His Royal Highness, Chief Dada Onijomo, the Jagomolu of Awodiora town
and Sanusi of Abule Onijomo, a retired Naval Officer talks about his journey
into politics and why he supported former House of Representative
member Hon Rita Orji in the 2015 election and why he would not have anything to do with PDP anymore.
On your retirement from the Nigerian Navy, you went into other things
including politics. Tell us about your journey into politics?
After my retirement in November 2002, I was lucky that COJA 2003 came.
I was part because I worked as a volunteer to teach children on
Calisthenics at Abuja.
After the games, I was lucky to be appointed a consultant at the Arts
and Culture Centre where I worked with Prof Baba of Ahmadu
Bello University, Zaria. I was fortunate again to be appointed
by the Lagos government to train children on calisthenics for the
school games and for the governor; by this time, I was in charge.
I was equally lucky to be appointed the chairman of committee for
SUBEB under local governments to take care of schools and everything.
During this period, I happened to be part and parcel of the
politicians. I got to know and meet people and this helped me to
understand politics more and so the interest to go into politics.
I want to express my gratitude to Dr Bola Ajijola who in 1997 when I
was still in the service pushed me into politics. He appointed me as
Commander Task Force, Ajeromi/Ifelodun, where I was in-charge of four
local governments. They are Ajeromi, Ojo, Amuwo Odofin and Apapa local
governments and I combined all the four local governments successfully
to raise revenue for these four local governments.
Fortunately for me and the four local government’s chairmen, we were
able to raise a lot of money before Abacha died in 1998. At that time,
before the state government will ask for their money, we will bring
These were what I gained after retirement and I was doing well in
politics. I have my leader, our father, Prince Rabiu Oluwa, he is our
father, no matter what it is.
The present Chairman Hon Fatai Ayoola is like a son to me, his mother is Awori and we
all know ourselves and my own ancestors are Awori too. Hon Ayoola is
a very kind man but I have never visited him once to ask for anything
because of respect. However, if he wants to go for second term, I will
solidly stand by him and make sure that this estate, Onijomo Community
and Awodi-ora town will give him all the maximum support.
Chief Ogunnaike, Sam Adeyemi, the present LGA Chairman, Baba Jegede
and many others who are leaders, have all treated me well. They
respected and gave me the happiness I needed in Alliance for Democracy
(AD), Action Congress (ACN)
I never one day requested for anything from anyone. I never said to
anyone, please; give me one Million or penny. No, it never happened
because I am always ashamed and I am well blessed by God.
I served as an adviser to both the Cross River and Rivers State governors; Ibrahim Kefas and Gregory Aigbonine respectively during the period I was in service.
I was in charge of Tourism under Metropolitan Hotel Ikom, Ogoja,
Calabar even that of Uyo, so there’s nothing I am looking for. I was
security detail to former governor Ibrahim Kefas in Cross River state.
All these period I enjoyed some privileges and so, by my status, I
cannot go and beg anybody anything, I am above all that.
I am only praying to God that whatever belongs to me and my family,
this royal family, let God give it to me. Coming back to APC, by the
time Muhammad Buhari and our Baba Tinubu had an alliance to form APC;
I was already out of politics at that time.
I stayed away from politics until Hon Rita Orji who is like a daughter
came to me. I never for a day asked for anything from her because I am
always too ashamed to ask. To be honest, God has blessed me.
Concerning Hon Orji and the last election; to be honest, she would not
have won in the election, let us be sincere with ourselves. What
happened to APC in 2015 that made her to win was that the leadership
of the party lost touch with internal democracy and there was no
So, everybody was on their own and that afforded PDP, the opportunity to
step in and that was how Hon Orji won that particular seat in the
House of Representatives.
In this estate, Awodiora /Onijomo Community, no party can win APC. The
problem is that sometimes, our so called leaders always believe that
when they are there, other people in the lower cadre mean nothing to
them. So, this loophole allowed Hon Rita Orji to step in and win,
though, I already made up my mind that I will never allow any other
party except APC to win in the estate.
I may not be in active politics again, but I will still remain a
father in politics to guide, protect and assist any member of APC that
wants to come up.
I lost nothing and I regret nothing and all my leaders that I
mentioned, I sincerely thank them mostly Dr Ajibola Ajijola because without
him, I will not be what I was at that time, to be known, to be
Even though he spent only eight months and within that period, he did
a wonderful job, if he had been there for three years, he would have
done more than anybody.
What do you mean by what belongs to your family; you mean political dues to your family?
No, we are the bona-fide owners of Awodiora Estate that combined Cardosso village together, to be known as Awodiora Town. I, Dada Onijomo named it Awodiora Estate in 1975 that was carved out from Dada Onijomo Estate and Dada Onijomo Estate was carved out from Cardosso village in 1972.
I carved out Awodiora to immortalize my ancestral 400years old fishing village that is known as Awodiora village in the North of Kirikiri that is fronting Onijomo Creek in the South
In the last dispensation, you were the LGA Chairman of PDP at that time.
No, no, during that period, I was appointed the Chairman of Peace
Committee in Ajeromi/ Ifelodun local government under the state
Chairman at Ikeja and during that period, I did my best to ensure that
everybody come together to restore unity and peace.
Rita Orji tried her best, she is a very good woman, respectful and
kind, but now, PDP is out of my way, family, I do not need PDP
anymore. I only did that at that time because of Rita Orji.
You talk as if there’s an issue between you and anybody in PDP, what’s
the problem sir.
No, no, not at all, there’s no issue. For Dada Onijomo, just look at
me, age is telling on me and I am a full-fledged APC member now. I
only derailed because of Rita Orji whom I have known since 1995.
I am now in APC fully and respectfully. APC card is still with me and my
name is still there and they know am still in APC
So, if Rita comes back with an aspiration, you will go back to PDP
Not at all, I will not because I only borrowed myself to be with her at the last time.
So what else would you want to tell us, sir?
Well, I am very happy that Awodiora Ward has been created and Awodiora estate must align, Politically, Dada Onijomo is so happy which has erased my anger before when the Accountant at Ajeromi local government whom we worked together became the governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode and all my efforts to meet him did not pay off and I was discouraged and decided to stay at my house.