We give adulation to God, that some of us are still living to witness the 30th Anniversary of the creation of Osun State Osun, our dear state of living spring. I bring her citizen salutation on behalf of Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, the first Executive Governor of the state and pray for everlasting peace and progress to reign supreme in the state.
There is no gainsaying the fact that there could be as many governors past, present and in the future. But the singular honour, through divine providence, belongs to Senator Isiaka Adeleke, to have been the FIRST ELECTED EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR of Osun State. This is an incontrovertible and unassailable fact, that has gone into the consciousness of many people the world over. Isiaka Adeleke started off with a budget christened ‘FOUNDATION BUDGET” of N964,102,850.00, through which he impacted positively on the lives of the citizens. He opened up the rural areas through massive road construction, spanning Ikire-Apomu-Orile-Owu, Ara-Ejigbo Road; the Isiaka Adeleke freeway and the new Oba Adesoji Aderemi Road through World Bank Loan he obtained at that time, though some people are now standing the facts on the head.
Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, as the first democratically elected governor of Osun State, gave teeth to the state to be on solid footing with many infrastructural facilities as well as a vibrant and dynamic civil service, that today ranks very high in the country. Senator Isiaka Adeleke gave Osun solid educational advancement with the establishment of The Osun State Polytechnic Iree; Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke, which were hitherto Satellite Campuses of Ibadan Polytechnic, he upgraded Colleges of Education, Ila Orangun and Ilesa. These were among other far-reaching measures he put in place to advance the socio-economic development of Osun State, which were universally applauded, making him a citizen of the world with universal honour and acclaim. At the creation of Osun State and his emergence as the first civilian governor, Senator Isiaka Adeleke effortlessly absorbed teachers and non-teaching staff who were forced to return home by the government of old Oyo State, which brought additional financial burden. But he coped well and brought joy to many homes. Isiaka Adeleke discovered early in the life of his administration that Osun State is highly urbanized and the conglomeration of the satellite towns was used to an advantage
Senator Isiaka Adeleke made Osun State proud as a man of renown integrity and dignity, who was set to make Osun State an Eldorado, had he finished his term as the governor of the state. Isiaka Adeleke gave Osun State his best. He was well loved and appreciated beyond the shores of Nigeria during his lifetime and even in death. It is therefore a fact, that he remained a reference point and central issue in Osun politics as it marks the 30th Anniversary of its creation to the glory of God.
To his numerous admirers, he was a man with sterling honour. When Osun State turned 25, a few years ago, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, personally wrote a befitting tribute to the state, which he titled: OSUN AT 25; THE BEAT CONTINUES. I refer readers to Saturday Tribune Edition of September 4, 2016 to enable them know how much the first executive governor of Osun, Asiwaju Isiaka Adeleke loved his state and that beat should continue, even after his death.
At the creation of Osun State and Senator Isiaka Adeleke as its first executive governor, civil servants deployed to Osun from old Oyo State, were afforded one month free salary to help them settle down, while Agricultural loans owed by some of the civil servants deployed from old Oyo State were promptly offset by his government to give them ease of settling down in their new environment. All from the meager N45 million monthly allocation from the Federal purse. Isiaka Adeleke recorded remarkable progress for Osun State and put it on the world map. The government he led, went ahead and built a state capital that was functional and beautiful. A Capital Territory Development Authority was established for the planning and development of the 40,000 hectares of land designated as the Osun State Capital Territory. The state radio and television station in the state, now known as ILE AWIYE was a product of his administration.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke, was the only governor of the 3rd Republic that gave Babangida sleepless nights to ensure the de-annulment of the June 12 election, presumably won by late M. K. O. Abiola. Babangida fondly referred to him as the “lone mosquito in his nose”. Isiaka Adeleke fought relentlessly to ensure that democracy reigned supreme in Nigeria. An exemplary manager of human and material resources at all his political and business callings. Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, a man with many firsts. The first executive governor of Osun State; the first Asiwaju of Edeland; the first Chancellor of ADELEKE UNIVERSITY EDE; the first Otunba of Ejigboland; Commander Order of the Niger (CON). The Adeleke Dynasty is truly divinely favoured and blessed. Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, indeed a LIFETIME ACHIEVER in his own right.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke, a man of impeccable character and honour, certainly belongs to the world at large, where millions of people with discerning minds celebrate him on a daily basis. He loved Osun State passionately and committedly till he breathed his last. The first, will remain the first forever as far as executive governorship of Osun is concerned. Senator Isiaka Adeleke wished Osun State Happy celebration at 30 and prayed for its peace and prosperity. Isiaka Adeleke, indeed a LIFETIME ACHIEVER ON HIS OWN RIGHT.
***Olumide Lawal was Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Late Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke