Ripples - Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, is intensifying efforts aimed at the installation of Bayo Adelabu, the grandson of late popular Ibadan politician, Adegoke Adelabu, as his successor.
The younger Adelabu is a Deputy Governor in charge of Financial Stability System (FSS) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He is believed to have been propped up by the late Aare Musulumi of Yoruba, Aare Arisekola Alao based on the clout and pedigree of his grandfather.
The opposition leader of the Western Region House of Assembly popularly called Penkelemesi attained folklore status among his supporters and was renowned for his oratorical prowess.
He was a member of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons led by Nnamdi Azikiwe until he was killed in a suspicious car crash in 1958.
The late Alao was said to have impressed it on Ajimobi that fielding Adelabu will reignite the massive followership that his grandfather enjoyed.
The 46-year-old Adelabu was an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the First Bank where he worked for 22 years. He attended the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) where he graduated in 1992.
Alao was a major shareholder of the bank until his death and was believed to be Adelabu’s mentor.
He was the one who reportedly told the CBN deputy governor to start having visible businesses and projects in Ibadan before flag off of his governorship ambition.
Ajimobi, who respected Alao until his death, it was learnt, has decided to stick to their pact to enable him wade off oppositions against the installation of a malleable successor.
The governor is believed to be aware that fielding another candidate from Ibadan might be opposed by other ethnic groups from the state.
The Oke-Ogun community in Oyo East has been agitating for governorship because nobody from the axis has ever attained the height. Ajimobi had to pick his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, from the zone to garner votes from the largely agrarian senatorial district.
But come 2019, the Ibadan axis of the state has insisted it must retain the governorship. Ibadan has 11 of the 33 local governments in the state while Oke-Ogun accounts for 10 despite having large mass land.
Ibarapa has three local governments, which are traditionally allies of Ibadan politics. Oyo and Ogbomosho axis make up for the remaining councils.
The Ibadan axis has dominated politics in the state, producing all the governors so far except Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala. Feelers have emerged however that Oke-Ogun community will fight tooth and nail to stop the emergence of another “Ibadan governor” as they always put it.
Preparatory to his unveiling, Adelabu has started opening up businesses in the state with the commissioning of an event centre in Jericho area of Ibadan last year.
There is also Bayose One, a hotel, very close to the event centre reputed as one of the best now in Ibadan.
Not done, Adelabu has also commissioned Bayse One Checkmate plaza, an eye-popping investment with modern facilities in Ring Road, the commercial nerve of the state.
A foundation in his name has also taken off to empower indigents, widows and young entrepreneurs. Sources close to him said the massive investments were targeted at titling public opinion in his favour as a critical stakeholder in Ibadan.
Ajimobi is believed to be handing the political side of the divide that will culminate into the adoption of Adelabu as the governorship candidate of the APC.
Like his godson, Ajimobi has banking and private sector backgrounds.
APC’s heavyweights said Adelabu is expected to resign from his CBN post in 2018 to contest the election, which may turn out to be a very interesting contest.