By OLUMIDE LAWAL
Right now, many politicians in Osun State, just like in other parts of the country, are out presenting themselves for various elective offices and contesting for party primaries. There are alignments, re-positioning and re-engineering going on in different PDP caucuses in Osun State to sell their candidates
As should be expected, there are a few aspirants in Osun PDP, who are distinguishably placed to try their hands on the ‘political plough’ and give PDP the desired victory at the August 9, 2014 governorship election. Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who a few days ago, announced his readiness to partake in his party governorship primaries comes to mind.
His emergence at the PDP governorship primaries of PDP, slated for April 5, 2014, has changed the permutations on the ground. It has altered the political calculus in PDP. And as should be expected, some lily-livered and chicken-hearted contenders for the PDP ticket, are out, with one cheap blackmail or the other, against Senator Isiaka Adeleke, as if he is not eminently qualified to seek the highest political office in the land. His outing is God’s own project. A divine call to serve
Isiaka Adeleke is a colourful politician, with touch of magic wands. He is not new to innuendoes or name-calling from opponents. He saw it in 2003 and took the outcome with philosophical calmness. He never loses sleep over any overt or covert measures by his detractors to unjustly castigate him. To him, it is selfless service to the people.
No wonder, politicians and non-politicians alike, were joyous that Adeleke is now in the race to make it positively eventful and result-oriented. The response to his bid to present himself for the governorship race in Osun has been electrifying and a repeat of his outing in 1991, when he participated and won the Osun governorship race. Adeleke is not new to controversy, which he sees as part of politicking. Without sounding immodest Isiaka Adeleke is the toast of Osun electorate. He towers above those, who are politically non-existent in 1991 when Adeleke became the governor at the age of 35. The difference is clear Isiaka Adeleke is a quintessential politician, who is set to do PDP proud.
But some undignified people within the Osun PDP are crying ‘blue murder’, that Isiaka Adeleke is peddling the name of President Jonathan to back up his ambition. Why not, if not? When has it become a crime to associate one’s person or goal with credible people, like President Jonathan, who in anyway, is the political leader and father of all in PDP, no matter whom you are.
If therefore, Adeleke is rightly asserting that President Jonathan is favourably disposed to his ambition, why couldn’t other aspirants use Obama’s name to back up their ambition. President Jonathan’s good name opens door to prosperity. Associating with him is therefore not out of place.
The hand of Esau and voices of Jacob behind the run-Adeleke-down-syndrome came up with syndicated publication in some newspapers a few days ago to call for the head of Isiaka Adeleke for daring to mention President Jonathan’s name as regards his next move to become PDP flagbearer.
Adeleke has no apology to offer this group of people. In war, be it the conventional war or politics, all is fair to win. The tone of the syndicated publication under reference gave it out as sponsored. No qualms.
Isiaka Adeleke in 1990 through 1991 traversed the length and breadth of old Oyo State, canvassing for support to become the governor. He gained wide acceptance from that endeavour. And today, from as far as Oke-Ogun, the political friendship cultivated by Isiaka Adeleke remains as solid as rock of Gilbrater. No wonder, they are coming from Shaki, Oke-Iho, Iganna, Iseyin, Ago Amodu, Ago Are to solidarise with Isiaka Adeleke, since he announced his bid to contest the PDP governorship primaries on April 5, 2014.
Across Osun State, the song on the lips of the people is one of “the messiah has come” to give PDP creditability in presenting a formidable, acceptable and people-friendly candidate for April 5th election. If in 1991 election in Osun State, Adeleke could coast home to victory, through the grace of God and the vast support of the electorate, nothing stops him now, that he has gained wider political experience to fly the flag of PDP.
Osun PDP Exco under the leadership of Alhaji Ganiy Ola-Oluwa should not compromise itself or be biased against other aspirants, particularly Isiaka Adeleke. He should provide level–playing ground for all aspirants to test the water. There should not be any favouritism. Even if Ola-Oluwa has sympathy for a particular aspirant, he should play it down. The more, the merrier. Why did Ganiy Ola-Oluwa Exco allowed a particular aspirant to become the alterego of PDP in Osun, and in the process, dictating who gets what as far as political patronages are concerned and at the expense of party elders? Any aspirant is free to parade the name Vice President Sambo if that will ease his case.
All the cheap excuses being peddled by Ganiy Ola-Oluwa Exco against Isiaka Adeleke, such as financial membership’s status, should be thrown to the depth of the ocean, as it holds no water. This scheming has failed, as far as Adeleke is concerned.
During the 2011 presidential election, Senator Adeleke, was the only politician of PDP extraction who delivered his two local governments – Ede North and Ede South- to President Jonathan. INEC archive will readily confirm this claim. What therefore is the false assertion that Senator Adeleke is working against the victory of President Jonathan in 2015, through alleged interaction with APC chieftains. Cheap blackmail! This jiltery measure by Adeleke’s opponents is unfortunate. They should discuss issues and not character assassination. Is anybody going to stop latter day entrant like Alhaji Lateef Akande Bakare from obtaining the PDP governorship forms? Ganiy Ola-Oluwa should know, that the bigger the head, the bigger the headache – courtesy MKO Abiola of blessed memory.
Isiaka Adeleke, as an elder statesman, respects all shades of opinion as far as societal good of the people are concerned. His humanitarian and philanthropic gestures to all and sundry is legendary and cut across political divides. Adeleke is PDP personified in body and soul. He sleeps, dreams and thinks PDP 24/7.
Adeleke is out and for the good of the PDP and indeed the people of Osun State. He is now the rallying point for the party in Osun. For one thing, he is not prepared to join issues with political lilliputians over trivialities. His focus is on getting the PDP ticket and emerging as the next governor of Osun State. April 5 will settle the matter, when it will be a goal scored in a grand style by Isiaka Adeleke against forces trying to turn back the clock of destiny.
LAWAL is Media Adviser to Senator Isiaka Adeleke, Ede, Osun State