From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
A former deputy governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Adebayo Adelabu, on Wednesday betrayed emotion as he emerged the governorship candidate of the Accord in Oyo State, ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He was presented as the party’s gubernatorial candidate after Ayodele Oyajide, who had emerged as the governorship candidate of the party during a primary conducted some weeks ago, had willingly stepped down for Adelabu.
Oyajide publicly announced his withdrawal from the governorship race at the official presentation of a new governorship candidate for Accord, held at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, the state capital.
His words: “I am grateful to God for today. This party is one that God has plans for. Therefore, I, Ayodele Oyajide, willingly step down for Adelabu.”
The National Vice Chairman of the party in the South West, Dokun Babarinde, had announced that the programme was organised for the party to substitute its governorship candidate.
This was done in the presence of representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies. Also, the event was graced by the party’s National Secretary, Adebukola Ajaja; National Treasurer, Mike Wabara; Oyo State chairman, Ojo Kolade; state secretary, Olayinka Dairo; and so on.
The chief returning officer for the party, Olayemi Olugbenga, came on the stage and asked thousands of delegates that wanted Adelabu to fly the flag of the party in the state to affirm his candidature. Majority of the delegates stood on their feet and raised their hands as well as their voices in affirmation of Adelabu. He then pronounced him the governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 general elections.
The National Chairman of Accord, Alhaji Balarado Mohammed, who handed over the party’s flag to Adelabu, urged Nigerians to support Accord to electoral victory in 2023. He contended that “We don’t know what is happening in Nigeria today. But Nigeria needs a true change. We may not be getting what we want in Nigeria today, probably because we have made wrong choices in the past. Accord will bring a true change to Nigeria from 2023.”
Adelabu, who shed tears of joy, when he was presenting his acceptance speech, promised to ensure a turnaround prosperity in the state in different spheres of life, including agriculture, health, economy, security, and transportation. He thanked the leadership of the party for their support and Ayodele Oyajide for stepping down for him. He added that Oyajide would not regret the decision he took. He also solicited the support of all and sundry for Accord to be victorious during the next year’s general election.
Adelabu, who was the 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also presented flags of the party to other candidates of the party for the National Assembly and Oyo State House of Assembly elections.
The candidates include the Accord candidate for Oyo North senatorial district, Shina Peller, currently representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju/Kajola/
Iwajowa federal constituency; candidate for Oyo South senatorial district, Kolapo Kola-Daisi; candidate for Oyo Central senatorial district, Faozey Oladotun Nurudeen; and the candidate for Oluyole federal constituency and former chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state, Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye.