In this report, the writer chronicles the noteworthy political and leadership journey of the Southwest leader of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), Alhaji Abdul-Rasheed Adebisi Adeyemi Olopoeyan as he clocked 61 today, Monday 15th, 2022.
August 15, 2022, is the 61st birthday of the modest, cerebral, perspicacious, courageous, and decent political leader, Alhaji Abdlerasheed Adebisi Olopoeniyan.
The story of Adebisi Olopoeyan’s sojourn on earth is one of the abundances of the Grace of God, whose unfailing love for humanity has been sufficient in his life.
Olopoeyan was born into the family of late Mr. and Mrs. Adeyemi (of blessed memory) at Beyerunka, Ibadan Northeast local government area of Oyo state.
Young Adebisi was nurtured and bred with the biblical word of God because both parents were devout christian and as a result of this, it’s a ritual for every member of the Adeyemi household to attend the church devotion.
At a period, Olopoeniyan developed a cordial relationship with the Late Aare Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao (Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland) who later preached and showed Adebisi Aremu the beauty of Islam. It was a memorable day on March 15, 1983, at Oja Oba Central mosque in Ibadan when the late Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Muili performed the ritual bath, and the name “ABDUL RASHEED” was birthed. May Allah be pleased with the soul of Aare Arisekola Alao.
Adebisi Aremu Olopoeniyan enrolled for primary education just like his peers at CAC primary school, Olugbode in Ibadan between 1968 to 1973 and later learned the act of printing as an apprentice at the Charity Printing Press, Yemetu Barrack, in Ibadan from 1976 to 1980. Thanks to a courageous, dedicated and industrious woman like Iya Ijesha Alatee ( his mother ) who toiled day and night to ensure the success of all her children in their endeavors.
In his quest to earn a living, the young Adebisi started his first job at Adeniran Ogunsanya Printing press, Orita Challenge, in April 25, 1981, after spending a few months at Adeniran Ogunsanya Printing press, he joined the popular Oodua printing press at Eleyele in Ibadan, August 11, 1981. With his zeal for printing, he resigned from the Odua printing press in December 1982 and went to Lagos. It took an experienced and agile Adebisi a few weeks to get a job at Harrison Press, Yaba and later Onward Press, Iwaya Lagos.
In 1983, Alhaji Adebisi went back to Ibadan to work at Advocate newspaper, founded by Chief Adisa Akinloye 1983 as Head of the printing department while Chiefs Oyelade, Gani kola Balogun and Uncle Layi Ajakaiye served as Director, Chairman, and Chief Editor of the Advocate press. Alhaji Adebisi did not enjoy working long at Advocate Printing press as a result of the Military take over of government on December 31, 1983, therefore returned to Lagos.
While in Lagos, Alhaji Adebisi got another job at Iran Embassy Press, at No 1a, Alexander road, Ikoyi, Lagos, where he resigned in 1986. From there, he went ahead to start his own business ” Deytuns Motors, at No 42, Swenu street, Western Avenue, Lagos.
Olopoeyan got a franchise of MTN telecommunication and was the first dealer in Oyo state to automobiles, mobile phones, and accessories with the company name, Yembisco Nigeria Limited.
How He Got The Nickname – BISI YOYO
Alh Adebisi Olopoeyan was one of the socialites that ruled the social space during the ’80s and early ’90s, he was a big fan of the Fuji maestro, Alh Rasheed Ayinde Merenge, and never hide his happy mood anytime he got to Ibadan Fuji maestro party.
A person with good Fashion sense, flaunting every single outfit, and because of that, he was given the nickname ” Yoyo ” in the early and mid-80s. At the time, it was a norm to tag socialites during that period, “YOYO” due to their flamboyant lifestyle and riches. So, it was made possible for Ayinde Merengue to eulogize, sing praise Olopoeyan as a Yoyo man, because of his appropriate knowledge of dressing, making use of all the latest fashion styles, and trends, including money spendings. Since then, the name BISIYOYO had stuck with Alh Adebisi Olopoeyan.
His Political Journey
If the subject of discussion is politics and focuses on Ibadan, Oyo state, the name of Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan will surely feature prominently. Although he has his base in Ibadan North East, his political antecedent with Baba Ariyibi Adedibu and his unrelenting political struggle made the present Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde nicknamed him the “Great Leader”. He has now become politically relevant beyond its geographical base and, indeed, Oyo state.
Former Governor of Kano state, Alhaji Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso didn’t hesitate to associate with Olopoeyan when he saw his political commitment and the energy in him.
Unknown to many, Alh Adebisi Olopoeyan was a member of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) before moving to Lagos and participated actively before the dethronement of President Sheu Shagari’s administration by the military in 1983.
