Home Opinion SIDELINE: Tegbelization: A New Vocab In Oyo | Adeola Adelabu Labzy

SIDELINE: Tegbelization: A New Vocab In Oyo | Adeola Adelabu Labzy


It is without doubt that Oyo state politics and administration in the current political ‘climate’ had been below ideal. While states like Lagos and Akwa-Ibom have enjoyed consistency in politics and policies, the pace setter state moved from one variety of crisis to another. Insecurity loomed, infrastructure was broken down and social services were dysfunctional. 

The emergence of the current Governor, about 8 years ago elicited so much hope from the citizens largely due to the reputation of the party Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its poster boy, Governor Babatunde Fashola.

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No doubt, the security situation in the state has improved and this has led to some improvement in the business climate and night life. Although many of the projects are dragging beyond expected, and the circular road remains an unfulfilled promise, the state has witnessed significant improvement in infrastructure. Even if it is belated, the School Governing Board policy gives bright hope for the seemingly ignored education sector. It is without doubt that the state has improved under Abiola Ajimobi, although we are nowhere close to Utopia. The next Governor will definitely start on a better note, building on the foundation laid by the current one.

It is therefore unsurprising that the build up to 2019 witnessed the influx of many aspirants. Being the first time in the history of the state that the incumbent Governor would not be contesting the seat as he has reached the constitutional limit of two terms, the ruling party hosted most of these aspirants who had attained success in government and private practice. Although the race for the ticket has been won and lost, one name that came with a bang and refused to go away is TEGBE.

Born over 50 years ago Joseph Olasunkanmi Tegbe came into the fray with almost 30 years experience in consultancy, finance and markets, technology and engineering. As the Head of Technology Practice in a leading consultancy firm, JT as the is fondly called by friends and associates, is definitely a top guy. Governance wasn’t alien to him either, he had consulted for Federal and states governments within and outside Nigeria for almost two decades.

When Tegbe showed interest in the race for Oyo top seat, not many gave him a chance in an environment already crowded. However, with the competence of his team, and the commitment of his supporters aided by the talk of him being the preferred one, the name and his message, often referred to as TEGBElization spread like wildfire. In less than 4 months, Tegbe transverse the state reaching out to traditional rulers and elders, community stakeholders, party chieftains and the populace. Everywhere you go in Oyo was Tegbelized! 

One thing that seemed to work for him, and aided his acceptability was the fact that he had no air around him. He relates so freely with his supporters that it is sometimes difficult to pick him out in their midst. On a particular occasion, he turned back his vehicle at midnight because one bus in the convoy had a flat tyre in the middle of the bush at Ibadan-Iseyin expressway. He stood with them till the car was fixed. That was the man Tegbe, always willing to listen and address the concerns of the lowest of his supporters. By eve of the primary election, he was poised to get the ticket until he was prevailed upon by the leadership of the party to withdraw and support the candidacy of Bayo Adelabu, another professional with experience in the finance sector spanning consultancy, operations and regulation. Never in the history of the state’s politics has one man taken it by storm in such a little time.

As politics is for a season, many expected Tegbe to withdraw into his cocoon and lick his losses. However, like the proverbial cat with nine lives, the man seems to have a habit of proving bookmakers wrong. Rather than withdraw, he still takes our time from his busy schedule to relate with his followers and encourage them to galvanize support for the party’s candidates. Someone noted a while ago that it was difficult to imagine that Tegbe was no longer contesting. His reason was that there’s no stopping to the man’s generosity and contribution to the society. He has vowed to do more through his Tegbe Foundation.

There’s no gainsaying to the fact that Tegbe was the revelation of 2018. Little wonder he was massively voted for the award of the Man of the Year at the prestigious Miss Oyo Peagant and Awards ceremony. The name Tegbe has definitely come to stay in the polity and the TEGBElization continues…

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