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PROFILE: Fatherless At 4, Nurtured By His Grandmum…Story Of Oyo APC Guber Candidate

Adelabu and Ajimobi

When he set out to contest election, not many believed he would make it. When he announced his exit from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, many people condemned him. He would later face a fierce contest from his co-aspirants. Many thought he was not going to get the ticket. Report of his London meeting with Ajimobi surfaced online. He was blamed for taking the risk of resigning his position at CBN. Till 4:45 am on Saturday, he was not the preferred choice of Governor Abiola Ajimobi. In fact, he may not have made it if the primaries had held on Saturday. On Sunday, 30th September, 2018, his co-aspirants stepped down for him and he was announced as the party’s flagbearer at exactly 3:57 am on October 1, 2018, after delegate votes were counted.

OYO INSIGHT’s Sikiru Akinola  chronicles the life of Oloye Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, the Agbaakin Parakoyi of Ibadanland and grandson of late nationalist politician, Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu, who clinched the APC governorship ticket to contest the 2019 election.‎

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To many, the ex-deputy governor of the Oloye Adebayo Adekola Adelabu, was born with the proverbial silver spoon. But it was not. No doubt, he is one of the grandchildren of the late nationalist politician, Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu, he never got to see him. Penkelemesi, as he was known, died in 1958, 11 years before ‘Bayo was born. At a very tender age, in 1973, his own father died at 33, leaving two wives and 7 children behind. He and others were moved to Motala’s area of Oke-Adu where his grandmother, who remarried Salawu after the death of Adelabu in 1958. His father was his grandmother’s only son. She died 19 years ago, in 1998.

His Background‎

“I can conveniently call myself an all-rounded Ibadan man as my background and growing up traverses the length and breadth of Ibadan metropolis…with a little slip into a couple of the less cities. My paternal family house is Adelabu compound at Kudeti, Oke Oluokun area of Ibadan South East local government. My maternal family house is Ile Olode compound at Opomulero/Ita Agbaakin behind Esu Awele in Oranyan area of same council area as well. I grew up with my grandma at Oluyoro Oke Adu area of Ibadan North East local government,  attending Lagelu Grammar School Agugu Oremeji. Part of growing up was also at Arowolo’s compound at Oke Are in Ibadan North West local government with my dad as well as in Odeon Cinema area of Oke Ado in Ibadan South West local government with my mum. I currently live in Iyaganku GRA in Ibadan South West with private business concerns cutting across Ibadan North, North West and South West. Since we are all returning to farms, I’ve got a couple of small farms cutting across Omi Adio in Ido LG and Idi Ayunre in Oluyole LG. I also remember that I used to follow my grandma to sell her wares across Olodo, Lagun, Apateere, Igbo Elerin and Eedeji in Lagelu LG as well as Onidundu and Iroko in Akinyele LG and Oseegere and Ajoda in Egbeda LG. So, as a complete Ibadan man, I have the map of the larger Ibadan metropolis and the less cities on my palms. I am Ibadan original; proudly Ibadan with no apology (laughs)…‎’

Asked about growing up, ‎he told insideoyo.com “‘…So, growing up was tough as myself and my siblings grew up with our grandma, who had remarried Pa Salawu of Motala area in Oke Adu after Adelabu’s death in 1958,  under very difficult circumstances. We all moved in with her to console her on the death of her only child, our dad, while our two mothers, aged 23 and 28, at that time had to remarry to start their lives all over again. And you can imagine what it means for an old woman to fend for seven children. I will forever be grateful for her efforts over us. It’s a pity she died in 1998, about 18years ago.‎”

He continued: “actually cut my teeth under her crude but intellectual tutelage. She was everything to me as I stayed the longest with her among all of us. And all my old friends till date are from that area and we still keep in close touch. This also exposed me to the street for survival,  hawking all kinds of stuffs like pepper, onions, raw food stuffs, bread, soft drinks etc, without losing focus of my life ambition. It actually toughened me, taught me street wisdom and sincerely prepared me for the tough challenges in the future. Today, looking back, I give thanks to God that I passed through this before getting to my present status in life. I know where the shoe pinches for all categories of people because I have also been there before now.”‎

‘Bayo revealed that the name of his grandfather has continued to open doors for him and his siblings.

“Silver spoon ke!!! Anyway, with a name like Adelabu Penkelemesi, you have more than silver spoon as good name is better than gold and silver. So, you are right in that sense but I was born into an averagely comfortable family as my dad was a senior banker at African Continental Bank (ACB), Dugbe Alawo branch in Ibadan. But the little affluence and comfort was shortlived and it dissappeared on the premature death of my dad at the age of 33 in 1975.”

How He Respectfully Rejected Offer To Be Late Alhaji Arisekola Alao’s Personal Assistant

“I was close to Aare because of his natural likeness for me. He’s about the most selfless person I have ever met in my life. He was a father figure to me. He offered financial assistance to me while I was in school; in the university.

“Yes, he attempted making me his PA when I finished school but I had preference for external professional training, exposure and qualification. So, we lost contact for a while, between 1993 and 1997 during which I qualified as a chartered accountant and had risen to the position of a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, an international firm of chartered accountants.

“Aare was quite impressed at my reasons for not staying back as his PA on seeing what I had been able to achieve for myself while I was away. Being his PA might have made me too comfortable and complacent. I later left the firm in year 2000 to join First Atlantic Bank where I was a Senior Manager and Financial Controller for about 4 years before I joined FirstBank in 2003.”

