“Tell the righteous, it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruits of their deeds.”
On April 23, 2017, the eagle flew home in a blaze of glory and the world stood still. Four years after his transition, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, first civilian governor of Osun State, still enjoys unalloyed loyalty of his supporters. His dreams and aspiration of selfless service to humanity remain undying with the people.
Each passing day keeps him evergreen in the minds of his teeming admirers. They are trying to make his legacies endure. They are yet to come to terms with the reality of his transition.
During his lifetime, he did not surround himself with pessimistic people. In times of crises, he never yielded himself to fear. In such times, he turned to God, standing on His irrevocable promises. The late Asiwaju of Edeland believed in the Almighty power that changes every situation for the best. And he in turn gave the best services to humanity. Adeleke was one of the limited edition of human beings, with solid reputation, impeccable character and without any scandal in his public and private life.
People are still testifying to his good deeds. A top traditional ruler in Osun State, who gave him a chieftaincy title, described Adeleke as an “achiever, lucky to have enjoyed God’s special grace in all his endeavours. He was a likeable and lovable personality, even at first sight.”
He tolerated shortcomings of different human beings that came across him.
His younger brother, Dr. Deji Adeleke, said the Adeleke Dynasty is very proud of the responsible leadership roles Isiaka played while he was alive: “The late Asiwaju of Edeland proved himself to be a worthy head and dependable figure of the Adeleke family. The family shall forever be proud of Senator Isiaka Adeleke’s great exploits in political, social and business circles where he successfully carved an enviable niche for himself.”
Adeleke cherished friendship and comradeship. We will always remember his comforting and soothing words. His legacy of love, care and commitment to the people around him remain engraved in our hearts. The society will remember him as a virtuous man whose greatness impacted positively on their lives.
Right now, the Adeleke Dynasty is doing what it knows how to do best. It is busy distributing thousands of bags of rice across Osun State to members of the public currently observing the holy month of Ramadan. This has been the practice by the Adeleke Dynasty, in keeping with his life of philanthropy.
Adeleke’s clear vision and ideology of others first, self last, should continue to be sustained by all and sundry. Not only in Nigeria is the memory of the first executive governor of Osun State being celebrated. Not long ago, his admirers in an Asian country conferred on him the title of Supreme Commander of Politics Without Bitterness.
Another Nigerian society in the Philippines conferred on him the title of Generalismo of the down-trodden people. He was a man of the people, fondly remembered in far-flung areas of the world, because he rose above petty political squabbles and gave his golden heart to his people
He lived a life of simplicity and kindness, a promoter of life more abundant for all. Adeleke was an enigma that transited at God’s own appointed time though we would have loved to have him many more years with us. We felt the fragrance of his presence.
He gave us cause to believe that life without recourse to the uplifting of mankind is a worthless life. He taught us to give to charity, even if it is only with a flash of a smile to the needy, the oppressed and the voiceless in society to uplift their spirit. These are the qualities the first executive governor of Osun State amply demonstrated throughout his lifetime.
He did some immeasurable good deeds, which are simply indelible. He lived an unblemished life and his good name was untainted. He was a man with the Midas touch; a legend in life and in death. A statesman, shoulders high above his peers. Son of Balogun Raji Ayoola and Mama Esther Adeleke. He was a citizen of the world.
Adeleke shone like a lone star in the sky. A polished politician and unassailable humanitarian of no mean order. He was a family man who was a father, not only to his biological children, but to many others whose lives he touched through scholarship awards and other silent philanthropic gestures.
Leader of leaders, continue to rest in perfect peace in Aljanat firdaus. Sweet is your memory. Evergreen is your memory.
•Lawal, special adviser, media and publicity, to Adeleke, writes from Osogbo, Osun State