•OYO APC Governorship Candidate, BAYO ADELABU
Chief Bayo Adelabu, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, has, again, reinstated his optimism of winning the forthcoming governorship election in the state. This high level of confidence, according to him, is hinged on the achievements of the Ajimobi led administration in the state, in terms of government policies and programs.
He believes any sincere leader, who has the love of his state and its people at heart, must have taken those steps Ajimobi took in the last 7 and half years. Adelabu, who was a guest on Isaac Brown’s ‘Political Circuit’ program recently, revealed so many things pertaining to his mission and vision for Oyo State as an “accelerator” who is ready to build on the foundation which Ajimobi, who he described as ‘initiator of good governance”, has built. Having garnered the necessary experience and capacity as a retired banker and businessman. Adelabu is of strong conviction that if he has excelled in his career to become Deputy Governor of the CBN before he retired and as a private businessman who has contributed his own quota to the development of Oyo State by being an employer of labour (with his investment in property, hospitality and farming businesses), that he will do more if he has the state apparatus in his care.
When asked if some of Gov. Ajimobi’s criticized policies and political decisions lately won’t lead to a kind of transferred aggression on him and his aspiration? Adelabu was so affirmative in his response. “Let me tell you categorically that I am better off being in this position than contesting under opposition party. Why? It is very hard for you to separate the candidate from the party and the party from the incumbency. The three have to come together to form one. And this is what we are using, even in exams nobody passes hundred percent except you already had what is called ‘orijo’ or something. But what we are saying is that let our good works surpass our bad work. If Gov. Ajimobi and the current administration had scores 80 percent, I think that is fair enough.
I have a lot to leverage on what he has done; security, it is undisputable. In the last seven and half years we have enjoyed peace and tranquility in this state, which we know what it is compared to what it used to be before he came on board. No major crimes, night life is there, you can drive around Ibadan and Oyo State anytime. Of course we can improve on it. Look at the kind of infrastructure we have in place, in the last seven and half years. It is comparable to what is obtainable anywhere in the world. Look at the roads we have, roads that will last for decades. Not roads that you do, two years after and you go and re-award the contract. Look at the reform we have witnessed in the education sector, fine we have not gotten to the eldorado. But we can see the consistent improvement, I am a living witness. I head one of the schools governing council, Lagelu Grammar School. This is what we want to replicate across all the secondary schools in Oyo State.
Look at the reform we have in health, the specialist hospital, Adeoyo, go and check what they are doing about it. We are re-introducing the primary health care centres across all the local governments. We are planning to even do recreation centres. Those are some of the things the man has done.
Today, I can stand and be proud to say that Governor Ajimobi is my governor. How many governors in the past can you beat your chest and say, this is my governor? For the first time in the last 20 years, we can say we have a governor who can stand tall among the council of governors; in presentation. The man is humane, he is civil and exposed. He is a fine gentle man that has the interest of Oyo State at heart. Let me tell you, nobody can do it at a go. You must build the stage for the next person to work and this is why I call him ‘the initiator of food governance’ in Oyo State.
When you are initiating you will definitely have a lot of hurdles to cross. The man has survived all these hurdles. We know Oyo State, we know it is not easy to introduce good governance. There are saboteurs here and there but this man had survived it all, which is why it appears a bit slow. Now we have reached the foundation level, we now have to start building, we need an accelerator, which is why I am coming in.
On the areas that need improvement however, because I don’t see them as shortcomings. Those are part of burden of governance. Good governance at times may be hard on people, it is not everything that is good that you want to agree with. But we have a passionate leader, a leader with your welfare in mind, he will do things that you are supposed to have not things that you want to have.
Everybody loves to stay in their comfort zone but for you to improve in life, you must leave your comfort zone and face some challenges. After the challenges then you see that it is sweeter at the other end of the fence. So, I am saying those things we call bad things were only hard choices and I tell you the end will justify the means. I can assure you in the next two, three years we will thank God that Ajimobi took those steps on our behalf. I am not saying he is a perfect person, nobody is perfect except God. Those areas that require improvement, that is where I am coming in.
