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Gallant Comrade Micheal Ajayi Omonayin, even in death you stand tall among equals. The entire members of NATA, the Trade Association you rescued from the jugular of a tiny cabal will live to remember your gallant strides in life. You built NATA to become The Giant in Nigeria’s Informal Sector Economy.

The leadership and members of NATA shall always strive to keep the banner flying so high to show the legacy of a true Comrade that you were while alive. The Ag. Gen. Secretary of NATA, Comr. Musa Yahaya captured it succinctly in his tribute to the iconic leader:

We promise to continue from where you stopped because it is not yet uhuru. One of your qualities was your ability to have liberated NATA from the doomsday. We shall collectively stand by your family today, tomorrow and the days after because of your exemplary leadership. The Iroko Tree of NATA has fallen, adieu Comrade.

Up NATA! Progress!! Progress! NATA!! No NATA! No Movement!!

Late Hon. Comrade Micheal Ajayi Omonayin (JP) was born on 25th April, 1958 to the family of Late Chief John Omonayin at Egbeda Kadun Kabba from Okere clan of Kabba. His mother’s name is Abigail Adomo Omonayin from Odogba clan.

Hon. Micheal Ajayi Omonayin has pedigree and integrity dispositions in his lifetime. His staff, colleagues, neighbours, friends and families know that too well. He is fondly remembered by this epitaph; “anything that is not right or anything ‘magomago’ my hand no dey ooo”.

He attended Baptist Primary School Kabba from 1969 to 1974, for his Primary Education, he proceeded to Commercial Secondary School, Eruku in Kwara State. He joined the Ministry of Works in Kabba, there he encounter an ugly incident, his master melted out a cruel punishment of shutting the bonnet of a car on his hand and he sustained severe injuries on his hand. Being angry over this development, his father withdrew him from the work.

In 1975, young Ajayi went to Lokoja and enlisted as apprentice in Automobile Rewiring Technician at the then John Bull Technical works. There he was very obedient, hardworking and fast learning, he completed his apprenticeship (training) and he obtained his certificate as an Automobile Technician in 1978. He became master of his own, set up his own workshop and trained so many people.

Hon. Comrade Micheal Ajayi Omonayin was an astute politician and a unionist. He was one time State Chairman of National Centre Party of Nigeria (N.C.P.N). He was one of the leaders of Social Democracy Party (S.D.P) of Nigeria at ward ‘A’ Lokoja. He was also a leader of People Democracy Party (P.D.P) at ward ‘A’ Lokoja from 1999-2007. He had the following political appointments:

Special Adviser on Religions matters to Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Idris (2003-2007). Special Adviser on Labour matters (2007-2011).

He came home to join the politics of Kabba/Bunu in 2006 and he was appointed as the leader of Odo-Akete/Bolorunduro ward under the platform of Peoples Democracy Party till date.

At various times he held positions and responsibilities in the social, professional and political circles, among which are:

  1.        I.         Pioneer Kogi State Chairman, Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) 1991-2001.
  2.       II.         National Vice President (North Central Zone) Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) 1992-2002.
  3.      III.         National Chairman Board of Trustees, Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) 2002 to date.

UNTIL HIS DISMISE HE WAS:

  1.     IV.         President of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA)
  2.      V.         President of Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria (FIWON)
  3.     VI.         President Kogi State Co-operative Federation of Nigeria (KCFN).

He was very successful in his early automobile technician work, but he saw the need to acquire more education. All his five childhood friends were university graduates. Hence, he enrolled for GCE O Level, passed with five credits in 1988, and later got admission to read for a Diploma in Journalism. He held a National Diploma Certificate in Journalism. He worked timelessly to lift himself far above his background. He had a superb handwriting to his advantage right from his early life. His passion, doggedness and commitment to the emancipation of the downtrodden were unique and worthy of emulation.

His was a tireless fighter for social justice, mass mobilizer and peacemaker. His contribution towards the political development of Lokoja and later Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area cannot be over-emphasized. 

by Alex Ogbu