To be great indeed is to be misunderstood. If there is any man so much misunderstood by his people, he is no other person than Chief Shuaib Afolabi Oyedokun. As secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, he shocked party chieftains ,when after his house had been razed to the ground by UPN thugs; with everybody believing that Whooping sums of money kept in his custody had gone with the inferno, Oyedokun produced the money intact the next day. As the Secretary of the old Oyo State Government ( appointed on merit )under the incorruptible Governor Victor Olunloyo, Shuaib Oyedokun shocked security men when they found nothing incriminating in his account at a time General Buhari was throwing politicians into detention, left, right and centre. As Deputy National Chairman of PDP, he sliced through arch jealousy and cheap blackmail between 2005-2007 and sensing that the ovation for him had become loudest among his admirers, he took a honourable bow to the admiration of the Punch Editorial which commended him for that heroic step. If there was a sin for which Oyedokun has been unduly victimized, it was his action in converting his residence at Inisa as the Secretariat of the defunct Action Congress where he raised the hand of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola to victory as the party’s flag bearer and later as Governor of Osun state. Why did he take sabbatical leave from PDP as one of the founding fathers that convened it in the south west and presented the presidential ticket to Olusegun Obasanjo on a platter of gold ? Dr. Olunloyo contended that :” Oyedokun left the party at a time any sensible person would be justified to do so,arguing that ” Chief Oyedokun strikes me as a very solid character, constantly reliable. At a grand reception that welcomed him back to the PDP,President Obasanjo bore testimony to Oyedokun’s incorruptibility ,arguing that he has found him to be a man of probity throughout the period he occupied the office of the Deputy National Chairman of the party. Most of the Governors who rode to power in the southwest have done so through his labour but sadly they have always sat in the middle of eminence only to forget him . Worse still, his own people have never thought for a moment that here is a man who all his political life, has always been an administrator , ( never elected into office as Governor or Senator) yet bringing unequalled development to his community in silence achievement. Indeed, the sage does not live for himself alone, he lives for others and yet grows richer himself. To talk of his religious tolerance is to write a whole book and for a man who is not given to materialism,( he has only one house )wonder why at 85 he is still bubbling in energy ,looking like a man at his 50 . Go to Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and see how his name is there written in Gold to the extent that a whole Centre was named after him for his unequalled achievements as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Teaching Hospital. It is the same message at Michael Imodu Institute of Labour Studies, Ilorin where his name is indelibly written in Diamond for unsurpassed achievements. Those who think they could do the political Icon some injury in 2015 went about the town carrying “Ghana- must- go around and thinking that it would trick him to kowtowing before them, but little did they realise that Oyedokun has never been an easy catch for such lootocrazy . And when at last they found themselves on the hot seats of EFCC ,Oyedokun was walking the streets of Abuja and Osogbo a free man ,with his integrity intact. As he marks his 85th birthday at a time like this, I cannot resist wishing him happy birthday ,even against my long-term rule not to join in such stereotype rituals which ( for many celebrants ) have often been devoid of good deeds to the less privileged ones.
You are indeed a paragon of integrity.
Olalere Fagbola.