There are policies and programs of government that could be applicable 2, 3, 4 years ago, but because of the dynamism of our environment, they may not be applicable now. Those are the things that we may sit down and review and change it. Probably you will understand why he took those decision. And I am appealing to our people that we need to exercise little more pacience with our leaders. The burden of leadership is heavy, the governance process is hectic. Whoever has decided to volunteer himself to the service of humanity , we should give him chance before we start criticising all his good intentions, because we are not feeling the impact immediately. It could be medium term, it could long teem. But there are some quick ones you can easily see; you see the roads, security etc.
There are lots of things developed countries leverage on. And it is a bold and courageous leader who doesn’t mind what people say about him, except he takes his people to the eldorado, will take such steps. Those carefree, cowards that only want to pay to the gallery will not take such steps. Because people will not see the immediate reasons for taking the steps.
But if you have the love of the state in mind, you love your people and you want to see your state transformed, you will take those steps. Those are the things Gov. Ajimobi did and we are happy about it, that tomorrow we’ll laugh. And I am coming there to compliment, improve upon all he has done and even do more. You can see I am a younger person, I have the required energy to run around. You should expect that with the base and foundation he has provided for me, I have a lot to leverage upon,” Adelabu stated.
On his mission and vision for the state if he becomes governor, especially on the issue of education, which he said is going to be part of major sectors on top of agenda of his government. Because for Adelabu, education is the bedrock of development of any nation. Not only that Adelabu revealed that he is going to make education free right from the primary and secondary school levels, he also promises to look into how to make tertiary institutions to be more creative and somehow independent, in order to guide them against unnecessary strike. And also make teachers enjoy extra benefits more than other civil servants.
“The platform for development of any nation is directly related to the literacy level and bilateral association of its populace. So, education is not something that must be taken with a light hand. So we are going to pay a lot of attention to education. Out of our 7 points Agenda, 3 are actually alleviated as priority sectors. Out of the three, education is one. And we want to attack it right from the basic and primary education, which I believe, and that is what happens all over the world, should be free. Government must invest in its people. A government that is governing literate populace is better off than a government that has large proportion of his populace as illiterates. We are going to embark on mass renovation of primary and secondary schools across the length and breadth of Oyo State.
Because three things make delivery of quality education faster. Number one is the physical structure, the equipment and syllabus, which must be made relevant to today’s standard of education, as it’s obtained all over the world. Another angle to it is the teaching personnel, because they have a major role in moulding the future of these children. We can’t leave them unhappy, we can’t leave them unmotivated.
Teachers should be entitled to additional bonus. They are dealing with the future of the state and that of the nation at large. We will introduce extra benefits that will make them better than the other civil servants. So that they can be happy and deliver teaching service the way it should be.” On tertiary institutions, Adelabu has this to say. “We should find means for our schools to be well funded and independent, by generating revenue by themselves and all. So that there won’t be even one hour strike. The revenue presently generated by these schools are not enough to sustain them. The question to ask each school is how much revenue do you have to be autonomous. We plan towards that and we start implementing these plans gradually; it could be 10 years plan or less. It is not that we will increase the fees at once, it will be bit by bit. And we will make parents understand that we are going to increase school fees by this so, so percentage if need be, in a way that it won’t affect them negatively.
Our schools must be creative, they must look for ways of generating revenue. How can you have a school of Agriculture that doesn’t have a commercial farm? Not only up to primary production but up to processing level. What are you teaching?
How can you have a school of Technology that doesn’t have any technology firm, even a common motor garage and you are studying mechanical engineering etc?
Another thing is that all over the world, we have donor organisations, we have NGOs, we have foundations that fund schools, where are they here? As big and as expensive as Havard is, they still have a lot of finding from foundations and NGOs.
Again, what is the cost of running of these schools? A school that don’t generate 100million in one year, has a debt profile of 3 billion, how do you match that? Right from the establishment of tertiary institutions, there must be a visibility of the funding, structure of the school. If the gap is minimal, it would be easy for the government. Government has a lot of other things to spend on that is why we are in this kind of situation.
I will do everything possible to gain LAUTECH and turn its lost glory around. That is a university that was at a time number 4 of all the universities in the country.”
– Dare Adeniran