Text of the Oyo State 2023 Gubernatorial Declaration Speech by Chief Abdul-Waheed Adebayo Adelabu at a Media Parley held at Adebayo Adelabu Foundation Secretariat on Monday, 9th May, 2022.
My dear wife of 27years, Oluseyi Omolara Adelabu,
Distinguished leaders of our Great Party, All Progressives Congress,
The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Oyo State chapter,
My esteemed gentlemen of the Pen profession,
Members of my immediate and extended family,
Party members here present,
Ladies and gentlemen
DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT
Distinguished radiant ladies and gentle men. I salute the Divinity in you. We are surely in the afternoon but the Almighty Allah who powered us into existence upon Earth is the God of every period and every season. He is with us wherever we are and He is with us here today. Let us exchange pleasantries with one another by declaring to the person beside you thus. ” I SALUTE THE DIVINITY IN YOU OR I PRAISE THE GOD IN YOU”
However, in order to abide by the timeless norm in our society, I hereby say GOOD AFTERNOON to all members of the fourth estate in general and womanhood / brotherhood of the Pen Profession in particular including all professionals here present whose voices advance humanity via the broadcasting air. I am pleased to welcome each and all.
I want to express my joy at the array of media practitioners who answered our invitation, despite the short notice. You have clearly demonstrated your unflinching interest in our mission to place Oyo State on the development radar as obtained in more serious clime.
It may not be improper to describe this event as MY DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT TO THE CAUSE OF HUMAN PROGRESS. It is indeed a commitment and determination which issued from my convinction that every manly man is born to be a Reformer, a Remaker of what men have made, a Renouncer of Lies and a Restorer of Truth pertaining to what should be done to promote public and human happiness. This convinction is daily energizing my political career.
Many parts in the journey of my life are not new to the media world. Many media professionals can relate them before searching minds without reading records. They know that I am a link in the Chain of Humanity by virtue of being a grandson of the meteoric Nigeria’s founding father called Adegoke Adelabu whom numerous Nigerians eulogize as PECULIAR MESS. They know many facts about my academic distinctions, professional excellence, corporate world exploits, private businesses and social eminence as a modest philanthropist and honorary Chieftaincy titles holder in my blessed City of Ibadan and other great Cities in Yorubaland and many more. Therefore, my distinguished guests should not be bothered with known facts because the motto of your great profession already teaches you TO KNOW SOMETHING OF EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING OF THAT SOMETHING.
My grandpa of blessed memories wrote in his AFRICA IN EBULLITION: “Every man should allow the light of his soul to shine on the universe and thereby act on this direction to contribute to the progress of humanity”. This particular quoted thought made me realize that people do not care about what you know or have until they see how you care for their welfare and progress. The appropriation of this thought and many historical facts in the evergreen lifework of my grandpa show that my political career started many years back. It is a re-animation of the past in order to attain more progress in the present . It is intended to bring the humanistic ideals into realities via governmental channels.
In this context therefore, my gubernatorial ambition is intended to enrich politics with ethics, to mix the soil of knowledge and professional competence with water of experiences in the service of humanity within the Oyo State context in Nigeria and the interdependent world. I hope to give practical expressions to ideals of humanity in my Dear State as the Executive Governor come 2023 InshAllah.
You will all recollect that I contested for the Governorship of Oyo State in 2019 and I lost the election under very controversial circumstances that almost heated up the polity of the state but for my love for peace and tranquility in Oyo State and in fact, Nigeria as a whole, I therefore decided to pursue the part of the Rule of Law instead of the Rule of Violence and Thuggery by approaching the courts and we pursued the matter up to the Supreme Court. That action was to clearly show that I am a man that abhor violence and thuggery. I vehemently abhor the dictates of a one man dictatorship. Myself and our great party wanted a land of peace in Oyo State just as our late leader, H.E Abiola Ajimobi abhorred violence and brought peace to bear in Oyo State for the eight years he governed the state. May his soul continue to rest in peace.
Most of you will recollect that I voluntarily retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Deputy Governor, in order to enter the political fray and give the people of Oyo State a first class and most excellent governance as I have done in every place I have served whether in the private or public sector. I’m a man whose history or past is not shrouded in any shady business or deal. My past to the present is like an open book before all of you. And without being immodest and with all sense of decency and humility, I have been an excellent performer in everywhere I have served and my records are there for public scrutiny. I am a staunch believer of transparency in governance with zero tolerance for corruption and governance by utter propaganda with nothing concrete to show for it.
