Adebayo Adefarati; third civilian governor of Ondo State. Adefarati was one of the pro-democracy activists who fought for the return of civilian rule in Nigeria as a member of the National Democratic Coalition, NADECO, during the military regime of General Sani Abacha. He was a founding member of the Alliance for Democracy put together with the commencement of General Abdusalami Abubakar transition programme in 1998. In 1999, Adebayo Adefarati won the governorship election and became governor. His administration’s signature policies were the free education as well free healthcare services for all citizens below 18 years old[i].
One of the first actions of Adefarati on assumption of office was the establishment of the Ondo State University, Akungba-Akoko. His time in office is also remembered for the rural development projects which opened up erstwhile secluded areas. Adefarati lost his bid for a second term to Olusegun Agagu.
Place of Growth
Born on February 14, 1931 at Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Adebayo Adefarati had his primary education at the Holy Trinity School, Akungba, between 1940 and 1944 as well as St. John’s Primary School, Oka, 1945-48. He later proceeded to Victory College, Ikare, where he had his post-primary education from 1949 to 1954.
Adefarati was educated at Kiriji Memorial College[ii], and he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ibadan in 1965. He also did a post-graduate Diploma in Education from the same university in 1963.
Obafemi Awolowo had a lasting impact on Adefarati, who had been actively involved in the Action Group, AG, since the party was lunched in 1954 when Adefarati was just 23 years old. Thus, in 1978 when AG metamorphosed into the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, Adefarati naturally became a member. He was to later serve in the party’s dream team in Ondo State[iii].
Adefarati worked as a teacher in several post primary schools for more than three decades. Between 1966 and 1979, he was principal of different secondary schools before he was appointed into the cabinet of Governor Adekunle Ajasin as commissioner for Local Government and Community Development and later Works and Transport between 1979 and 1981. In between that period, he had served as director, Western Cocoa Board from 1975 to 1979. As an educationist Adefarati authored Questions and Answers on Age of Discovery, Advanced Level notes on Macbeth and a dozen others[iv].
[i] Newswatch April 9, 2007
[ii] Tell April 16, 2007
[iii] The News April 7, 2003
[iv] Insider February 16, 2004