When asked about his interest in politics, he had said: “My brother, I cannot say so much about politics now as a serving public officer who is expected to be non-partisan. One bridge must be crossed at a time. What occupies my mind now is giving my best to my current assignment as a Deputy Governor, Operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria. All hands must be on deck to tackle the national economic problems at hand. We must continue to strategise and implement potent monetary and fiscal policies that can as a matter of urgency transform the economic fortune of our dear country to take us out of recession back to the path of economic growth all over again. I believe we can do it with perseverance, resilience and distraction-free focus. Be that as it may, the government, at all levels, need our cooperation and support at this crucial time for the policy execution/implementation to yield the desired results. Lastly, we all must continue to show interest in our local politics so that charllatans and political traders will no longer have a place on our governance; that’s the trend in advanced countries so as to achieve economic, social and political transformation.”

‘Bayo said that beyond his official assignment, “My current focus is to continue to give back to the society where I have benefited so much from. My platform is my 12 years old NGO, Bayo Adelabu Foundation (BAF). We have been doing this for almost 12 years without making noise but this is the time to even step up and accellerate our activities for one reason. This is needed and appreciated more than ever before as a lot of families are currently passing through hard and difficult times with state government owing salaries, though due to no fault of theirs; businesses not doing so well and artisans practically jobless or under-employed. So, whatever those privileged can do to assist, no matter how small, will go a long way to alleviate people\’s sufferings and indirectly supporting government to reduce social delinquencies and societal vices like the old adage- bi ode o dun, bi igbe ni ilu ri. BAF focuses on general philanthropy, educational and health finance supports for the indigents, traders and artisans empowerment, youth empowerment and rehabilitation, caring for the aged, orphans, widows and the physically challenged as well as getting involved in communal infrastructural supports in form of boreholes, public toilets, viewing centers, street naming and construction of bus stops.”

According to ‘Bayo, who said he is always excited to counsel the youths “because this is my constituency”, explained that “one sentence I have for the youth of today, as I have said so much in the past, is that you should take your destinies into your hands while bowing to the will of the Almighty God as the future lies with you and the future is now. The global trend is that the youths have either taken over or fully involved in business and governance. The age bracket of 30-50yrs now rule the world or play prominent roles, be it in business, governance, policy formulation and execution, technology, entrepreneurship etc. So, why should Nigeria be an exception. At this age, your mental alertness, intellectual prowess and physical agility is at its best, so why wait till later. In conclusion, let’s all support the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed. It’s a new dawn and it strives to reconfigure our general value system and eliminate corruption in every aspects of our daily lives which is another problems of our youths. They are no longer ready to sweat to succeed. All these we have to change and the sky is our limit.

The accountant, who narrated how he met his‎ wife- Mrs Oluseyi Adelabu, during his growing up days at Oluyoro, Ibadan, was until his appointment as CBN deputy governor, an Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of First Bank of Nigeria Plc. (FBN).

Prior to that, he held the positions of General Manager as the West African Regional Head of Finance and Strategy (Consumer Banking Business) for Standard Chartered Bank Ltd.

‘Bayo holds a First Class degree in Accounting from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and he is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a fellow of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB) and an Associate member of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria and the UK (AIOD).

He had his professional training with PriceWaterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), an international firm of Chartered Accountants and Management Consultants where he worked for seven years. While with the firm, he led and managed various audit and consultancy engagements for large banks and non-bank financial institutions within and outside Nigeria. He was also on secondment to the CBN for one year (in 1999) when he led the Finance team on the CBN re-engineering and corporate renewal project tagged ‘Project EAGLES.’

He left the firm in year 2000 as an Audit Manager and Senior Consultant to join First Atlantic Bank as the Financial Controller and Group Head of Risk Management and Controls. He also held various other positions while in First Atlantic Bank including the Chief Inspector of the Bank (2002) and Group Head of National Public Sector Business (2003).

‘Bayo had attended various local and International trainings, seminars and conferences including the University of London School of Management Development, the Euromoney Executive Education, UK, the United States Institute of Internal Auditors in Orlando, Florida, Harvard Business School, Boston USA, Wharton Business School, Pensyvalnia, USA, Stanford Business School, Carlifornia, USA and Columbia University Business School, New York, USA.

He currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Financial Institution Training center (FITC) and also sits on the board of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) and the NIRSAL.

He is the pioneer chairman till date of the 1982/7 set of the School Alumni and once the Treasurer of the Lagos branch of the National Alumni Association. In year 2012, he led his set, while celebrating their 25th graduation anniversary, to renovate 2 blocks consisting of six classrooms, to donate 500 units of students chairs and tables, 10,000 pieces of big exercise books and10 computer workstations to the school. This is in addition to other various supports his set alumni have been rendering to the school under his able leadership.

In his personal capacity, ‘Bayo uses the platform of his NGO, Bayo Adelabu Foundation (BAF) to execute his various philanthropic gestures to the society which include but not limited to Scholarship and Other Education support to indigent students, Health support to the less priviledged, Artisans and Traders Finance support, Youth Engagement and Rehabilitation, Support for the Aged, Widows and the Physically challenged and Basic communal infrastructure support. He also engages himself in Public Motivational Speaking and Youth mentoring activities.

It is in recognition of all these that the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) confered on him in year 2010 the honour of Ibadan Distinguished Fellowship Award.

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