Nigerian Corps Members on election duty

Nigerian Corps Members on election duty

Demola Adeleke and His Wild Goose Chase By Gbolahan Yusuf

With the elections to get the next occupant of the Osun West Senatorial seat only a day away, it is important to ponder on the political drama that has ensued since the unfortunate death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke (Serubawon, as his supporters would rather call him). His death had come as a blow to his family in particular and the entire Osun APC family in general, but it also threw up a senatorial vacancy. One that now has two major candidates, except while one bases his campaign on experience and knowledge, the other sees it as an inheritance, even where there is no backing will.

Until his death, Senator Adeleke had been a prominent politician having been elected as the first civilian governor of Osun in 1992 before joining the PDP in the era of the Fourth Republic. It was in 2007 he won a seat to the Senate defeating the current APC candidate, Mudashiru Hussein. Four years passed but the hunger remained and Mudashiru Hussein was back in 2011 to defeat the incumbent senator rather convincingly with 121,971 votes to the incumbent’s 77,090 votes. A rare feat, it must be added.

In a twist of political fortune though, by the time Iyiola Omisore was angling to become the governor of the state of Osun, efforts were set in motion by the party to thwart the ambitions of Sen Adeleke and this led to him publicly sounding out the PDP and their moves against him. In came Ogbeni Aregbesola, not ready to watch the state’s first civilian governor get humiliated, who offered the late Ede strongman a place in the APC. Not only was he offered membership, but he was also honored by Sen Mudashiru Hussein who willingly stepped down his senatorial ambition out of reverence for him and actively campaigned to ensure his emergence as Senator. Fast forward a few years after that and the death of Serubawon, and an inexperienced brother who takes the seat as a family property has now switched sides back again.

It is opportunism of the highest order for Demola Adeleke to assume he has some right over a federal senatorial seat simply by bloodline. That he has undertaken to buy this seat at whatever price at the polls just as he bought the PDP ticket further exposes his business-like “profit” mindset and abysmal understanding of politics and governance. Osun West cannot sit by and let a businessman add the glorious state to his balance sheet. Not when an experienced player stands as the other option.

It needs to be stressed enough that the Otunba, in going the PDP route, has sacrificed the most important political battle ever won by the late Isiaka Adeleke, in his chase for a position he has zero understanding about. The PDP candidate has not thought to himself, I believe, if anything would be left of the APC, whose ticket he struggled to buy, if people like Mudashiru Hussein also jumped ship at every time they had to sacrifice their ambition that an Isiaka Adeleke may thrive. He must be reminded that it is the sacrifices of the people that he wants to oppose today, that made political survival possible for Senator Adeleke, not the shape of his cap.

APC Candidate, Senator Mudashiru Husain

The people of Osun West need to ask valid questions before heading to the polls. Questions like what Otunba Adeleke has achieved for himself as well as the political party he really belongs to need to be answered, seeing as he seems to be willing to join a new one every week depending on who has a ticket for sale.

A statement ought to be made on the increasing dynasties in our democracy and there is no better state than Osun which rendered Jonathan’s federal might and financial weight a political irrelevance. It should be rang from Osun West to the entire country that the business of buying and selling cannot be brought into governance. And that there are still minimum qualification requirements to be Senator which include true membership of a political party to start with. Loyalty is not Grey, it’s black and white. You’re either completely loyal or not loyal at all. And people have to understand that you can’t be loyal only when it serves you.

If Otunba Demola could not be loyal to his late brother’s wishes to cut ties with the PDP who ostracized his political career, or to the APC who granted his brother political revival, how then can the people of Osun West trust him to be loyal to them? The people of Osun West once voted Mudashiru Hussein as Senator, and if they need a representative, it is only sensible that the APC chose to re-present someone they already know and trust. That this does not fit into the selfish picture of Otunba Adeleke is not something the party should be apologetic about.

PDP Candidate, Otunba Ademola Adeleke

Adeleke will be sustained by the APC and the things he stood for will be sang aloud by his friends and associates in the APC, including how he was attacked in his home by PDP sponsored agents during the 2014 Osun guber elections and stood his ground, out of loyalty to his APC political family. Meanwhile, Otunba Adeleke, on the other side, now has the tough task of buying the votes of the people of Osun West as he did the PDP ticket, and it will be interesting to see another Jonathanian expenditure of “money spent, nothing bought”.



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