The last three years have provided me the sober opportunity to review our state of the nation, as it concerns Oyo State. After this introspection, I come to the humble conclusion that our dear state can be better than what we have at the moment. This is definitely not the best we can offer at the Pace Setter state.
In order to rekindle my unalloyed commitment to offering myself to serve my State with the best of my effort, garnered over time from my sojourn in the corporate and business worlds, I have obtained both the forms for the Expression of interest and Nomination of our party. The form shall be submitted in due course.
Let me reiterate that our gathering here today is not for the purpose of my declaration rally to contest the Governorship of Oyo State; this I shall do after I have completed all processes as put in place by our Great Party.
However, due to the regards I have for you all, which is of the highest consideration, I consider it appropriate that I should personally extend to you a formal invitation to my official declaration rally, which shall hold, Insha Allah on Monday, 16th May, 2022. The venue shall be communicated to you accordingly.
Over time, we have enjoyed a very cordial and fruitful relationship with the media, it is my desire that we should continue to enjoy this mutually beneficial relationship. We are open and receptive to your constructive criticism as well as suggestions that will make the task ahead beneficial to our dear State and all her good citizens.
It is also public knowledge that APC is the political platform upon which my ambition is being pursued. On this ground, I wish to call to mind the memories of my benefactor, the former Executive Governor, the late Senator Ishiaq Adeyemi Abiola Ajimobi who bestowed upon me the privilege to be an eminent figure in APC. May God continue to preserve and protect his legacies. I shall continue to be an unswerving member of our great Party.
OYO STATE: RECLAIMING THE PACE-SETTING GLORY
It is surely pertinent to ask this question : WHAT IS GOVERNMENT?
Government to me is a Common Centre In which all parts of our Oyo State meet. I clearly understand the Government business and the principle upon which that business is operated. The principle is created by the Almighty and it is therefore natural in creation. God created this Principle before He created us. This principle is MUTUAL DEPENDENCE and RECIPROCAL INTEREST. It is the basis upon which Government Business is divided into Ministeries, Agencies and Departments. For instance, Ministry of Education provides services to Oyo State humanity in the education sector. Same goes for the ministries of health, environment, agriculture, works, lands, environment, Justice, Youths and Sports, etc. I hope to bring this societal principle into operation as Executive Governor by God’s Grace..
I have observed the deficiencies of the present Oyo State Government being led by Engineer Seyi Makinde . These deficiencies point unerringly to an unspeakable lack of understanding about what is called Government Business. Government Business is not a trade which any man does for his personal emoluments or aggrandizement. It takes society for its basis and reason and experiences for its guide. It takes society for its basis because it is the centre towards which people gravitate for collaboration and cooperation in order to achieve progress and happiness. This is the reason why the business is divided or expanded into Ministeries, Agencies and Departments in order to serve Humanity.
Unfortunately, but really, the current Oyo State Government is failing daily and woefully on fundamental departments of Government business. For instance, Security of lives and properties which is the true end and aim of Government is a distant achievement for Seyi’s Government. His Government has enthroned Thuggery and hooliganism as the official controllers of Oyo State. The indigenes and residents in the Pacesetter state can not sleep with their two eyes closed talkless of doing businesses of life with peace and progress.
The Excellency of Government is no longer excellent in Oyo State in the light of our sordid performance in the Environment, Education, Health, Security, Agriculture among others.
OYO STATE POTENTIALS
Proudly sitting on a size of 28,454 km², Oyo state, famously known as the “Pacesetter State” due to her string of firsts, is the 14th biggest state in Nigeria by landmass. In fact, it is the biggest state in the south of Nigeria by landmass and, with her 7,840,864 people, it is the 3rd most populous state in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano states according to National Population Commission and National Bureau of Statistics Estimates of 2016. The capital is Ibadan, the country’s largest city by geographical area. Oyo state indeed earned the pacesetting reputation by dint of hardwork but, sadly, all that is history. On the global scale, Oyo state is bigger than about 86 countries in terms of land mass. Indeed, Oyo state is more populous than countries like Finland (5,540,720), Denmark (5,792,202) and Norway (5,421,241); even while using the countries’ 2020 population figures. On the contrary, and this is the sombre message, the GDPs of these three countries are stagerring: Finland ($270b), Denmark ($356b) and Norway $363b. Oyo state’s GDP hovers around $15b. Within Nigeria, even though Oyo’s GDP ranks about fourth, her internally generated revenue capacity is woeful. There are states with far less GDP figures with a fraction of her landmass and population which post higher internal revenue figures. Thus, there is an urgent need to unleash the resources of Oyo state in order to massively boost internally generated revenue and lift people out of poverty into prosperity. There is an urgent mission to reclaim the lost glory Oyo state. It will lift young people from hooliganism and despondency. Indeed, there is a negative correlation between employment creation/rise in household incomes and crime.
Our hitherto neat environment has become sanitary eyesores. Heap of refuse is everywhere in the medians of majority of roads in the blessed City of Ibadan. The Government think he can convince anybody with his fluke performance by the provision of Street lights in salient places. It is even paradoxical that the Engineer in control of the state is powering street lights with generators instead Solar Lights that are the order of modern century.
Education is far from the Excellency of this Government. Public schools have become mangers for goats and animals despite the recorded fact that this Governor attended public schools. The Teachers are unmotivated but this Government thinks the exterior satisfaction of salary can give motivation to teachers. What a messy scene in the affairs of Oyo State public. Oyo state must reclaim its lost glory by reducing out-of-school children and make primary and secondary education, unlike tertiary education, free and compulsory. There should be plans in place to upgrade the decrepit primary and secondary schools.
Health services are terribly on perpetual decline. Doctors and other Health officials are demotivated on account of lack of working materials. The good old days of preventive health measures must return: sanitation, information dissemination and advisories, diagnostics, refuse management while adding physical exercises in form of various sports like football, hiking, marathons, etc. Our people must have access to medicare from the primary health centres to the tertiary ones. The two approaches (Preventive and Curative Health) will combine to produce a healthy populace that can drive the economic transformation of the state.
What is in Agricultural Sector that this Government can boast about? Farm settlements have become rest settlements for agricultural extension workers. Others in the ministry of Agriculture are comfortable watchers of films on the offices Computer systems because of lack of motivation. Currently, Nigeria produces only 1% of an estimated 5-6 million metric tonnes of wheat consumed annually within the country. An abysmally low 1%! Wait for this: about $2billion is spent annually on wheat importation. This is why Nigeria imports cereals like maize and wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Similarly, the local demand for maize in Nigeria is more than supply by about 3 to 4 million metric tonnes annually. Maize takes less than three months to cultivate and the state has enough arable land for it. As common as cassava is, Nigeria is not growing enough of it. Ironically, whereas Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava, it is not the highest
exporter of cassava unlike countries like Thailand and Brazil. Why can’t
Oyo state target this crop and improve its yield from a paltry average of
10 tonnes per hectare to over 40 tonnes per hectare. The multiplier effect that this will have on the fortunes of the derivative products from cassava and the state as well as the farmers can only be imagined. Cotton is another cash crop that is potentially a game changer for Oyo state. Between 2010 and 2020, cotton production fell in Nigeria by a whopping 92% due to a myriad of reasons. It has also been confirmed that most parts of Oyo state are suitable for the production of rice, a major staple, either through irrigation or rain-fed
methods. But where are the rice pyramids of Oyo state? The production of palm oil in Nigeria still falls short of consumption.
Where are the oil palm plantations? The state needs to execute an agricultural policy that will drive the development of these target products from harvesting to processing. This will create massive employment and increase the revenue of the state. We have the wherewithal to position Oyo state to reap the benefits of these opportunities.
Water is an essential part of hygiene and sustenance of life. It is only less important than only air. In fact, water is central to the dignity of every man and woman. Our taps have shamefully gone dry with rich people resorting to uncontrolled sinking of boreholes, an expensive and geologically unfriendly venture; and the masses relying on water from various sources which are mostly contaminated and harmful.
Curiously, the provision of water has disappeared from the manifestoes of politicians. A progressive plan to provide access to water must be executed. This is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
The transportation model in the state is the same, if not worse, as when I was in the primary school in the 70s. The millions of commuters in Oyo state deserve a modern transport system that can support commerce, business, leisure and recreation just as the blood transports oxygen within the human body. The transport experience must be modern right from the roads, parks, bus-stops, carriage types, payment systems, monitoring systems, etc both for intra and inter-city commuting. The entire restructuring of the transport value chain will make life better and safer for commuters and transport workers while reducing emissions in order to tackle the menace of climate change.
Regardless, there are low hanging fruits in terms of management of
traffic jams. For instance, there is no reason to have traffic snarls within any city in Oyo state or any part of the capital, Ibadan. Human and cargo traffic must keep moving in order to nourish and sustain the economy of the state.
The airport in Ibadan can be deployed to revolutionise air travel
experience in the South West both for local and international trips. Ever
think of why London or New York-bound passengers from all over the
South West have to first get to Lagos and pass through the same city on the return journey?
