BY OLUMIDE LAWAL
This is definitely a cheering time for Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first executive governor of Osun State, who on April 3, 2014 was unjustly molested and humiliated by the trio of Senator Iyiola Omisore, Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Abdul Jelili Adesiyan, and Sogo Agboola at the Ideal-Nest Hotel Osogbo, in the prelude to the PDP primary election for the August 9 governorship election in Osun State.
To those aware of the ugly incident, it was only Senator Adeleke’s political maturity and patriotic zeal that saved hell from being let loose on the day under reference, Senator Adeleke proved that he is truly a statesman who will not hurt a fly to achieve any political goal or whatever ambition he sets for himself.
Senator Adeleke as a man of absolute peace took the incident with philosophical calmness and thereafter sent a petition to President Jonathan, which was published in some newspapers on April 4, 2014 and copied major stakeholders in the PDP to alert them principally about what he went through in the hands of his fellow party men, all because of his rightful intention to partake in the April 5, 2014 PDP governorship primary. He eventually boycotted the exercise out of his desire not to put the lives of his supporters on the line, going by what he went through at Ideal Nest Hotel, Osogbo, Osun State.
As an aftermath of his petition, the Public Complaints Commission Osun State Office, under the able leadership of Professor Razaq ‘Deremi Abubakre, reacted swiftly to the incident under reference, in a letter he personally signed and addressed to Hon. Abdul Jelili Adesiyan, the Minister of Police Affairs with reference number: PCC/OS/2014/4/411 and dated April 11, 2014 and copied Senator Adeleke.
He viewed with serious concern, the incident of April 3, 2014. I quote the ombudsman: “I wish to recall the disturbing incident of 3rd April, 2014 at the Ideal Nest Guest House, Ilobu Road, Osogbo, in which you were alleged to have used policemen to harass, intimidate and embarrass Senator Isiaka Adeleke, the first Civilian Governor of Osun State and the contestant to your favoured candidate in your party for the gubernatorial ticket in your capacity as the Hon. Minster of Police Affairs”.
Professor Abubakre went further to say that the reported conduct of the Minister of Police Affairs “is a recipe for anarchy, if all Ministers were to act in the same manner”. Professor Abubakre reiterated that Alhaj Adesiyan should imagine the Minister of Finance asking bankers to follow her to political functions or the Minister of Health being accompanied by medical personnel or even the Minister of Education asking students to do the same. Professor Abubakre pointed out that “the wild cacophony with which such act would be visited is better imagined than expressed”.
Professor Abubakre was of the view that the Minister of Police Affairs was not entitled to police escort more than the number allowed to the Minister of Agriculture or any other Minister for that matter. The Osun State Public Complaints Commissioner, therefore affirmed, that no minister should use the law enforcement agents paid to protect the citizenry to intimidate law abiding Nigerians.
Professor Abubakre, was also of the opinion, that Minister Adesiyan, as a citizen of the State of the Virtuous, if his reported action is correct, would have sent a wrong signal to all the believers in justice and fair play around the globe, stressing that, there was the need for the Minister of Police Affairs to tread with caution to “avert insinuations making the round that you are acting out a script in collaboration with the Hon. Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, to cause problems in the South-West” .
It is indeed a welcome development that not all hopes are lost after all, as far as getting a listening ear to the complaints of oppressed members of the public of which Senator Adeleke was a victim from those in authority. The Public Complaints Commission has acted with precision and in good faith.
This shinning exemplary official conduct by Osun State Public Complaints Commission should be emulated by those saddled with serving and protecting public interests. At last, Senator Adeleke is vindicated and his peaceful conduct on the day of the incident under reference has paid off. The chicken has come home to roost.
Senator Adeleke has counseled politicians and their supporters not to see their endeavours to seek political offices as a matter of life and death. He advised politicians to abhor violence and other ungodly conducts, as we march towards the August 9 governorship election in Osun State, as only God gives positions to whomsoever He wishes.
Senator Adeleke as a progressive politician, will continue to join efforts with other progressive forces in Osun State, which he built from the scratch in 1992 as its first executive governor, to make it an egalitarian society where peace, progress and prosperity will reign supreme.
No wonder, a majority of Osun down-trodden were full of sympathy and concern for him over what he went through in the hands of his traducers, during the fracas at Ideal Nest Hotel. To these genuine admirers of Adeleke scattered all over Osun and across the political divides, the time has come for him to advance his political career elsewhere where he will be accorded due relevance and untainted honour that he richly deserves as a politician with milk of human kindness flowing in him. To them, Adeleke is still the central issue in Osun politics.
From the elite to the proverbial common people in Osun State, the question is: why should Senator Adeleke be subjected to unwarranted and unprovoked humiliation? To Baba Khalifa, a commercial driver in Ipetumodu, Adeleke should leave the PDP and go and enjoy his peace among those who mean well for the poor people in the state. For Iya Rashida, a food vendor in Iwo, her advice was: “let him leave that party for them. Adeleke has touched so many lives positively, particularly here at Iwo, where he gave us our late Oba in 1992 after so many years of foot-dragging by governments before him. Adeleke is Iwo, Iwo is Adeleke”, concluded Iya Rashida. Such were the positive comments about the good nature and the God-fearing Adeleke, such that so many people vowed, that they would sink or swim with him.
And now, some people are coming in droves to seek reconciliation with Adeleke to remain in PDP. With whom would they be seeking reconciliation had anything untoward happened to him on April 3, 2014 at Ideal Nest Hotel? Up till now, Adamu Muazu, PDP National Chairman, has not called former Governor Adeleke up to inquire from him what actually happened on April 3, 2014.
To thy tents oh Isreal! Everybody to himself, God for us all. When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. The stone that the builder rejected has now become the cornerstone of the house. A food for thought indeed.
*Lawal is Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Senator Adeleke