Most don't know him as Ifedayo Sunday Abegunde, he was said to have lost the 2015 Ondo Central Senatorial District APC ticket to Senator Tayo Alaosodura because most delegates wrote 'ABENA' on the ballot paper as the aspirant of their choice. At the end of the primaries, it was agreed that votes written in aliases should be void. If votes with ABENA were counted for him, he would probably be a serving Senatornow and not Secretary to the State Government.
Born on the 5th day of May, 1955, to the family of Chief Williams Abegunde of number 17, Iwalewa Street, Akure in Ondo State. His father was the Osi Ijo of St. Peters Church, Olobi Igbatoro in Akure South.
Not many know that he is educated both in Nigeria and Abroad. It was rumored before he was appointed that he was an illiterate who doesn't fit into such position, but the young Ifedayo between 1967 and 1971 attended the popular Oyemekun Grammar School, Akure where he wrote his West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
From Oyemekun, He proceeded to Yaba College of Technology in Lagos where he obtained an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in Civil Engineering.
In his quest for academic excellent, Abegunde left Nigeria in 1985 for Florida A &M University in the United State of America, USA, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture in 1984.
Having not certified, he enrolled at Morgan State University, Maryland also in USA and obtained in Master's Degree in Architecture in 1987.
Before leaving Nigeria, Abegunde began his working career in Akintobi-Oyenekan and Associates, Lagos where he worked as an Assistant Civil Engineer between 1978 and 1979.
While in USA, he worked with as a System Engineer with United State Patent and Trade Organization, Crystal City, Northern Virgina.
FAMILY AND HOBBIES
Married to a beautiful damsel, Mrs. Olajumoke Abegunde, the marriage is blessed with four girls and two boys.
His hobbies include jogging, reading and swimming.
You can call him a dogged and resilient politician. He is one politician who stays through to a cause once he has believe in it.
ABENA started his political sojourn in 2003 when he was elected into the Federal House of Representative as the member representing Akure South/North Federal Constituency. Between 2008 and 2010, he was Chairman of Ondo State Afforestation Board.
In 2011, he was again elected to represent Akure South/North Federal Constituency at the National Assembly under Labour Party, LP. In 2012, things fell apart between him and and former Governor Olusegun Mimiko who was in LP then. Abegunde dumped LP for ACN but it was not without dire consequences to his political career as he was sacked by a Court of Law in 2015, few months to him leaving the Green Chamber.
He is the Otunba Omobowale 1 of Oba-Ile in Akure North Local Government area of the State.
AKEREDOLU'S REMARK ABOUT HIM
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has this to say about him during yesterday's swearing in ceremony, "Our Secretary to Government Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde has a pedigree that speaks loud for experience, loyalty and vision. He is urbane, exposed and loyal. As you know he is a consummate politician with an enduring and enviable grassroots appeal.
"He served the people of Akure South and North federal constituency as a two time member of the House of Representatives. He is a disciplined party man and an excellent team player whose understanding of the vision and mission of this government convinces us beyond doubt that as Secretary to this government, he will support us to steer the center of government towards effective service delivery. May God help him in his discharge of his duties."
It was gathered that the Muslim community prevailed on Mr. Akeredolu to appoint a Muslim, Alhaji Nureni Akorede's the Governor maintained his stand on Abegunde who he described as a 'loyal and dedicated' person.
No doubt, he was one of the few who worked assiduously for the success of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, Governor of Ondo State before the APC primary and governorship elections. His loyalty and dedication was yesterday paid off with his new position as the Secretary to Ondo State Government.