A former senator and first executive governor of Osun State, Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, has formally joined the governorship race in Osun State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a move seen by many as a potential game changer in the politics of Osun State and one which is already generating interest in several quarters, Alhaji Adeleke, who met with community leaders in his hometown in Ede, on Sunday, declared that he decided to join the race to serve as governor of the state after deep reflections on the present situation of the state and the need to restore the glorious vision of the states founding fathers.
The 59-year-old former chairman of the Nigerian Export Promotions Council, described Osun as a state with vast human and material potentials, which can be more rapidly developed with focused and compassionate leadership, which he was prepared to offer. He promised to bring government into harmonious working relationship with community leaders, workers, religious leaders, youths and students organisations, trade unions and other stakeholders.
Reacting to this development, the chairman, Ede Descendants’ Union, home branch, Alhaji Wahab Ayofe and a former president of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Chief Dosu Fatokun, said the entry of Senator Adeleke into the Osun governorship race was long overdue and would enhance the chances of the PDP in the August elections.
It was gathered that a number of PDP members, who had decamped to the Labour Party and APC were already considering returning to the party with a view to teaming up with Senator Adeleke in the run down to the governorship election.
A former local government chairman of the PDP, who recently crossed over to the Labour Party in Osun Central Senatorial District, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Nigerian Tribune described the entry of Adeleke into the governorship race as an indication that the PDP was, indeed, prepared to wrestle power from the APC in Osun State.
According to him, “Senator Adeleke is the only man who can appeal to those who had left the party to return because he had always been a bridge-builder and grass roots politician. He is one of the few remaining level-headed leaders in the PDP, who does not behave as if others do not matter.”
These views were corroborated by a leader of the defunct Social Democratic Party in Iwo land, Prince Adetunji Akinade, who noted the role played by the former Osun State governor in the Hope 93 campaign organisation of the late Chief MKO Abiola and described him as an experienced mobiliser. He, however, admonished the leadership of the PDP to adopt a consensus method in picking its candidate, in order to reduce rancour ahead the governorship elections.