Michael Adekunle Ajasin

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Michael Adekunle Ajasin
Governor of Ondo State
In office
1 October 1979 – 31 December 1983
Preceded by Sunday Tuoyo
Succeeded by Michael Bamidele Otiko
Personal details
Born 28 November 1908
Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria
Died 3 October 1997(1997-10-03) (aged 88)

Michael Adekunle Ajasin (28 November 1908 – 3 October 1997) was a Nigerian politician who was elected Governor of Ondo State (October 1979 – October 1983) on the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) platform during the Nigerian Second Republic.[1]


Michael Adekunle Ajasin was born in Owo, Ondo State on 28 November 1908. He attended St. Andrews College, Oyo between (1924–1927). He worked as a teacher for some time, then was admitted to Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone in 1943, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Modern History and Economics in June, 1946. Following that, he went to the Institute of Education of the University of London where he obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in June, 1947.[2]

On 12 September 1947, Ajasin was appointed Principal of Imade College, Owo, where he initiated an aggressive staff development program, including sending teachers to University College, Ibadan for further training. In 1951 he wrote a paper that was to become the educational policy of the Action Group party, advocating free education at all levels. He was one of the founders of the party, whose other policies included immediate independence from Britain, universal health care, and abolition of want through effective economic policies. In December 1962, he left Imade College to become founder, proprietor and first principal of Owo High School from January 1963 to August, 1975, when he retired.[2]

He married Babafunke Tenabe, a teacher, on 12 January 1939. They had four children, two boys and two girls. One daughter, Mrs Olajumoke Anifowoshe, became attorney–general and commissioner for Justice in Ondo State.[3]

Political career

Ajasin was involved in Nigeria's pre-independence politics. In the 1950s, he was a national vice president of the Action Group, became an elected ward councillor and then chairman of Owo district council which was made up of Owo, Idashen, Emure Ile, Ipele, Arimogija, Ute, Elerenla, Okeluse and a few more villages. He was also elected to the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos.[4] He was a federal legislator from 1954 to 1966 before the military took over government. In 1976, he was chairman of Owo local government and joined the Unity Party of Nigeria when the military government started a new democratic dispensation. Ajasin was elected governor of Ondo State in 1979, with Akin Omoboriowo as his running mate. Omoboriowo later fell out with him, and switched to the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), where he competed against Ajasin in the 1983 elections and was initially declared winner. Later the result was annulled and Ajasin was sworn in for a second term.[5] Ajasin held office until the military coup of 31 December 1983 that brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power.

As governor, Ajasin signed the law establishing the Ondo State University in 1982. Later, the university was renamed the Adekunle Ajasin University in his honour.[6] He also opened The Polytechnic, Owo.[7]


Ajasin was a leader of the National Democratic Coalition popularly known as NADECO in Nigeria. The coalition was formed to bring an end to the military government of Sani Abacha and the regime to honour the electoral mandate given to MKO Abiola.[8] In 1995, he was arrested by the military government of Abacha along with 39 other activists for holding an illegal political meeting.[9]


  1. "Nigeria States". WorldStatesmen. Retrieved 29 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Michael Adekunle Ajasin: A colossus and role model". The Nation. 26 November 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Joy CHINWOKWU (6 April 2004). "Ajasin's jewel turns 90". Daily Sun. Retrieved 30 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://www.mynewswatchtimesng.com/adekunle-ajasin-democrat-nationalist-fighter-for-independence/
  5. "Why I fell out with Awo". Daily Sun. 2 September 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  6. "Akingbola is pro-chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University". Daily Trust. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "About Us". Rufus Giwa Polytechnic. Retrieved 28 March 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Pallister David. NIGERIANS FLAIL AROUND AS THE MILITARY FACE NEW CALL TO QUIT. The Guardian (London) 27 May 1994. accessdate=25 July 2015
  9. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/03/world/nigeria-frees-politician.html