Consultation is part of politics, no doubt. The standard practice in democratic contest is that a candidate with eye on the ball immediately mends fence and engage fellow contestants to guarantee electoral victory.
Often the so-called party primaries are bitterly fought, which in itself is not unusual, bearing in mind that maneuverings and tactics to outwit opponents are permissive in the game, but immediately a winner emerges from the rank, the first step is that swift move towards making peace by waving the proverbial ‘olive branch’ to fellow contenders for genuine inclusiveness and confidence building.
It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Oyo State now has a candidate in Chief Adebayo Adelabu, a former Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He emerged from a negotiated process believed to be orchestrated by the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu but, his nomination is reported not to sit well with some contenders who felt shortchanged.
However, regardless of the circumstances surrounding his emergence which pundits attributed to Tinubus determination to install loyalist governors in his geopolitical stronghold to boost his 2023 game to be president, Adelabu is yet to come to term with political realities and this may be his self-imposed albatross.
As a result, party faithful are foot-dragging and reluctant in throwing their full weight behind the APC candidate, fearing that Adelabus hostility with other aspirants and their supporters could spell doom for them and the party, should he eventually makes it to become the state governor. They also expressed concern on the need to forestall the likelihood of helping an unapproachable personality to the Government House.
For instance, since his announcement as candidate of the APC in the primary held at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, on October 1, Adelabu is yet to reach out to his co-contenders to solicit their support.
Instead, the governorship candidate has serially maximized every opportunity he has to further detach himself from the people that should rally forces together with him in becoming governor.
Already, those spoken to disclosed, that the former CBN chief is already conducting himself as awaiting governor even ahead of the election; in doing this, Adelabu is confident that his closeness to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his last-minute adoption by Ajimobi are enough to win him the seat without support or input by party chieftain and former aspirants.
Just recently, Adelabu was reported to openly lambast a local government chairman from Oke-Ogun; as well as disparaging other party supporters at a get-together organized in his honour where he accused them of planning to reap where they did not sow.
Those aggrieved were surprised that Adelabu, who was a boardroom player from where he rose through the ranks in his career to the CBN, should be the one nursing grudges with players for pitching tent with aspirants of their choice before the primary that produced him. They also expressed displeasure that their candidate finds it difficult to embrace members of his party, therefore wondering how he intends to win in the election without them.
Not just that, local government chairmen in the state recently approached the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, where they voiced apprehension over Adelabus unfriendliness towards them and party stakeholders after winning the ticket, but Ajimobi was said to lambast his visitors when they proposed to seek audience with the candidate. The governor wondered why it should be their duty to reach out to Adelabu who does not think they were needed for his victory.
So far, the former CBN deputy governor is gaining fame for treating supporters from other groups as enemies and further disconnecting himself from them in the heat to occupy the Agodi Governors Office; we were told that even Governor is becoming agitated over the development.
As we speak, there has not been any move to consult with others while he enjoys the aura as the governor in-waiting in a measure suggesting the support of anyone aside Tinubu, Ajimobi and federal support to become governor would not matter in the state where APCs popularity and influence is fast receding.
While the above factors cannot be undervalued, pundits believe Adelabus politics is infantile, saying it appeared he learnt no lesson in Osun State governorship election where the party only won by intrigues and slim chance. Insiders feared that since the state might not enjoy overbearing federal might like in Osun in 2019, it would only be wise for everyone to be on board to ensure victory for the party, if Adelabu would be a team player.
But it is uncertain if party chieftains and former aspirants would be willing to throw their weight behind a man that has willingly refused to seek their help. Political watchers in the state have predicted that the ruling party may suffer heavy defeat with Adelabu.
Added to that, is growing panic around continued dwindling fortune of the APC in the state consequent upon defections hitting the party almost on daily basis which observers reason might just be the beginning as more pullouts are expected in the days and weeks moving close to the elections.
Expectedly, any misfortune in the APC will play to the advantage of other parties; and as such, it is no longer secret that as it presently stands, should the opposition parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gets its acts together, the party would reap from the growing discomfort within the APC and rattle the party to an awful defeat in the 2019 elections.
The silent grumblings and widening gaps within the party should send strong warning that all is not well with the APC and that is directed related to the arrogance with which Adelabu is conducting his politics. Should he continue to travel this indifferent political route, not only will APC suffer disgraceful defeat but Adelabu himself may be thrown into political oblivion earlier than his entrance into the unpredictable political pitch because of his arrogance and he would be proving his critics right for playing true to type.