Ademola Babalola in Ibadan

Thousands of supporters including captains of industries, chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), elected council chairmen, traders, artisans and youths across Ibadanland joined the declaration of intention by the outgoing Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bayo Adelabu to contest the 2019 gubernatorial race in Oyo State.

The Adelabu’s long convoy of over 150 vehicles caused traffic gridlock along Dugbe, Iyaganku, Ring toad, Challenge, Iletitun and Molete Oke Ado areas as his supporters shut down the city for several hours on wednesday. His first port of call was his family house in Kudeti Oke Oluokun area of Ibadan South East Local Government; APC State Secretariat and local party office, all within the city.

Adelabu along with supporters clad in different colourful Ankara fabrics and T-Shirts embossed with his portrait and APC logo, headed straight to his late grandfather, Adegoke Adelabu’s tomb where clerics led by Chief Imam of the Penkelemesi’s house, Alhaji Amidu Oluokun offered special prayers which lasted about an hour for the new political entrant.

Late Adelabu Penkelemesi was a prominent personality in the politics of Ibadan city and subsequently that of the Western region before the country’s independence in 1960. He was Nigeria’s Minister of Natural Resources and Social Services from January 1955 to January 1956 and later became an opposition leader to Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the Western Regional Assembly until his death in 1958.

Bayo Adelabu who voluntarily retired few weeks ago from the apex bank, told journalists at a media parley codenamed “Adelabu 2019: The Penkelemes Legacy” that he left the services of the Federal Government to contribute his quota to the development of his home state of Oyo.

According to him, “no sacrifice is too much. I am back home to serve my good people of Oyo state. My vision is termed the next level to build on the successes of the current administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi and to take the state to the next level by giving special attention to technology, Internally Generated Revenue and People’s prosperity to restore the glory of the state as a truly Pace Setting state.

“The next level pyramid enunciated earlier will have the following as focus point; Security, Agriculture/food security, housing, social infrastructure (health), education, transportation and environment,” Adelabu stressed as he appealed to the party stakeholders and by extension the people of the state to grant him the grace of administering the state from 2019.

Adelabu was a first class graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo university and had career experience spanning over two decades in PricewaterhouseCoopers rising to the position of Senior Manager; General Manager and West African Regional Head of Finance at Standard Chartered Bank; Executive Director, Chief Finance Officer and Board Member, First Bank of Nigeria Plc; and Deputy Governor, CBN where he voluntarily retired recently.