Isiaka Adeleke at 66: A Political Jewel, Golden Fish

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Olumide Lawal

The first Governor of Osun State, late Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, never throughout his political life used coercive force to realise his desires among his followers. Rather, he refined power and made it pleasant and motivational. His priority was collective goal achievement, instead of appropriating success in his various political offices to himself. Senator Adeleke made power, user-friendly and endearing.
The Asiwaju of Edeland, applied resources meaningfully and impactfully for the benefits of a greater number of people, thereby spreading joy around those he held power in trust for.

As January 15, 2021 marks his 66th post-humous birthday anniversary, Adeleke, even in death, remains a political jewel of inestimable value and a golden fish with no hiding place. His political adventure was a departure from what obtains today among power-wielders, who are obsessed with it for their personal selfish interest. Otunba Adeleke in his 63 years sojourn on earth expanded the coast of visionary leadership that enabled his political influence felt in Osun State and beyond the shores of Nigeria. His political structure is enduring and superbly intact.

He promoted developmental politics that produced core loyalists and disciples, who could not be bought or sold for any price. And this informed a clarion call to his political admirers and well-wishers, far and near to close rank and ensure that the unfinished business of 2018 governorship race is effortlessly and readily achieved in 2022 with greater zeal and vigour; for it is not over until it is over. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I am sure, that the electorates, in their innocent and inner recess of their minds, are ready to display their love and admiration for late Senator Isiaka Adeleke nay Ademola Adeleke, come rain or shine and boost his political gains. It is now for politicians in his camp to reciprocate the electorate’s love for Isiaka Adeleke by sinking their differences and making it a doable affair with a view to making the Otunba of Ejigbo memory evergreen. They should make it a goal scored in a grand style for Senator Ademola Adeleke.

Asiwaju Isiaka Adeleke even in death remains a man of peace and apostle of politics without bitterness. A lover of the grassroot people. A stylish, consummate and accomplished statesman of no mean order.
He taught his followers, during his lifetime, that they should shun malice, grudge and hatred toward others. He stressed the need for the well-to-do among his followers to always make the welfare of the less-privileged their priority. This, he argued would bring out the best in the low cadre and encourage them to contribute their own quota to the socio-economic progress of their areas.

Isiaka Adeleke never saw politics as dirty as he was a man with good, large, forgiving heart and beautiful soul. All these attributes he applied very admirably to his practice of partisan politics. He gave politics the required courtesy and correct social application. He was not cut out for political acrimony.

Above all, he was a firm believer in the supremacy of God Almighty as the Author and Finisher of our faiths. He held firmly to his Creator throughout the various vicissitudes of life that he passed through and conquered.

His well-wishers should endeavour to complement the fantastic humanitarian and philanthropic gestures of the Adeleke dynasty, which has never failed to put smile on the faces of Osun citizens, without political or religious bias since Senator Isiaka Adeleke transited to glory about four years ago. The Adeleke Dynasty continues to hold high, Isiaka Adeleke political and philanthropic flags. It would not have been otherwise from a close-knit, big and happy family that the Asiwaju of Ede belonged to.

With all modesty, I will suggest that the biography of Senator Isiaka Adeleke being put together by the Adeleke University should not be abandoned. It should see the light of the day as soon as possible for generational benefits. There is no doubt that he would be very happy in his grave to have copies of the biography in various homes across the globe. After all, he was a man of high intellectual calling who made pursuance of education by the young people his cardinal objective. A very organised man with the gift of native intelligence, which he used maximally to greater advantage of greater number of people.

In a video clip I came across recently, Senator Isiaka Adeleke was seen in a joyous mood with a teenage cultural artiste, whom he engaged in a dance, to the happiness of those around the scene. The late politician left the young cultural dancer happier as he patted her on the back after availing her crisp naira notes. That was Asiwaju Isiaka Adeleke. A man of immense humility.

In a tribute, an eminent elder citizen and former president of Federal Council of Ede Descendants Union, Alhaji Suleiman Adebayo, described late Adeleke as a courageous man of the people, who defied political godfatherism; came, saw and conquered. A political colossus who shook the political environ with youthful dynamism, bold initiatives and experimentations among which was the Waste to Power, electrification project, he wanted to put in place and which ought to have been followed by successive administrations in Osun State. Isiaka Adeleke, the effervescent servant-leader who transformed Osun State Polytechnic Iree, College of Technology, Esa-Oke and College of Education, Ila-Orangun.

There are more mileages to be covered by Senator Isiaka Adeleke political school and corporate friends to uplift his legacies without putting the entire burden on the Adeleke dynasty who though are not complaining. There should be pay back days from beneficiaries of Isiaka Adeleke’s large-heartedness.

This therefore is to state for the umpteenth time, the need to commence processes toward the establishment of Isiaka Adeleke Political Museum, through a veritable Curator. The Museum should serve as a Centre of Excellence for his political activities/career and positive contributions to humanity on general. His various personal items relating to his larger-than-life stature should be ably displayed at the Museum for preservation for generations yet unborn.
––Lawal was Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke.