HISTORY WEDNESDAY: OMOLOLU OLUNLOYO
Dr. Victor Omololu Sowemimo Olunloyo is an Ibadan based mathematician, politician and elder statesman. He was born to Horatio Olunloyo, a Christian father and Alhaja Bintu Tejumola Abebi Olunloyo, a Muslim mother in Ibadan on April 14, 1935. Dr. Olunloyo had his primary education at St. Peters primary School, Aremo, Ibadan, after which He entered the prestigious Government College, Ibadan in 1948. He holds a Ph.D. from St Andrews University. He is the first Ibadan native to hold the Ph.D degree which he earned in 1961 at the age of 26. He wrote his thesis on the Numerical Determination of the Solutions of Eigenvalue Problems of the Sturm-Liouville Type.
Dr Victor Omololu had his first taste of politics and leadership in Oyo State when he was appointed as Commissioner for Economic Development for the Western Region by Dr. Moses Majekodunmi, in 1962 at the age of 27. He was re-appointed when Colonel Adeyinka Adebayo was appointed military governor of Western State. He went on to serve in various positions, as Commissioner for Community Development, Education (twice), Special Duties, and as Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. his achievements as commissioner of Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs includes crowning of two of Nigeria’s monarchs namely the current Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III and the current Soun of Ogbomosho, King Oyewunmi. Dr. Olunloyo is also a one time chairman of the Western Nigerian Development Corporation.
In 1983, Victor Omololu Olunloyo ran for election as governor of the old Oyo State on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). He defeated the incumbent Governor, Bola Ige of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) to become the Governor of Oyo State. He assumed office as Governor of Oyo State in October 1983, but his term ended abruptly three months later when General Muhammadu Buhari took power and dismissed the elected government on December 31, 1983. In November 2002, Victor Olunloyo declared his intention to stand as candidate for governor of Oyo State in the April 2003 elections under the flag of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). However, Rasheed Ladoja was eventually chosen as the PDP candidate in the Gubernatorial elections that year. In 2009, he was chairman of a panel to investigate the collapse of a part of the Pharmacy section of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.The panel laid blame on the contractor that built the structure,and on the state government, drawing the ire of the then Oyo State Governor, Adebayo Alao Akala. He was elected chairman of the PDP Planning and Strategy Committee for Ibadanland to prepare for the 2011 election, and was also made chairman of the PDP Media and Publicity Committee for the state. Dr Olunloyo left the PDP in 2012 and joined the Action Congress of Nigeria before it merged with other opposition parties to form the All Progressives Congress in 2015.