

In February 2018, Alli in conjunction with his family members awarded scholarship to ten indigent students of Junior Secondary School students of Ibadan Grammar School. This speaks volumes as development is meaningless without education. With Alli, the shining light of Oyo educational sector will continue to shine brighter in the coming days.


It is important we approach the coming Oyo state governorship election by taking into cognizance the gains of continuity in parallel with reversal of gains. Oyo as a state has come of age and it’s important the ongoing development of the state is fast tracked to meet global standards by supporting a man that has learned on the Job rather than restarting the moving vehicle of progress the state has driven for the past seven years. Mr. Olalekan Alli is not new to governance and he is ready to raise the bar of development in the state higher than what currently obtains in the pace setter state.

With a constant quest for personality development, he is a member of the following professional bodies. Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Nigeria Institute of Public Relation, Nigeria Industrial Relations Association and a higher diploma in management among others. There is no better time than now to have a man of his clout that speaks the developmental language the state citizens understands. Alli means more Job for the youths, Alli means continuous improvement in our critical sectors.

As i’ve said, if not now that we need sustainable development in Oyo state, then when do we need someone like him?


Good people of Oyo state, After Ajumose, it’s time for Itesiwaju!

Adesina, writes from Lagos, and can be reached via:

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. chelseagilson

    August 25, 2018 at 8:34 am

    It will be interesting if Shagari, Obasanjo, Shonekan, Babangida, Abdul Salam, Gowon, Jonathan and Buhari can all contest in the coming elections and see who wins

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