Bayo Adelabu, seasoned technocrat and former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria unsettles Oyo state as he declares his governorship ambition
By Integrity Reporter
Bayo Adelabu’s much anticipated declaration to run for the highest office in Oyo State has finally taken place. So, the die is cast with the official entry of the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the 2019 governorship race. Already, this declaration to run for the office of governor in the Pace Setter state is also upsetting the entire political landscape within the ruling APC and opposition’s circles. Those who understand the dynamics of Oyo State politics know that indeed, the big masquerade has appeared.
Recently, thousands of supporters including captains of industry, chieftains of the ruling APC, elected council chairmen and councilors, traders, professionals, artisans and youths’ groups across Ibadanland joined Adelabu’s colorful rally as he entered the race. The flamboyant gathering which ushered Adelabu into the contest will be remembered for many years to come for its color, razzmatazz, panache and finesse, hardly witnessed in recent times in Oyo politics.
On that day, Adelabu’s long convoy of over 200 vehicles triggered traffic gridlock along Dugbe, Iyaganku, Ring road, Challenge, Iletitun and Molete Oke Ado areas as his supporters shut down the city for several hours. His first port of call was his family house in Kudeti Oke Oluokun area of Ibadan South East Local Government. He later proceeded the local party office and All Progressives Congress, APC state Secretariat 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. The prayers which lasted for about an hour was in honor of the new political entrant for him to scale all the political hurdles and landmines that may be on his way to the coveted seat of power. The Late Adelabu Penkelemesi had a larger-than-life political image in Ibadan. Apart from being a prominent personality in the politics of Ibadan city, he was alsoa force to reckon with in the politics of the old 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.
His grandson, 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 the people’s prosperity to restore the glory of the state as a truly Pace Setting state. According to him, “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 appealed to the party stakeholders and by extension the people of the state to grant him the opportunity to govern the state cpme 2019.
His declaration speech further read in parts: “I am interested because I have passion for the progress of my state and in the happiness of my people. I believe that talent, knowledge, training and experience are nothing if they are not put into achievements in the direction of human progress. They are like books on dusty shelves. They are inconsequential until when their contents are advanced towards uplifting the society.
“All acquisitions from the universities, work knowledge and professional practices as well as insights from private endeavors would come to the fore at the appointed time. The possessor might therefore put them into diligent actions for humanity. The useful man must do something useful if his existence is to have real values. These statements constitute a glimpse into the guiding principles of my desire.
“Therefore, my disposition, principles, and aspiration are in line with the noblest ones in the world. I shall put them into actions in the service of the holy cause of human progress by God’s grace if my desire is blessed by God. I, Adebayo Adelabu, a grandson of a founding father of our great country, Nigeria, the late Honourable (Alhaji) Adegoke Adelabu, whom Nigerians fondly refer to as “Peculiar Mess,” hereby present myself today to be of service to humanity through my desire to contest for the highest political office in Oyo State.
“Our governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, is providing vibrant leadership in the direction of Restoration, Repositioning and Transformation of the state which has resulted into a watershed achievement for the current administration. Governor Ajimobi is a unique figure of destiny whose restorative management of the affairs of the state is giving new direction, new determination, and innovative developments across the length and breadth of the state…The governor’s era is indeed a re-awakening, a renaissance and a rebirth. Therefore, it is essential that subsequent leaders should build upon the solid foundations laid by our governor in order to avoid putting past efforts in vain.
“There is no presumption in my desire. There is no conceit in my nature and intention. My background is well known in Oyo State and Nigeria in general. Those who are fully familiar with my background know that it contains noble heritage of service to humanity, grassrooted childhood and youthful years, ground breaking academic careers, distinct professional practices and dedication to human progress through private endeavours,” he said in his declaration speech.
Born on Monday, 28th September, 1970, to the family of Mr & Mrs. Aderibigbe Adelabu of Oke-Oluokun compound, Kudeti Area in Ibadan, Chief Adebayo A. Adelabu is a second-generation direct descendant of the late Alhaji Adegoke Adelabu (popularly known as Penkelemesi), the most flamboyant and articulate grassroots politician of the pre-independence political era.
Bayo had his primary education at Ibadan Municipal Government Primary School, Agodi Ibadan between 1976 and 1982 and secondary school education at Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan between 1982 and 1987 with Distinctions. He 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 and an Associate Member of the Institute of Directors of Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Bayo is the immediate past Deputy Governor, Operations of the CBN, appointed by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in February 2014. Before his appointment, he was for about five years, an Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at First Bank of Nigeria Plc. He also held the positions of General Manager and the West African Regional Head of Finance and Strategy at the Standard Chartered Bank. He had his professional training with PriceWaterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), an international firm of chartered accountants and management consultants where he worked for over seven years.
Bayo Adelabu 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.
Bayo currently serves as the Chairman, Board of Directors of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBBS) and has chaired the board of Financial Institution Training center (FITC). He is also a serving member of the Board of Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending ( NIRSAL).
He is the pioneer and serving Chairman of the 1982/87 Set of the Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan Old Boys’ Association 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 and donated 500 units of students’ chairs and tables, 10,000 pieces of big exercise books and10 computer workstations to the school. And lately, his set just built a block of six toilets for the use of the school. This is in addition to other various supports his set’s alumni offered the school under his able leadership. Considering all these, the Executive Governor of the state, Ajimobi appointed him as the Pioneer chairman of the Lagelu Grammar School Governing Council as well as the Chairman of the Board of Oyo State Security Trust Fund in 2017.
He is a member of Ikoyi Club 1938, Jericho Businessmen Club and Ibadan Golf Club.
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 and health support to the less privileged. He also plays one role or the other among artisans, traders the youth, the aged, widows and the physically challenged, aside basic communal infrastructure supports.
It is in recognition of all these that the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) conferred on him in the year 2010 the honour of Ibadan Distinguished Fellowship Award. In addition to this in 2012, the then Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Odulana Odugade counted him worthy of conferment of a chieftaincy title of Agbaakin Parakoyi of Ibadanland.
Beyond his official assignment as a financial management and banking guru, Bayo has passion for hospitality, entertainment and real estate. He is the Group chairman of Bayse One Group of Hotels, the Best Western Plus Hotels, Ibadan and Bayse One Farm.
In the area of attracting goodwill to his home state courtesy of his career in government, Bayo has supported the State Government and the people of the state in the following areas; facilitated Graduate School of Economics and Banking studies built by CBN for the University of Ibadan for over N15 billion; Technical University of Oyo state costing over N5 billion built by the CBN for Oyo state government.
Other areas include; “Renovation and New Academic buildings for Bishop Philips Academy by the CBN costing over N500 million; relocation of the CBN Entrepreneurial Development Centre (EDC) from Lagos state to Oyo state at Samonda, Ibadan, thus, creating learning and employment opportunities for Oyo state Indigenes. There is also already approved is a N3.5 billion Accounting and Banking studies building for the Polytechnic of Ibadan and a N500 million renovation for Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan by the CBN and Provision of employment and small contracts for hundreds of Oyo state indigenes within the four years of stay at the Central Bank of Nigeria, first ever in the history of political appointments from Oyo State.
A responsible and complete family man, Bayo is happily married to Oluwaseyi Omolara and blessed with children.