Why Adelabu Must Support Folarin | Ademola ‘Bablow’ Babalola

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    Now that the elections to the seats of the highest leader, president, in Nigeria and that of both federal chambers, Senate and House of Representatives, had been conducted, I believe each party in each state of the federation must have realized and known how far they could go in the next state elections.

    At this moment, the question, I believe, that should occupy the minds of the leaders of the unfavourable parties is to ask whether to continue to participate in the next elections or they make coalitions with political parties that have better chances.

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    In Oyo state for instance, the party, APC, that split up into two immediately after the primary election that brought Sen Teslim Folarin, I think, need to do all they could to find a common ground. The leader of the dissidents, Chief Bayo Adelabu, the flag-bearer of the Accord party, needs to be persuaded to come back to his source. Of course there are many reasons Chief Adelabu must come back home.

    In the history of election in Oyo state, no third party had ever won an election in the state. The contest was always between two formidable parties. Even Sen Rasheed Ladoja, who tried it in 2011 and 2015 gubernatorial election in the state find it difficult to sail through. Ladoja did not succeed not because he had no wherewithal, or he was not popular – even Ladoja was arguably the most popular candidate in those years’ elections – he did not win the election because the party, Accord party, on which platform he contested could not do much to consolidate his efforts and struggle.

    I can, of course, liken what is happening in the political scene in Oyo state today to what happened when Sen Ladoja’ was so eager to rule Oyo state for the second time, after he was being denied – by his political godfather, Chief Lamidi Ariyibi Adedibu, in collaboration with Ladoja’s disloyal deputy, Alao Akala – the gubernatorial ticket to have the opportunity to contest for second term on the platform of the then ruling party, PDP, in 2007.

    In 2011, Sen Ladoja had to take the courage to contest on the platform of a lesser party, Accord party, but with his popularity and the supports he got from majority of Oyo state people – civil servants, market men/women, artisans and what have you, Ladoja could not come out victorious. With the love and sympathies extended to him in 2011 governorship election, he could only come third behind his former deputy, Alao Akala, who was by that time the incumbent governor, whose efforts also could not stop the ACN candidate, Isiak Abiola Ajimobi to win the election.

    Though I have the belief that nobody should be underrated in any election, I do not see how Adelabu will win the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, most especially now that his party, Accord party, won no seat in the just concluded parliamentarian elections unlike during the time of Sen Ladoja, whose Accord party won four or five seats in the lower Chamber.

    Without a doubt, Adelabu is fit to rule Oyo state. He is popular. He’s brilliant. A first class graduate in Accounting. He has proven his prowess in his area of specialization, and has shown to everyone that he’s mentally and physically fit. But I don’t think brilliance and individual’s popularity without a formidable political party can win election for a gubernatorial candidate in Oyo state. It has not been seen recently in Oyo state when a candidate won a governorship election owing to his acumen and discernment without a well grounded political party to support his ambition.

    I surely understand the grudges Chief Adelabu and his supporters are nursing against their former party, APC, but the question is: is this skirmish worth to allow the opposition party to win the seat for second time? Chief Adelabu needs to understand that there is no big a sacrifice to make to rescue Oyo state from the mismanagement of the current administration at this time. This is not about Sen Folarin; it’s about the people of Oyo state.

    And one thing I want Chief Adelabu to think about is: if his grandfather, Late Chief Adegoke Adelabu (Penkelemess), looked back and saw how Oyo state he dreamt of, during the time that he was the chairman of Ibadan Local Council, to be the best among all states looks like today, would Adegoke Adelabu be happy?

    I urge Chief Bayo Adelabu, if he had not laid his hand on his grandfather’s book, ‘Africa in Ebullition’, to take a copy and read in Chapter 23 – page 125 of the book the brilliant and a well thought-out inaugural address Late Adelabu delivered as the chairman of Ibadan Local Council at the same Mapo Hall in Ibadan in 1954. Chief Bayo Adelabu, I believe – after he might have read the vision his ancestor had for this state, most especially the town, Ibadan – will understand that no ambition of his, no matter how big, is too huge to sacrifice to take Oyo state back from the plunders.

    An excerpt from Late Adegoke Adelabu’s brilliant speech:

    “Your Highness, Your Honour, Our Illustrious Chiefs, and My Worthy Councillors. Those of us who are privileged not only to witness but to participate in the unique ceremony of the inauguration of the Ibadan District Native Authority Council under the Local Government Law, 1952, must realize that we are seeing the great City state of Ibadan turn a new leaf in her history… . It shall be a cardinal principle of the policy of this council to institute the even development of Ibadan town and its rural environs by the equitable distribution of social amenities…” End of quote.

