Home Opinion Adelabu’s Responses: An Admittance Of Ajimobi’s Failure And Gross Inexperience | Femi...

Adelabu’s Responses: An Admittance Of Ajimobi’s Failure And Gross Inexperience | Femi Kolajo

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One tuned in to Yemi Sonde’s YS LIVE on Splash FM for the interview session with Chief Bayo Adelabu (Penkelemesi), Oyo APC governorship candidate, like every other Oyo State indigene and resident, desirous to hear Adelabu’s supposed brand new ideas and lofty dreams, being aggressively bandied around by his team. Unfortunately, however, listening to his one hour presentation on proposed plans, programmes and policies on the widely heard sociopolitical programme, one cannot but pity the young lad, as nearly all his responses were a combination of his own admittance of the failure of his principal (Senator Abiola Ajimobi in his seven and a half year governance), albeit unknowingly, plus an advertisement of Adelabu’s clear cut inexperience in public governance.

So he doesn’t forget, or claim he’s being misrepresented like politicians do after being caught In gaffes, here’s a recap of his major submissions, and their fitting responses. To start with, and really in no particular order, Chief Adelabu’s claim that the Oyo State government provided security to her people free of charge in the last seven and a half years, and that the token N25,000 security levy shouldn’t be considered burdensome isn’t only insulting, but also laughable. For crying out loud, what really is government’s major preoccupation if not security of lives and property? Should any institution which cannot diligently carry out the task of securing the lives and properties of her own people even have the right to be called a government? 

Besides, describing N25,000 as a token is no doubt, the worst form of insult anyone can heap on our people, whose industry, zeal and productivity have been handicapped by this same APC led government. Well, to billionaires and moneybags like Chief Adelabu, N25,000 isn’t but a token, less than the cost of a bottle of Ace of Spades, Hennessy or Moët “big boys” buy on a daily basis. For the avoidance of doubt, Chief Adelabu need be reminded that irrespective of the huge sums of money expended on physical security architecture, like the recently commissioned Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Control Room or the planned Emergency Call Centre, the best form of security, is the regular and prompt payment of salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities. It is a notorious fact that the Ajimobi government isn’t stellar in this regard. Therefore, no matter how heavy, investment in the physical architecture of security is, once the social aspect, represented by factors which promote happiness, enhance productivity and improve well being are lacking, then security becomes endangered! One only wonders how Chief Adelabu intends to generate, transmit and distribute his proposed 7pm to 6am electricity, when not even the Federal Government, with all state apparatuses has been able to achieve that?

On agriculture and food security, Chief Adelabu’s proposals are a clear indictment of his principal’s much celebrated agricultural revolution. What happened to the 338 units of tractors for mechanized farming and 10000 MT capacity mega silos proudly advertised on the Oyo government’s website? Is it that Chief Adelabu does not know that these exist or he knows it only exists on paper, and so has to be corrected? What happened to Governor Ajimobi’s achievements in the agricultural sector, when his party’s candidate publicly admits that rural roads are in a terrible shape? For if the APC candidate already knows roads leading to the rural areas are that bad, shouldn’t that mean his principal did nothing regarding rural roads in his seven and half years in power? 

Of all Chief Adelabu’s “dream”, for that’s what impractical and unrealistic proposals truly are, the funniest is that on housing and urban renewal, especially the part that seeks to uproot people from their ancestral homes and origins, “transferring” them out of the main city, to satellite areas. The question is, what happens to the historical cleavages people have to their roots, when they have been “transferred to places they have no relationship with, whatsoever”. Lest Chief Adelabu forgets, every Ibadan indigene has both a homestead and a village. What happens to such a person transferred out of his homestead in Beere to say Moniya? And will he be transferred to his ancestral village or to somewhere else? What then happens to the family house and land he is leaving behind in Beere? Isn’t that to make way for an exclusive estate for the rich, as is case in Lagos State, their often cited prime example? 

As if that’s not enough, Chief Adelabu’s reference to a “father, mother, and say four to six children” cohabiting in a one room apartment in the interior of Ibadan, as living under animalistic condition is most uncharitable, and highly derogatory. Truth is, if his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) which had been in power since the last seven and half years had made life conducive for people, particularly the not too rich, there may not have been need for such scenario Chief Adelabu dismissively made. And if a deity can’t transform one’s life, the Yorubas say, shouldn’t it at least leave one in one’s current position? 

Perhaps the greatest shock to listeners of Chief Adelabu’s submissions, was his “two faced” position on free education. Having earlier submitted (and rightly so too), that primary and secondary education ought to be free, he had to bend a little backward to accommodate his principal’s collection of N1000 levy per term from students, whose parents, majority of whom already fell into the financially disadvantaged class, owing to this government’s disinterestedness in salary payment and economy uplift. 

As if bad wasn’t bad enough, Chief Adelabu’s quick refusal of a chance to remedy the toga of elitism and mercantilism he’s already known for was lost, when he refused to publicly pledge a reduction in the Polytechnic Ibadan school fees, but rather chose to remind hapless parents that private institutions pay more! Isn’t that a reflection of the workings of his inner mind? Anyways, for someone whose grandfather publicly campaigned against Awolowo’s free education policy, such position cannot be surprising!

Though Chief Adelabu attests to the disappearance of primary healthcare centers, and the over reliance on tertiary healthcare institutions, what he tried to avoid, was the reason for such disappearance. Truth is, primary healthcare failed in the state due to Governor Ajimobi’s refusal to employ healthcare providers. Of a truth, while the buildings exist physically, they are unstaffed, and so left to rot away. Again, the secondary health institutions owned by Oyo State are in a moribund state due primarily to neglect. If those institutions had been properly funded, they would have been in prime position to cater for the healthcare needs of our people. For instance, while the Ringroad State Hospital, Ibadan, lacks basic equipment to perform the simplest of procedures, the nearby ABC Centre, which is privately owned, has the best of world class, high-tech equipment to do same and charge in multiple folds!

In conclusion, Chief Adelabu’s constant remarks to his nobility of birth, and a dismissal of other candidates’ family lineage is unnecessarily proud and arrogant. While his grandfather, Chief Adegoke Adelabu, Penkelemesi was indeed a popular figure and political iconoclast, the younger Adelabu shouldn’t think the mere mention of his grandpa’s name is the magic wand to win the coming elections. For a candidate of a so-called progressive party to constantly allude to his grandfather’s conservative legacy is indeed baffling. If your grandfather stood against free education, the programme which transformed the entire Southwest, shouldn’t we be afraid the grandson will do worse?

Kolajo, writes in from Ibadan

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