If there is any recent evidence that placed the Osun State Governor, His Excellency, Senator Narudeen Ademola Adeleke Jackson, among the few public office holders in the country that their sense of nationhood is stronger than their tribal loyalty, it is the recent news that he (the Osun State governor), appointed Goddey Olije, an indigene of Ika nation of Delta State as his Special Adviser on Local Government Affairs.
Also heartening is the accompanying narrative that he (the Governor) is re-writing Osun State narrative from a state that has suffered protracted infrastructural deficit to a hyper-modern society characterized by democratized infrastructural provision.
Going by reports of why Governor Adeleke’s demonstration qualifies as both exemplary and legendary, Honourable Goddey Olije hails from Alefekide and his mother, a native of Omumu both in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. None of his parents had historical, cultural or biological relationship traceable to the state. Yet, the Governor overlooked all these considerations and appointed him into a cardinal position such as the Special Adviser on Local Government Affairs.
The Accounting graduate turned politician told Ika Weekly Newspaper that he joined politics in Osun State, in the year 2004, where he registered as a full-fledged member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and attributed his swift rise to the pinnacle of his political aspiration to God Almighty in addition to the way he was brought up by his late parents, noting that his late parents thought him how to live an open minded life.
Giving insight, he said; in the year 2007, he contested for Councillorship position in the state (Osun) on the platform of the PDP and won and was consequently sworn in the year 2008. He meritoriously served in that capacity till December 2010, when new administration came into power,
While he expressed gratitude to his Excellency, His Excellency, Senator Narudeen Ademola Adeleke Jackson, for finding him worthy of this latest appointment, the Alefekide-born politician scored the Governor high on infrastructural provision, but outlined some sterling achievements and ongoing examples that have made Adeleke the darling of all well-meaning/good people of Osun State.
In his words, my Principal, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke Jackson has performed and is still performing. Most of the abandoned projects by previous administrations in the state, like roads, are currently being completed by my Principal. For example, there is a road that links Osogbo to other towns in the state that was long abandoned. As I speak today, the road is receiving attention; the roundabout road in Osogbo is wearing a good look now. The administration led by my Principal is giving priority to many projects at the same time.
Also, there will be a flyover bridge that will be constructed soonest in the state. We are waiting for contractors to submit their billing, to submit their quotation and any contractor that wins will be given the job. Also, as I speak today, our primary health care centers are now going on solar electrification. They are being powered by solar. Our governor is doing well. He is a performing governor.
On youth development, job creation and empowerment, he insisted that the governor is working on those aspects.
‘We are reaching out to the youths from time to time. There is this gathering that is coming up on October 7 if I’m not mistaken. I think the gathering is an IMOLE gathering and questions will be asked directly to the governor and the governor will also speak his mind and tell the people what he has in stock for them. All I can say is ‘Governor, keep the good work going’. 2026 is sure, God is your strength. 2026, Osun is with you. My governor is performing. He concluded.
For me, there are ingrained lessons for public office holders in the country to draw from Governor Adeleke’s exemplary demonstration of leadership that is above parochial and other mundane considerations but consists of broad based public service qualities devoid of sentiments, tribal inclinations and ill feelings.
Above all, like Adeleke, we must collectively as a nation recognize, and position Nigeria to be a society of equal citizens where opportunities are equal and personal contribution is recognized and rewarded on merit regardless of language, culture, religion or political affiliations.
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the programme coordinator (Media and Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos