- His Game Plan Revealed
Of all the governorship aspirants whose names get regularly mentioned in Ogun State right now, there is no other aspirant who has been going about his ambition in a more systematic style than Otunba Abimbola Ashiru, the Ogun State Commissioner For Commerce and Industry. He has many things going for him.
Although, he is not your run of the mill politician he enjoys the confidence of politicians. He also appears serious in his activities. He is a technocrat and despite his involvement in politics, he has managed to keep his constituency (the corporate world) intact. He has one leg in politics and the other in the corporate world where he rose to be a successful banker before he went into government to serve Gov. Amosun his friend of many years.
Though, he is from Ijebu, and not Yewa, which has been touted as the area the governorship ticket has been zoned to in the state, there are strong feelers, that if perchance, the Yewas, as usual, don’t come with a workable candidate, attention would shift to Ijebu and Otunba Ashiru is ready to come out fully, to run.
His biggest joker or ace, it was learnt, is his closeness to the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona. Bimbo is like one of Awujale’s sons. They are very, very close. Both speak on a daily basis. And a few years back, when Bimbo Ashiru and his brothers were made Otunbas, by the Awujale, the Ijebu monarch revealed how close he was to Bimbo in particular. He revealed that so close are they that if kabiyesi couldn’t sleep at night, it is Bimbo he would call and they would chat for hours until he drops off to sleep.
So, Bimbo is banking on Awujale’s support. He is one of Awujale’s Otunbas We can also tell you that right now, Awujale also wants an Ijebu person to become the next governor. Ijebu has only produced a governor once in the person of late Chief Bisi Onabanjo, the 1st Civilian executive governor of Ogun State. And what may also work for Otunba Bimbo is that governor Amosun respects the Awujale. He does not joke with him. Bimbo is equally close to the governor. They’ve been close for about 20 years. He has remained one of his most loyal commissioners. So loyal is he that the Governor returned him to office when he came back for his 2nd term When Bimbo Ashiru lost his mum several months back, Gov. Amosun attended and spent quality time with the Ashiru family in Ijebu-Ode. The issue of loyalty aside, Ashiru is one of his star performers in the cabinet. He has done so well in his Ministry since they came in 6½ years ago. His list of achievements in the Ministry is very impressive and that is why the Governor is very fond of him.
With all these at his credit, Ashiru is not making too much noise about his ambition. He is consulting widely. These days, he spends much time in Ijebu meeting with different groups. What will also help him is his rich pedigree. He is an illustrious son of Ijebu-Ode.
Otunba Bimbola Ashiru was born in Ijebu-Ode to the illustrious Ashiru family. His father, the late Pa Simeon Adeyemi Ashiru, was a distinguished Ijebu statesman, while his late mother, ‘Omo’ba (Princess) Moradeun Ashiru, is from the Fidipote royal family of Ijebu Ode and the ruling house of Owu-Ijebu.
He is well read, graduating with a degree in Marketing, Purchasing & Supply, and a Masters Degree in Strategic Management. With this background, he entered the services of the then Chartered Bank in the year 1989. In a successful career that has spanned two decades and taken him to various institutions, he has served in various capacities of Management (Head, Private Banking Unit; Branch Manager; Head, Institution & Professional Banking; Regional Coordinator; Country Director, Personal and Business Banking; Director, Corporate Affairs and Corporate Social Investments; until his last position of Group Head, Public Sector with Stanbic IBTC Bank.
He was the pioneer head of the department. Otunba Bimbola Ashiru is a man with a desire for developing people around him, and this translated into his appointment as the representative of the Awujale of Ijebuland on the Ogun State Poverty Alleviation Task Force. He has distinguished himself in this field and represented his people favourably to the best of his ability. He was also on the Technical and Communications Committees of the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit (2011). He is a member of The Metropolitan Club, Ikoyi Club 1938 and a member of the Ijebu Heritage Group. Otunba Ashiru is a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria [FNIMN].
In recognition of his selfless service to society and having distinguished himself as a true son of Ijebuland and an astute banker of repute, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru was presented with the royal title of Otunba Adeona Fusigboye of Ijebuland in December, 2006 by His Royal Majesty, The Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba (Dr.) Sikiru Kayode Adetona CFR.
He is the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ogun State, a position he has held since 2011 after being re-appointed to the same ministry in 2015.
In his stewardship, the business environment of the state developed beyond imagination. More than 58 new companies established their presence in Ogun State with a cumulative investment profile of about N691.77. Billion in 2014, compared to N377 Billion in 2013. This placed Ogun State in the first position in Nigeria, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
Otunba Bimbola Ashiru is happily married to Olukemi Ashiru, a lawyer, and they are blessed with 2 lovely children.