At the return of Democracy in 1999, Adebisi Olopoeyan joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was introduced to the late Political Garrison Commander, Chief Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu in the early 2000 by Late Uncle Layi Ajakaiye, he maintained the cordial relationship with Baba Adedibu till the final days of Alaafin Molete.
Part of what was inherited from his political father, and mentor, the Late Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu was the ideal of bravery and fearless politics, as well as the ability to speak at any opportunity.
After the death of Garrison Commander, Olopoeyan never stopped following that political path laid by late Adedibu during his lifetime. Their party, PDP produced Otunba Alao Akala as governor, in which Olopoeyan never hide his unflinching support for the former Governor of Oyo state till PDP lost out in 2011. Oyo PDP history book will never be completed if the name ” Bisi Olopoeyan does not appear on several pages from the year 2000 to March 2022.
Despite several overtures to lure him into All Progressive Congress(APC) by late Sen.Abiola Ajimobi, Olopoeyan was one, out of many leaders that, rose, fell and rose again with PDP in Oyo state until 2022 when he decided to leave the party for Oyo state governor over irreconcilable differences.
It took Alhaji Bisi Olopoeyan no time to get national recognition in his new Party, NNPP, he was not only regarded as Oyo state party leader, the former governor of Kano state, senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and other NNPP national leaders see his, wisdom, experience and fit to lead the third force part from the southwest.
Presently Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan is the Southwest leader of the New Nigerian People’s Party.
How He Added Olopoeyan To His Names
In 2004, as a humanitarian and continuous effort to help the needy in society, Alh Adebisi Olopoeyan organized an empowerment program, where sewing, grinding machines, hair dryers, deep freezers, motorcycles, cash, etc were distributed to his loyalists under “ATUNLUSE GROUP” and Chief Adedibu was the Special Guest. During this period, a political crisis was ongoing between Chief Adedibu and his estranged friend from oke-Ogun, Chief Olopoeyan ( Olopoeyan Oke Ogun ), when Baba Adedibu got to Alh Adebisi’s empowerment program, on sighting a massive crowd of party supporters who are loyalists of Alhaji Adebisi at the event, Chief Adedibu said ” There is no need of going to Oke-Ogun to see Olopoeyan again since we now have another Opo Eeyan in Ibadan and that’s how the name OLOPOEYAN was birthed till date.
Certainly with Alhaji Abdul-Rasheed Adebisi Adeyemi Olopoeyan’s political ideology, there is no gain saying that a political dynasty has emerged in Ibadan and Oyo state politics, but this is unknown to many political neophytes.
The Olopoeyan political dynasty is expanding daily, across Ibadanland, Oyo state, Southwest, and Nigeria, courtesy of governor Makinde and Oyo PDP’s inability to effectively manage conflicting interests among the party leaders in the state.
Olopoeyan is known as a straightforward man with the ability to say things the way they are. His decision to dump the ruling party in Oyo state when he can’t condone the alledged autocratic style of the state governor, Seyi Makinde is a typical example of his bravery, as it will be hard for a political leader to stand up against the one-man show of his state sitting governor.
His detest to act of injustice made him an enemy to some of his political associates.
Olopoeyan is an unpredictable man, a coin with two faces. The only people who can give an accurate description of Olopoeyan are the ones who have encounter with him in one way or the other. It is true, he can’t be divorced from daily political struggle. If struggling, fighting to get what belongs to him in politics will be the last resort to get such a thing, Olopoeyan is someone who always fight to get what is meant for him but will never go beyond caution.
Alhaji Olopoeyan once said “As a politician, you need to fight for what is due for you when some power drunk, overzealous elements want to use the power conferred on them to obtain what is meant for you inappropriately. I fight for major causes and reasonable issues if the need arises but at a limit. I am a respecter of law, I do go to an extent of consultation, appeal, and re-appeal to get my target before the confrontation, especially in politics ‘.
Unlike most politicians that see loyalists, and youth as important, only during the election, the brave, tough Alh Adebisi Olopoeyan is a tolerant politician, he is not even special to himself, and he will always from time to time dine and wine with his people, particularly among grassroots politicians and his extended family.
A first-time caller at Olopoeyan residence at Bashorun will find it difficult to understand the kind of relationship between him and his loyalists. His typical day starts with meeting with politicians, and if there are no visitors, he will be with his loyalists who had considered his house as their second home discussing and cracking jokes. You would hardly hear Olopoeyan saying he needs a rest except if he has to go out for a function or observe compulsory Muslim prayers.
Alhaji Adebisi Olopoeyan is not just a political leader, he is a proud husband of 3 wives, a father, to many children, and Grandfather to his grandchildren.
Happy birthday to a great leader