    Let me ask here. Do our local government chairmen remember to give inaugural speeches nowadays? Everything is turned upside down.

    One thing I’m very sure of is that Chief Adelabu will never want the party that gave him the platform, on which he contested at the initial stage of his entrant to politics after many years of his sojourn in financial houses, to lose to the opposition party the second time. He ought to think deeply how he was given the ticket of the APC in 2019 without much pressure from any quarter.

    Though Chief Adelabu was born into the family of a great politician; he was never a full-time politician. Most of his time was spent in banking halls as a financial guru. He was only lucky to start his political career at the top, which was very rare. And this is exactly the reason he needs to reciprocate the kind gesture the party, APC, extended to him when he needed them.

    Of course, anyone in Chief Adelabu’s situation would do what he did by leaving APC to seek for a greener pasture in another party. But now that it’s obvious the only option left for APC to take the power back from the usurpers is to create a formidable alliance with Sen Folarin to win Oyo state back.

    I don’t think it should be a difficult task for Chief Adelabu to support Sen Folarin at this critical stage considering the fact that when the ticket was placed on Chief Adelab’s palm on a silver platter in 2019, Sen Folarin raised no eyebrow. I could not recall a time Folarin spoke against the candidature of Chief Adelabu. He ( Folarin) wholeheartedly supported Adelabu’s ambition. This is of course the time to pay back.

    Well, Chief Adelabu and his supporters may think that Sen Folarin outsmarted them to secure the party’s ticket. No, I do not think they were outshined by Sen Folarin. Politics is a game. The favour could swing to anyone’s side. In 2019, it swung to Chief Adelabu’s camp, but today, it’s Sen Folarin’s side. Even in 2019, the likes of Barrister Akintola, who rose to agitate against Chief Adelabu’s candidacy were calmed and persuaded. And they all supported him (Adelabu).

    What I think should be everyone’s concern at the moment is to find a way to get the present administration in Oyo state out of office. We must not allow another four years of mismanagement in the state. It’s dangerous to leave them at the helm of affair for another four years. It’ll be a disaster! And I don’t think it’s impossible to send them packing. Though It’s not easy to unseat the incumbent, it’s not too difficult a task. It had before been done, and it can be done again.

    In 1983, when the then governor of Oyo state, Chief Bola Ige, boasted and told to Ibadan politicians’ faces that he was too good to be unseated, Chief Ige was shown in the ballot the way out of office, and Chief Omololu Olunloyo was brought into office.

    In 2003, Late Lam Adesina, the incumbent governor then, was unseated by Sen Rasheed ‘Ladoja. And also Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, with all the power he believed he would wield to suppress the gang-up against him, failed to return to Agodi office. He was unseated through a coalition among who is who in Ibadan, and Late Abiola Ajimobi was installed.

    Yes, it can also be done this time around. Oyo state is seriously crying for help, and we must join hands together to rescue the state. Some people may be asking here why I’m so interested in the exit of the incumbent governor. Of course I have many reasons, and I’ll state these reasons in my next article, titled: ‘Why Gov Makinde Must not Return’.

    Many, most especially Adelabu’s supporters, may be wondering why I’m only persuading Adelabu to support Folarin’ but not the other way round. Like I mentioned earlier, there is no way Accord party and Adelabu will win the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state, but Folarin and his party, APC have a better chance. This may sound obnoxious or offensive to the hearings of Adelabu’s supporters, but it’s the truth. Besides, it’s not possible to ask APC, a formidable party to stay away from ballot to pave the way for a lesser party, Accord party. Impossible!

    For the above reasons, I believe that Chief Adelabu won’t see this sacrifice as something impossible. I quite know that this will be a great sacrifice every Oyo state citizen will like Adelabu to make. I’m sure that helping to chase an administration, which governs the state for almost four years without direction out of office won’t be too difficult for Adelabu to do.

    And to Senator Teslim Folarin. I think this is the time to heed the advice of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. “Go and beg those who are still bitter and complaining…”. I also think this is the right thing to do at this moment. Sen Folarin needs to visit these people, and bring them back to the party, APC, with open hands and unclenched fists. If you must prostrate – prostrate. If you must stoop – stoop like Oliver Goldsmith wrote in his book, “She Stoops To Conquer’.

    Ademola ‘Bablow’ Babalola. babalolaademola39@gmail.com.

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