States in Nigeria have been enabled by a recent constitutional reform to generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas covered by the
national grid. Oyo state must position herself for this and hit the ground running. There are ready-to-use plants which can quickly jumpstart and improve electricity production. The energy plan complements the blueprint on agriculture, manufacturing and urban development. I foresee an Oyo State Electricity Regulatory Commission (OSERC) which could regulate the electricity market by licensing and operating structures for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to the teeming people of Oyo state, the 3rd largest in Nigeria. This is an attraction for private capital for investment from within and outside Nigeria.
Bodija Housing Estate, built and developed in 1958, was the first housing estate in Nigeria. Between that time and now, about 64 years ago, Ibadan has tremendously grown and expanded. The housing stocks of Ibadan and Oyo state are significantly lower than demand especially in terms of mass housing. The gap has to be addressed through new building technologies which offer cost and speed advantages. This will go a long way to address urban renewal challenges and climate change while growing the mortgage culture and boosting the economy. This has been successfully done in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Peru, etc.
It is the Mission of the Incoming APC Government to be led by me by God’s Grace come 29th May 2023 to put Government Business where it should be in the service of humanity in Oyo State. We are not going to advertise payment of salary as achievements because it is not. The real achievements lie in the actual vitalization of departments of Government to produce useful services, projects and programs for the people. Workers will be made to see internal satisfaction in their work not the exterior satisfaction of salary. I have genuine intentions to use my brain, disposition , training, experiences and ideals towards the advancement of my Dear State.
With all sense of duty and honesty to the call of the good people of Oyo State for me to throw my hat into the ring for the second time, in order to contest for the Governorship of Oyo State in the 2023 elections under the banner of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), I can’t but accept this great call to duty to emancipate the good people of Oyo State from the heavy yoke of servitude laid upon them by the present PDP led government of Oyo State.
The pedigree of my forbears is to stare straight into the treacherous face of naked power and speak the truth to it unequivocally. The truth is simple. The truth is that the present is not good enough for the great people of Oyo State. The truth is that I Adebayo Adelabu has something far better to bring to governance for the good people of Oyo State.
I have this 7 POINTS AGENDA for the good people of Oyo State:
1. SECURITY OF LIVES AND PROPERTIES: This will be of utmost importance for the government that I will lead, if voted in as the flagbearer of APC in the Governorship contest of 2023 in Oyo State. The present government has with it’s own hands, through greed and being neophytes in power, unleashed violence on the people of Oyo State through it’s halfhearted implementation of improving the parks system and transportation in Oyo State. Likewise will our eyes not be closed to external aggressors against the peace of the good people of Oyo State.
2. MECHANIZED AGRICULTURE AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION: My private sector experience, coupled with my experience as a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and my various networks in private, government and international sectors; I am seized of the programme and ideas to alleviate and lift thousands of the good people of Oyo State from the excruciating stranglehold of poverty that the PDP government has entangled round the neck of our people.
3. INDUSTRIALISATION AND EMLLOYMENT CREATION: We shall bring back the glory of Ibadan as a hub for industrialists and we shall open up other cities and establish industrial networks in them. We shall make gainful employment available for the people as this will be a concomitant to the industrialisation of Oyo State.
4. HEALTH: Health is wealth is a truism . We shall give top priority to the provision of affordable health services for our people.
5. EDUCATION: This shall be a high focus priority to our government if we win. Education will be at the front burner of which we might most likely declare an emergency priority on.
6. ENVIRONMENT: Provision of healthy environment with monitored sanitation.
7. GOOD GOVERNANCE & INNOVATIVE IDEAS: Good governance begets patriotic citizens. We shall be transparent in all aspects and areas of government and we shall give a very great lattitude to inovative ideas for it has been proven over centuries that good innovative ideas, both in governance and technology are the forerunners to having a great and prosperous society. This I believe in and this I will bring into governance in Oyo State as we all march together as a party and a people to carry the flag of APC in the 2023 governorship election of Oyo State.
We assure you that with your votes and the help of Almighty ALLAH, we shall all sing the song of victory together, when I shall have won the Governorship election of Oyo State as the flagbearer of our great party, the APC.
The General Elections and particularly the gubernatorial election in our Dear State would meet all us alive by God’s Grace. It shall be a Turning Point for the progress of our pacesetting State . May God answer all our heart’s desires . May He bless each and all, men and women, old and young.
I thank you, again for your time.
God bless All Progressives Congress
God bless Oyo State
God bless Nigeria