The testimony of Mr Dire-Goke Arimoro, using the word of William Arthur Ward is about adversity that causes some men to break; others to break records. Born at Osu sixty years ago to the family of Oba Moses Olanipekun Arimoro and Mrs Abigail Olomitutu Arimoro both of blessed memory, for Uncle Dire, hope in God is his central emotion and hard work is his mantra. For his elementary and secondary education, Uncle Dire attended Local Authority School, Opajingan, Methodist Primary School, Oke Omi and Atakunmosa High School, all in Osu, Osun State, Nigeria. Dire-Goke Arimoro had a year course of teacher training at the famous Baptist College, Iwo, and it was durng this period based on his determination to study that he sat for three papers at the G.C.E ‘A’ Level which he passed at a sitting. Dire-Goke Arimoro, a confidant and the right hand political and spiritual partner of Barrister Ezekiel Folorunso Ogunjuyigbe also nurtured the idea of becoming a Lawyer but this aspiration could not materialise.
The ‘Foli and Dire’ mystical togetherness in the Methodist Christian Sons and Daughters and Osu community remains a hard nut to understand. Their closeness to the late Loja of Osu, Omolade Adeyokunnu, late Honourable Bayo Fatilewa, Chief Adebusuyi, the late Baba Ijo, Methodist Church, Oke Oja, late Chief Olatunde Ayoola, Salotun of Osu, Chief Tayo Faluyi, late Pa Titus Ajayi, late Pa Joseph Ogunjtugbiyele (Abu), late Pa Famo Adenipekun, late Baba Adura Otemuyiwa and Adejumo, late Pa Abraham Farodoye, I F Farodoye, late Sunday Abe, Alajido, (even when they differ especially on political inclination and ideology), and many other Osu community leaders remains an inspiration for youths in Osu and involvement in the community development and politics.
After his training at Baptist College, Iwo, Dire Goke Arimoro had a brief period of teaching career at the Apostolic Primary School, Ilahun, and later gained admission into Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo for a 3-year National Certificate of Education Course. He read History/Yoruba and later proceeded for his Bachelor’s Degree in the same Institution. It was in Adyemi he met his jewel of inestimable value, Mrs Margaret Bunmi Arimoro nee Akingbehin. By 1989, Dire Goke Arimoro graduated with B.A History/Education (Combined) with First Class Honours Division. At Adeyemi College, Uncle Dire was a two-term President of the Federation of Ijesa Student Union, the Chairman and a one time Editor of the Torch Press Organisation as well as the Editor-in-Chief, Historical Society of Nigeria. Uncle Dire holds Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and he is a Senior Fellow, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, (CIPM), and NITAD.
Uncle Dire, a man of many parts and a grassroots rugged politician, while in Adeyemi College combined his studies with a political appointment as Personal Assistant to Dr Oluwadamilare Awe, Chairman, Ilesa Local Government from 1987 to 1988. Uncle Dire served as the third General Secretary, Osu Development Council under the leadership of late Chief Olatunde Ayoola. As one of the youth political activists in Atakunmosa Local Government, Uncle Dire ‘was unanimously elected as the Secretary of the NRC in Atakunmosa Local Government until he voluntarily resigned in April, 1992. He later secured a job with the Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Kaduna, as the Personal Assistant to the Chairman, Sir Hassan Odukale in April, 1992. He rose to the position of the Head, Human Resource and Administration in February 2001 until February, 2013, when he secured another job as the the Head, Human Resource and Administration, Nigerian Aluminium Extrusions (Nigalex).
Uncle Dire’s dream and research of almost a decade to have a documentary biography about Osu, titled ‘Osu from the Cradle,’ was published in 1993 by Joy Communication, Osu, through the ‘impressive moral and financial support received from Chief Joshua Oladipo Ogunleye, Sajuku IV of Osu.’ According to one of the foundation academic historians in Osu, late Tayo Ogunkolade, ‘to somebody who is not a professional or academic historians, writing the history of origin of any community may seem a relatively easy exercise.’ On the need ‘to reckon with the sensitiveness of the component parts of the community lest one steps unwardly on such sensitivities at the risks of one’s credibility and acceptability,’ Mr Ogunkolade commended Uncle Dire ‘for having the courage to tread a path which his contemporaries and others before him have feared to tread.’ Mr Ogunkolade said, the book, Osu from the Cradle, consisting of five chapters, shows Uncle Dire’s “depth of knowledge, his grasp of history as a course of study, his resilience in the face of overwhelming odds, his penetrating and analytical mind and his closeness to his root.” According to Mr Ogunkolade, Uncle Dire ‘has provided a medium that will serve as a guide and reference point for others wishing to embark on a similar exercise in the future.’ From the history of origin of each of the eleven traditional quarters in Osu, the Quarters Biography; the Amalgamation of Osu Homesteads (Apoles); The Etymology of the Word, “Osu”; From Looyin to an Institutional Monarch; The Issue of Beaded Crown; and the Political Administration of Osu, Uncle Dire was able to overcome the difficulty to convince most of the resource persons to supply necessary information and on the chronology of Ijesa Kinglist.
Uncle Dire’s legacy at 60 points to the fact that “Success is for those that presses on when they see a wall, find ways around a road block and consistently push boundaries and conquer territories against all odds.” Uncle Dire’s faith in God is his bridge to his answers to life questions and trials. Uncle Dire did not give up his dreams from the beginning even against all odds and together with his wife, Rev Margaret Arimoro and their children, they are still counting and positioned for higher ground in serving humanity and God’s kingdom in Jesus name. HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY DEAR SIR.