Gubernatorial candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo State, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu has declared that contrary to insinuations that he is new in politics, he has been nursing the ambition to become Governor of the state since 1999.
Adelabu made this declaration while speaking in an interview with DAILY POST on Sunday in Ibadan, the state capital.
The APC candidate who said that the need to ensure that people of the state live a better life coupled with his love for the state made him to resign as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), maintaining that he had been nursing the ambition to become Governor of the state when the military handed over power to the civilians in 1999.
He said that the need to have the required experience, financial power and other needed materials to govern the state successfully made him to wait for almost 20 years to realise the dream he had been nursing since 1999.
Adelabu said that throughout his career of over 25 years, he had always identified with the people and the state, even, when he travelled abroad, as he insisted that this made him summon the courage to resign as Deputy Governor of CBN last year and joined the gubernatorial race.
Adelabu said, “Visibly, I made my intention known about three or four years ago. Visibly. But, I had this aspiration since 1999. I have been nursing the ambition to become Governor of Oyo state since 1999. Twenty years ago. I have always known one day I am going to take part in the decision making of our dear state. Number one, I like a situation where I will be living around the people. That life that we want to enjoy in USA, UK, we can create it here. We have always been blaming our government. The moment, we shifted from military to civilian government, that is when I made my mind that in the next three or four regimes, I must play an active role in the decision making of the state.
“But, I said that I needed to cut my teeth too. I needed to train myself. I needed to learn how to follow. I needed that training that will prepare me for the job. Public governance in government, that is why I did not rush to join politics. I went to prepare myself. And I needed finance. If you are not comfortable yourself, you cannot seek to govern the state. That’s why I stayed back since 1999.
“I am happy that you also observed that for this coming election, we are the candidate to beat, and it is something that we can all see that we are the most popular candidate. The old, young, they all have Bayo Adelabu on their lips. And I am happy about that. One major thing that influenced that is my family antecedents, my grandfather used to be a politician, and secondly, my own profile too.
“Throughout, my career, even, when I travelled, I always identify with the state. And again, the state of violence that has been trailing campaigns all around, if you know my antecedents, you will known that I am a peace loving person. I have been in the public sector, twenty-six, twenty-seven years, I have been a quiet person. I am a very peaceful person.
“You can imagine someone living his position as Deputy Governor of CBN coming to contest governorship election, it is because of the love of the state. But, it is painful that the opposition parties are getting too desperate probably because of my popularity and acceptability by the public that is why they are getting uncomfortable.
“We want to serve the people, I am going there to serve the people, it is not a do or die affair, I had got my businesses, I got my private life and I got my funding. I know of myself to serve the people and not to amass wealth, so it is not something that we will get there by do or die. It is only when we have campaigns that you see security around me. I drove myself here. You can see. Without an orderly or PA, I drove myself from my house down here. Because, I don’t like to be moving around with security all the time, because, if you want to serve the people you must be very close to them.
Adelabu while speaking further maintained that he remains the candidate to beat in the election.
He said, “I don’t deceive myself. Before people access, me I will access myself, and self-assessment is the most objective. I am contesting under the platform of the ruling party both at the federal and state levels, and it is the popular party. President Buhari is the candidate of the ruling party and everybody knows that he is the popular candidate and I am also contesting. And he had done enough even more within the three years, than those that have spent 16 years. I remain the candidate to beat in the election.
“I am not just leveraging on my family’s antecedents, everything I have done, I always excelled. I was appointed Deputy Governor of CBN at the age of 43, they don’t appoint somebody below 50 years. I excelled. Oyo state people are very reasonable people, they are very logical people.”