Adebayo Adelabu, the defeated candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Oyo State governorship election, has been accused of “carrying himself like a governor-in-waiting” from the moment he won the governorship primary of the party last year.
On Monday, SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how Adelabu had been abusing leaders of the party, blaming them for his loss in the election, and how he was involved in fisticuffs with Dayo Iyaniwura, one of his main allies who is also a Personal Assistant to outgoing Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the Governor’s Oluyole residence on Sunday.
Responding to the story, a group, the Ibadan Progressive Mandate (IPM), advised Adelabu to "situate his loss to aloofness and arrogant conduct of his ill-fated campaign rather than blaming anyone”.
In a statement released on Tuesday by its General Secretary, Ladele Jinadu, IPM advised Adelabu to place his failed ambition in the right perspective, saying "the real reason for his thrashing is his aloofness to the party, it's leaders, former contestants, and his arrogance".
“Why should Chief Adebayo Adelabu blame anyone for his defeat, not even Chief Joseph Tegbe who willingly withdrew from the race for him? That is unfair,” read the statement.
“Only the blind would deny that despite not being consulted, Tegbe mobilised his resources and team to work for the party and all APC candidates from the governorship to members of the House of Assembly always describing his support to the interest of the party his love for the APC.
“Adelabu had the opportunity to win if he had built a very inclusive campaign. However, immediately after succeeding at the primary, he started carrying himself like the governor in-waiting against repeated counsel to build consensus to reach out to the electorate.”
The group counselled Adelabu to call his men to order, knowing that he would he held responsible should anything sinister happen to Tegbe or anyone among his team leaders.
“Elections are not do or die affair and the people of Oyo State have spoken,” it said. “If Chief Adelabu believes he still stands a chance to offer service to the state in the future, all hopes are not lost. All he needs to do is shed himself off arrogance and connect genuinely with the people, not this blame game.”
However, Adelabu has denied fighting with the party.
According to a statement by his spokesperson, Dr. Bayo Busari, “the allusion that he engaged a personal assistant to the governor of Oyo State, Dayo Iyaniwura in fisticuffs is far from the truth”.
"How can I fight with the Governor's PA who was dedicated to my aspiration from beginning to the end and I knew everyone worked for me and the party during the campaigns?" Adelabu queried. "Dayo is my brother and I don't have issue with him nor with the leadership of the party.”