Supporters of late Senator Isiaka Adeleke who died on Sunday morning at a private hospital, Biket Medical Center in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, yesterday staged a protest in his hometown, Ede as they lamented his sudden death.
The supporters of Senator Adeleke who were protesting over his sudden death attacked and harassed motorists and commuters including the journalists who were moving to the residence of the late Senator. Some of the youths claimed that Adeleke was attacked spiritually while others said he was poisoned and killed to pave way for another APC aspirant to win the next year governorship election.
The late legislator representing Osun West Senatorial district who was the first civilian governor in Osun State died at the age of 62 when he had health complications in his residence in Ede from where he was taken to the hospital.
The Senator was a governorship aspirant on the platform of All Progressive Congress in the next year governorship election in the state. His death came as a rude shock to the entire people of the state, especially those who saw him at political meetings and social functions in some parts of the state, on Friday and Saturday respectively.
There was heavy security of combined policemen and operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) because of the manner in which crowd of his supporters were trooping to the hospital in Osogbo. His corpse was taken away from the hospital through the back gate so as to evade the crowd.
When his corpse arrived at his residence in Ede, his supporters were seen sobbing and wailing over his death. Some of those who entered into the living room said the corpse was being bathed and some Muslim clerics were sighted preparing for Adeleke’s final burial rites.
However, some family members later insisted that there must be autopsy to determine the real cause of his death before he would be buried. Therefore, the corpse was taken to Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, in Osogbo for the post-mortem.
Adeleke was a two-time senator. He was first elected on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and he represented Osun West between 2007 and 2011. He was elected again under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015.
The late Adeleke was born on 15th of January, 1955 to the family of Senator Ayoola Adeleke and Esther Adeleke. He was born in Enugu and he spent his early years in the city until the beginning of the Nigerian Civil War. He started his primary education at Christ Church School, Enugu before moving to Ibadan. He completed his secondary education at Ogbomoso Grammar School in Oyo State.
Adeleke held a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a master’s Degree in Public Administration. He was Chairman, Governing Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Calabar.
Adeleke was elected as governor on the platform of Social Democratic Party after the creation of Osun State which was carved out from the old Oyo State. He was elected the first civilian governor of the state in 1992.
Reacting to the death of the late Senator, the State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola in a statement signed by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon described the sudden death of Adeleke as a nightmare.
The governor said he was in shock over Adeleke’s sudden death and that the death of Senator Adeleke is hard to accept.
Okanlawon said “The sad news of the death of the first civilian governor of our state, Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, has struck us like a thunderbolt. Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who is far away in China on state assignment is still speechless and in mourning.
“While the government awaits the reports of the autopsy which is being conducted, we can only calm our people to take this huge and incalculable loss with equanimity.
“We find this loss inexplicable but we are restrained by the fact that we cannot query the verdicts of our Creator, the Almighty. We commiserate with the good people of Osun over this sad loss. We are still in shock,” the statement added.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, also commiserated with the entire Yoruba race over the sudden death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke.
The Director of Media and Public Affairs at the Ooni’s Palace, Comrade Moses Olafare in a press statement said “It was a rude shock to us at the Ooni’s palace receiving the unpleasant news of the death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke.”
“May his soul rest in peace and may the Almighty God give his immediate family the fortitude to bear the loss as we will all miss and always remember him.”
Also, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adul-Rasheed Akanbi also mourned the late senator Adeleke, describing his sudden death as painful.
“The death of Senator Isiaka Adeleke is very painful. It hurt me very seriously. This loss is unfortunate and we are in serious mourning. I commiserate with the entire Oduduwa sons and daughters across the world over the unfortunate calamity.”
“Senator Adeleke was a politician with towering dossier and he has served our dear state very well as civilian Governor and as a Senator representing my senatorial zone where he has provided adequate representation for the people of Osun West senatorial district and the state.”
Also, the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress also said “Our party is in great sadness and shock because this is a monstrous blow to the APC which will be virtually impossible to overcome in the short run”.
According to a statement by the Directorate of Publicity, Research and Strategy for the party, Mr Kunle Oyatomi in Osogbo, the APC said, “we are momentarily shaken and short of words to respond to this tragic event appropriately, except to advise supporters, friends and family to summon courage, (however hard it may be), to pray for and mourn this fallen hero of Nigerian politics in general and Osun State in particular.”
“To imagine that the first civilian governor of the state and two term Senator of the National Assembly who was still vibrantly active until Saturday night has suddenly died is the mother of all shocks that anyone can get, and it hurts beyond measure”, the APC lamented.
“The APC therefore called on all citizens of the state irrespective of their political affiliation to show solidarity and empathise with the deceased family and Ede town where Senator Adeleke was an icon of monumental proportion.”
Similarly, the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam described Adeleke’s death as a monumental loss to the nation and Osun state.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Goke Butika, the Speaker said with the death of Adeleke, an era has come to an end.
Salaam asserted that Senator Adeleke was a leader of men, a Philanthropist and an astute political juggernaut while he lived and served his people both as a governor and as a Senator.
Source: The Nigerian Voice (local news)