Nigeria Politics: Who is Olabiyi Durojaiye?

Politicians mourn as the progressive wing of Nigerian politics lost one of its strong pillars and former member, National Assembly that represented Ogun East between 1999-2003 under the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.

Olabiyi Durojaiye, born 1933 is a member of the National Democratic Coalition and the former chairman of the board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Education & Career

He studied Economics for his Bachelor’s degree in London and earned an LLB in London. Durojaiye was called to bar in 1979 and was a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Upon his graduation from the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, he worked in the Nigeria public sector including as a Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the National Mint.

Also, he worked with the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Revenue System in the USA and the City University, London between 1964-1982.

Political Career

Durojaiye’s career in politics began when he was an elected member of the 1988/1989 Consistent Assembly. In 1992, he contested for the President of Nigeria under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) losing to M.K.O Abiola.

In December 1996, Durojaiye was arrested by the military regime of General Sani Abacha, and was imprisoned for 560 days and mistreated while in jail. A report in 1997 stated the 63-year-old lawyer was reportedly in poor health and suffering from high blood pressure caused by his treatment. However, after this the Amnesty International designated him a prisoner of Co science and campaigned for his release.

He was an elected Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999-2003). After taking his seat in the Senate, he was appointed to committees on Judiciary, Establishment and Special Projects. He recommended a life jail-term for anyone who perpetrated election fraud in December 2002.

Durojaiye won the AD primaries to represent the party in Ogun East Constituency in the 2003 elections, although he was threatened with legal action by Chief Adamo Olayinka Yesusfu, a rival nomination. However, the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Tokunbo Ogunbanjo won the election.

In 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him as the chairman of the board of Nigerian Communications Commission, a position he held until his removal by the President in 2019.

Paying tribute to the late Afenifere Chieftain, the national leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said the deceased was an eminent and committed leader whose contributions to democracy and good governance have been considerable and will preserve his name in the history of our nation.

He added that the late politician at the Senate deployed his deep understanding of politics and economy to advance the course of development in his state and throughout the entire country.

Also, Governor Dapo of Ogun State describe Durojaiye’s death as a “great loss to the progressives, the political ideology he identified with and represented while alive.” He noted that Chief Durojaiye apart from being a consummate politician, was a community leader who loved his community and contributed to the development of Ijebu Igbo, Ijebu North Local Government and Ogun State.

Furthermore, former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba said Durojaiye died in active service to his nation. “Despite his old age, the late octogenarian was never found wanting anytime he was called to serve. I recalled how he was incarcerated under the military regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, but he was never deterred.”

Leave a Reply