The gubernatorial candidate of the All Peoples Congress in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, clocks 50 on Monday, September 28, 2020. Adelabu no doubt as made his marks in life as a banker, administrator and community leader and he has been a blessing to humanity. For all this, it’s not a misplaced priority if he rolls out drums to celebrate the milestone in his life. In a pre birthday press conference where he unveiled the program of events for his golden anniversary celebration in Ibadan few days ago, Adelabu expressed his gratitude to Almighty Allah earth for seeing this far in his earthlly sojourn, He equally paid a deserved tribute to his ancestors and reiterated his commitment to his political career which was based on service to the people and berated the Makinde administration for lack of concrete and sustainable achievements in his nearly two years in office aside payment of workers salary which according to him should not be brag about “no State needs a governor before salary is paid. When salary is paid through statutory allocation and it goes straight to Accountant General, they take it to the bank and they pay”. Why must that be the major achievement of any governor? Though, the Press Secretary to the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa has replied to Adelabu’s diatribe against his principal accusing him of being pushed by his unbridled ambition to govern the state. Nonetheless, Adelabu has kept the government on it toes.
Adebayo Adelabu no doubt is a man of the future. Within his fifty years sojourn on earth, he has acquired corporate experience in various fields of human endeavour which has placed him strategically as a forefront runner in Nigeria and especially Oyo State political process. His foray into politics in 2019 or thereabout and contested gubernatorial election which he lost to the incumbent governor could be said to be a lit must test for the board room guru. Losing the election does not mean that he was rejected by the people, rather he lost mainly due to the division in his party, consequent upon overbearing influence, high handedness, alienation of the electorate and overconfidence of his mentor, benefactor and the then governor of the State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi (now deceased). Most importantly, Adelabu lost to the political sagacity of his father, the Osi Olubadan and former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rasheed Ladoja, who led a coalition of four or more governorship candidates. The coalition eventually produced and supported Engineer Seyi Makinde who went on to defeat Adebayo Adelabu. Adebayo Adelabu’s constant criticism of Makinde administration in a constructive way and offering alternative route for the government is evidence that he is equally equipped like the mercurial Governor Seyi Makinde or the onerous task. Providing a virile opposition to Oyo State Government by Adelabu is highly commendable. Virile opposition is one of the ingredients that makes democracy the best form of Government for any nation in quest of progress. Lack of opposition breeds dictatorship and hero worshipping. It is crystal clear that he is not running with the hare and hunting with the hounds as many of his likes who wanted to recoup their investment in politics would do. This he must sustain for the good of the State because a government with populist programme as he correctly said could captivate unsuspecting and dehumanized populace with cosmetics and unsustainable feats which invariably promote development of underdevelopment, apologies to Franz Fanon.
As a matter of fact, politics run in his vein, the exploits of his grandfather, legendary Adegoke Adelabu Penkelemesi, a charismatic Nigerian politician of the First Republic is reputable and fresh in mind. Couple with his political heritage, are his academic and professional attainments, combination of which have made him a frontrunner in any serious contest. Adelabu’s chequered educational career began at Ibadan Municipal Government Primary School, Agodi, Ibadan in 1976 where he graduated in 1982. He attended Lagelu Grammar School for his secondary education from 1982 to 1987. He is a first class degree graduate in Accounting at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Professionally, he is a fellow of these noble professional bodies; Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. He is also an associate member of the Institute of Director of Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He had taken up professional course in various reputable business schools internationally such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogs, Euromoney and the University of London.
With sound academic background, Adelabu cuts his professional teeth with Price Water House (now Peace Water House Coopers), an international firm in Chattered Accountant. His meteoric rise in banking industry was evident in being seconded to the Central Bank of Nigeria for one year in 1999 barely seven years in the banking industry. He has a chequered career in Nigeria Banking Industry. He served in various capacities at First Atlantic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, First Bank of Nigeria from which he was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 as the Deputy Governor Operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria where he ended his career meritoriously in 2019.
Adelabu’s pedigree can only be ignored by a nation in search of economic breakthrough to its own peril. Therefore, Nigeria and Oyo State especially cannot but tap from Adelabu’s rich experience in her quest for sustainable development.