In a matter of days, the race for the exalted seat of the Governor of Oyo State will gather greater momentum as the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) will hold its primaries to select the best from the array of aspirants jostling to clinch the party’s ticket and continue the development strides recorded by Governor Abiola Ajimobi in almost eight years. Expectedly, most of the aspirants have been selling themselves to the party leaders, officials, other stakeholders and by extension, the people of the state.
One frontline aspirant whose activities has kept the political turf very busy and the name of his party, APC, reverberating across the state, is the immediate past Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Bayo Adelabu, a grandson of the stylish and foremost nationalist, Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu, fondly called “
Bayo Adelabu is not just a grandson, he rose through the murky waters of the financial industry to the enviable position of the apex bank’s second in command, emerging the youngest person to ever hold the post but while some might be looking forward to Adelabu’s re-appointment or perhaps elevation as CBN governor after his boss might have served out his term, he shockingly resigned his position, preferring to sacrifice the plum job for the service of his state. He is convinced that no sacrifice can be too much to make for the people of the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in a letter personally signed by him, lauded the services rendered by Adelabu for the country. At this point, it became more glaring that the state had gained a true mix of corporate excellence spanning operations, consultancy, regulation, political deftness and pedigree.
Adelabu, who is one of the earliest contenders to indicate interest in the governorship of the pace-setter state, is reputed to have, in his own right, built a formidable resume and business empire.
From his spectacular declaration in June, he has demonstrated a belief in the truism of the dictum that whatever is worth doing at all is what doing well. So grand was the event that it became the benchmark for other aspirants.
Not resting on the widely commended standards set by the declaration and determined to exhibit his family’s pedigree of grass root politics, Adelabu embarked on a three-month-long tour of the 33 local government councils. During the tour, he met with party elders and leaders, party executives and members, elected council chairmen and councilors.
His message to the crowd that turned out in large numbers to welcome him at every stop was the need to further the legacy of development put in place by Governor Ajimobi and consequently take the state to greater heights. One constant feature of the tour was his visits to royal fathers in council areas. He did not only receive royal blessings for his aspiration, the monarchs showered warm and superlative encomiums on him, expressing confidence in his capacity to lead the state as governor in 2019.
A “son of the soil,” Adelabu, in a long convoy of branded vehicles, flagged off the consultation tour in Ibadanland, covering the 11 councils in Ibadan city and outer city areas of the metropolis. “I want to continue the development legacy of my leader, Governor Abiola Ajimobi. I have always had passion for the growth and development of the state. Going to the CBN has also opened my eyes to the opportunities that can be exploited to move the state forward,” he told the party leaders.
At the Ibarapa zone, it was the same pattern that the tour took: interface with political and traditional leaders in the zone, with jubilant crowd thronging every of the gatherings. When the train got to Ogbomosho, it was the same experience. Adelabu used the occasion of the tour to eulogise the ideals of the party, unify party members with gifts.
One after the other, the task of apprising party leaders and members with his aspiration and intention for the state was done in the four local government councils in Oyo zone, with, as usual, large crowd welcoming him. At Oke Ogun I and II zone, where the tour ended, it was the same experience of a huge crowd welcoming Adelabu, whose entry into the race has attracted decent professionals to be interested in politics.
In his declaration speech, Adelabu laid the foundation for his aspiration: “I believe that talents, knowledge, training and experience are nothing if they are not put into achievements in the direction of human progress. They are like books on dusty shelves. They are inconsequential until when their contents are advanced towards uplifting the society.
“My disposition, principles, and aspiration are in line with the noblest ones in the world. I shall put them into actions in the service of the holy cause of human progress by God’s grace if my desire is blessed with God’s disposition,” he had said.
Taking a keen look at the political landscape, expectations are high that Adelabu, the only contestant to have duly resigned to pursue this ticket, looks set to breast the tape for APC’s governorship ticket.
A member of the Adelabu Campaign Organisation, who craved anonymity, said it was interesting to see that some of the ideas of their principal have been cloned by other contestants. “But that does not faze us, as we have put in the work for everyone to see,” he said.
“The young Agbaakin Parakoyi of Ibadanland has surely come to stay and with his seven-point agenda and their enablers, all students of governance and politics can tell he is walking the talk and on emerging as the candidate of the APC, he will be the man to beat at the general election,” he added.