Exit of ‘Mr Point of Order’



Alhaji Lamidi Onaolapo Adesina (aka Lam Ade) was, until he breathed his last early yesterday, a staunch progressive politician, one of the national leaders of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and die-hard disciple of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whose ideals guided his political career. Born in Ibadan on January 20, 1939 into the middle class family of Alhaji Gbadamosi Olowoporoku Adesina and his wife, Alhaja Ayisat Asabi, little ‘Lam’, as he was fondly called, began his primary education at the United Anglican Primary School, Ikija in Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo State in 1939, but his mother’s death in 1950 forced him to leave the village for Ibadan, where he joined other young boys at St. Luke’s Demonstration School, Molete and later transferred to St. Patrick Catholic School, Oke Padre in 1951, where he completed his primary education in 1953. He later attended the prestigious Loyola College, Ibadan for his secondary education, where he finished with grade one (distinction) in 1959. He afterwards worked briefly as a clerical officer and internal auditor at the former Ibadan District Council Treasury, Mapo before proceeding to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1961, graduating in History in 1965. Even this early, young Lam had begun to nurture interest in activism and politics, as he served as the first president of the Ibadan Students Union and also as an active member of the Students Representatives Council of the university between 1964 and 1965. While on campus, he was a close friend and soul mate of the late Ijaw/Niger Delta Emancipation Movement leader, Adaka Boro, killed by the Federal Government for allegedly leading an armed struggle.

Lam in an earlier interview told Daily Sun that the execution of the late Ijaw leader marked one of the most distressing chapters of his life. Adesina later took up a teaching appointment with the defunct Western State Schools Board, working as a teacher in several secondary schools including Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan Grammar School, Nawar-Ur-Deen Grammar School, Abeokuta, Anglican Grammar School, near Aperin, Ibadan to which he was posted upon creation of Oyo among the seven additional states to the existing 12 by the Murtala/Obasanjo military regime. He later also headed the Ahmaddiya Grammar School until 1979 when he resigned to contest election into the House of Representatives, which he won on the platform of Awolowo- led Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). His in-road into full-time partisan politics thus effectively began with his election as the representative for Ibadan South Federal Constituency in the lower national legislative chamber.

A firebrand politician and pro-democracy activist, Lam’s activities did not end with the return of the military in 1983. He was a member of the defunct Constituent Assembly between 1988 and 1989, representing Ibadan South Federal Constituency. His activism and brilliant contributions on the floor of the Assembly made the Constituent Assembly chairman to nickname him ‘Mr. Point of Order’. Before his election as the governor of Oyo State in1999, Alhaji Adesina was into private business with interests in educational materials and consultancy. Apart from this, the hitherto ebullient politician was also a fiery public affairs commentator and columnist with the Ibadan-based Nigerian Tribune. The column, which he started in 1972, depicted him as a fearless and uncompromising advocate of the uplift of the living standard of the Nigerian masses. The writings reproved the society and authorities of corruption, injustice, high-handedness, mismanagement, laziness and mediocrity, while championing the ideals of honesty, diligence, perseverance and integrity. In fact, he was a thorn in the flesh of the then Governor David Jemibewon of Oyo State, whose administration he criticized so trenchantly. He was to also fight and win many battles against oppressive regimes including his role as a vocal critic and member of the famous National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) for which he was imprisoned and tried along with radical Marxist scholar and rights activist, Comrade Ola Oni and a journalist, now Deputy Editor of Daily Sun, Femi Adeoti, under the late Abacha dictatorship. In fact, Ahmed Usman, an Army Colonel and military administrator of Oyo State then, who herded the trio into the gulag tagged them ‘Prisoners of war (POW)’. The title ‘Majiyagbe’ (one who did not suffer in vain), which Alhaji Adesina dubbed himself while taking the oath of office as governor, ironically once occupied by Usman, was thus a reference to his path of torture, deprivation, persecution and perseverance. Unfortunately, the late politician was not perceived as being exceptional in government, perhaps, because of high expectation people held for people like him, who had been career critics of government all along. It is probably because of this that he probably lost his re-election bid in 2003.

However, Lam, alongside his other four Alliance for Democracy (AD) brother- governors in Ekiti, Ondo Osun and Ogun states, blamed their defeat on alleged treachery and deceit by the then president Olusegun Obasanjo, who they accused of ditching them and betraying an accord to work for one another’s electoral success in that year’s polls. Since then, Alhaji Adesina has remained a political potentate and power-broker in his home state, leading the ACN into which AD transmuted, to massive victory in the last general election. He has, however, been battling with ill health to which he apparently succumbed yesterday.

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  1. May his soul rest in janatul-firdaus.to all political comander in the country they should have it at the back of their mind that one day they will seize to exist.then they will acount for all they have manipulated in politics and governance.wat wil you be remember for ?good or bad?a word is ok for the wise

  2. ADIEU Baba Lam, my great teacher at Nawair Ud Deen Grammar Schoool, Obantoko, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
    May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

  3. You have contributed your quota to the upliftment of Oyo and Nigeria at large.Other politicians should learn that this wold is a passage,all the wealth being corruptly ammass will be left behind.Therefore,they should desist from corrupt act and serve the country selflessly and sincerely.

    Rest in peace Baba.

  4. Those who fought and those who are still fighting for the emancipation of the oppressed, I say keep doing the good work. For Baba, you will always be remembered by exemplary uprightness you displayed while on earth. It is no doubt in my mind that God will repay you handsomely. Rest in peace Baba!

  5. It is quite unfortunate, despite d huge amount of monies, power, influence, exposures, experiences, enlightening, faithfulness, trustworthy dis man posses, and uttering d truth even if is going 2cost his safety, he died nd leave everythgs nd face wht he did while alive. Dis is lessons 2all other pple esp politicians nd other big ‘Guns’ in d society, pls whn ur time reach nd die, wht will u b rmembered 4? Positive or negative. As 4 Baba Lam is absolute Positive. May Allah (supreme God) give all d bereaves fortitude 2bear d irrepairable loss, repose his soul, 4gve him, nd grant him Aljanat Firdaus, as well as all other dead ones and also longify our life nd take our soul while we are absolute ‘mumeen’. Amin.

  6. May your soul rest in peace sir. The Lord said everything in this world is meaningless that we came to this world with nothing and we shall leave with nothing but our corrupt leaders continue to loot our resources defying the word of God and thinking that they are something that they are not. The book of Galatians 6 says that ”Anyone who thinks that he is something when he is nothing deceives himself” I want to see where the corrupt leaders who are looting our treasury will take their loot to maybe it will be buried with them in their grave. Black man with black brain. They will never learn.

  7. Dr.Inno Chimah. USA on

    He was a good man and always brought that sage aura and knowledge in the room during deliberations.My path crossed with his while running for AD National Secretary slot in the year 2000. He will be missed and may his family accept my family’s condolence and prayers at this difficult time.May the Soul of Pa Adesina Rest in Peace.
    Dr.Inno Chimah(Germantown,Maryland USA.
    Today Nov.13 2012.

  8. A firebrand politician and pro-democracy activist, Lam’s activities did not end with the return of the military in 1983.

    He was a member of the defunct Constituent Assembly between 1988 and 1989, representing Ibadan South Federal Constituency.

    His activism and brilliant contributions on the floor of the Assembly made the Constituent Assembly chairman to nickname him ‘Mr. Point of Order’.

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  10. dis is a great lesson 4 us all, especially d unrepentant looters of our treasury, (our so-called leaders), dat awaye malo kan o si, he who has ear let him hear wot d spirit is sayn MHSRIP

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