Adelami ups the stake in Ondo governorship contest

April 30, 2020
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IT is not without a doubt that political activities, though seemingly relegated to the background by the prevailing COVID-19, remain active in most parts of the country. This is more especially of Edo and Ondo, the two states where the actors have engaged in subtle electioneering, in preparation for the governorship elections scheduled for the latter part of the year. The fact was confirmed recently by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to the effect that it had not changed the programme for the election in the aforementioned states.

Preparations for the election is particularly interesting in Ondo State where many gladiators have been expressing their readiness to square it up with the incumbent governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu. Apparently, the governor is having a tough battle in his bid to retain his seat for a second term, amid a groundswell of opposition from some leaders of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He also has to contend with some forces from his homestead, Owo, as some of his kinsmen who are members of the APC, have thrown their hats into the ring in the race for the Alagbaka Government House. Prominent among the Owo indigenes is Chief Olayide Adelami, a former Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly (he retired in April 2018), who is also eyeing the coveted office on the platform of the APC in the state.

Born over six decades ago to the family of Oluka Oribokun by Pa and Mrs Amos Adelami, he graduated from the popular Imade College, Owo before proceeding to The Polytechnic, Ibadan for his GCE ‘A’ Level and  University of Lagos for his first degree in Business Administration. He also got an MBA degree from the Ogun State University.

After the completion of his mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in June 1983, Adelami was enlisted into Federal Civil Service as an Accountant II in December, 1983. He resumed at the Treasury Department of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and in 1988. He was posted to the National Assembly Provisional Office, Abuja as one of the pioneer staff of the Constituent Assembly which metamorphosed into the present National Assembly.

Speaking on what motivated him into going into partisan politics, the retired bureaucrat said his ambition was by happenstance and not calculated. His words: “I didn’t really plan that I would go into politics after retirement. It just happened. God has a way of ordering our steps. From nowhere, I was called upon when there were crises in the APC. I was drafted into politics by APC through the Presidential Support Committee (PSC), a platform created by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The mandate of the PSC is to promote democracy and ensure there is peace in all the states, ensuring reconciliation of warring parties or aggrieved members of the APC, as well as harmonisation of various support groups in the party to ensure victory for the president.”

Adelami, believes that the function of a governor is to manage the resources of the state for the benefit of the people. A tested judicious manager of resources throughout his years in the public service, he said, “I have managed money, materials and people and I have done it very well to the best of my ability,” adding that he was ready to bring that experience to bear on Ondo State.

“I was made the [PSC] coordinator for Ondo State and that was my first foray into politics…From there, I got to know about the yearnings of our people and the level of disenchantment among members of the party due to the way things were being run in the state. The level of poverty in the state is alarming. I had the opportunity to meet with the people and I saw that the problem is so pervasive in the state. So, the welfare of the people takes precedence over any other thing,” he said.

Adelami further expressed the belief that his legacy in the bureaucracy, particularly the positive impacts he made at the National Assembly, would ensure his victory in the forthcoming election in the Sunshine State. “I was one of the pioneer staff of the National Assembly. We grew from about 50 staff to what the National Assembly is today. I found myself in the finance department, managing the resources and I rose to become the director of finance and pioneered the procurement department before becoming the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly. The legacy I left behind as the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly is that of good name. Everybody that came my way over the years can attest to it that they gained one or the other from me with the type of exemplary leadership I exhibited throughout,” he said.

Adelami also, between 1996 and 2000, played pivotal roles in the setting up of the Accounts and Finance Departments of the Petroleum Special Trust Fund and the Family Support Trust Fund. It is worthy to mention that the project of National Hospital, Abuja was executed and delivered during Adelami’s service period. The fact that he was able to attract physical development and impart the lives of Owo community and beyond would come handy in helping his political ambition. Adelami also worked assiduously to deliver massive votes for the party across the state and ensured the return of the only APC senator in the state from his senatorial district.

Above all, Adelami, a philanthropist of note, member of several professional bodies and holder of several honours (including chieftaincy titles) and awards, believes that now is his appointed time to lead the people of Ondo State. He believes that his sterling performances, goodwill, personal influence, years of experience and reputation as an astute manager of resources with enviable integrity will give him an edge above in the battle for the ticket of the party and eventually grant him the desired victory in the election, taking place in November, barring any changes by the INEC.

“We have been going round to meet the people and the reception has been massive. This is not about those who have contested before or those who are new. What we need is to get the best candidate. The idea is not to run; it is to win. So, I am participating in the process and I am convinced that I am going to win,” he said.

  • Ayodele wrote from Akure, Ondo State.

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