By abiodun KOMOLAFE
Though it is difficult to believe that Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke has gone to be with his Maker, the truth, if we must admit, is that the former governor of Osun State and two-term Nigerian senator is gone forever and will be sorely missed! In a similar development, while the family’s rejection of the autopsy report conducted on his remains is troublingly disturbing, its refusal to partake of the coroner inquest on this sudden incident has taken Adeleke’s family’s cry for justice to a ridiculous height.
While Adeleke’s death has brought many inadequacies to the fore, it is quite sad that those who were around the late politician as at the time death was nearing him by the eyelids are still roaming the streets, behaving as if they are beneficiaries of the immunity clause as spelt out in Nigeria’s Constitution. In saner climes, most, if not all, of them would by now have been assisting the police in its investigations. Inability to make them give their own side of the story speaks volume of the nature and texture of Nigeria’s investigative capacity and justice system.
Particularly perplexing is the lingering-yet-infantile notion that Osun government ought to have shut down because one of its prominent sons lost his battle with death. And I doubt if Adeleke would ever have endorsed such a reactionary venture! On the converse, that a politician of Adeleke’s socio-economic stature and political status in the society could descend so low as to have surrendered the destiny of his health to one quack, illiterate nurse who could not even speak the universally acceptable language is a demonstration of our leaders’ insensitivity and carefree attitude to issues that have bearings on our lives as a people and a country. As a matter of fact, I doubt if Alfred Aderibigbe’s rise in the State Civil Service, despite his mental incapacity, was not a product of Adeleke’s ‘job-well-done’ compensation from Adeleke. Little wonder Nigeria is in such a sorry pass!
On a conventional note, how should a man die and how should the cause of his death be determined medically? Who is legally empowered by law to initiate a coroner inquest and who claims custody of its outcome? In case a party objects to its outcome, what next for either party and how can a coroner sound believable? If Aregbesola’s offense is having the temerity to celebrate his 60th birthday few days after Adeleke took his exit, what of Ademola, the late politician’s younger brother, who, about the same time, also marked his 57th birthday with uncontrolled fanfare and frippery? If the government is being accused of organizing a public enlightenment programme when the state ought to have been mourning the passing of a statesman, what of Adeleke’s family which has been doing everything to make sure that the slot returns to the family as if political office-holding is its exclusive right and as if there are no other competent hands elsewhere in Osun West Senatorial District?
In my personal opinion, that the family wanted to claim sole ownership of the autopsy report, instead of requesting that it be made in duplicates and given to all the parties involved was a strange development. In my view, it’s as if the family had something to hide! The amusing part of it all is that the Adelekes of our political space will accuse Aregbesola of ‘having a hand in Adeleke’s death’ in the morning only to send representatives to the government and the ruling party in the evening for the purpose of seeking wings to their quest! Even at that, must the family explore the method of blackmail as a tool for winning the battle?
Confucius once averred that “sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.” Can the deceased’s family in all honesty tell Nigerians that the late politician was without any history of health issues which could have led to complications resulting in his sudden death? On a serious note, has the family ever contemplated looking inward for the killer – real or perceived – of the respected politician, instead of futilely looking for enemies where there is none? For God’s sake, why did some Nigerians find it so exciting to be beguiled by the other side of the late Adeleke’s story when it is an indisputable fact that allegations of crime are cases prosecutable by the state? On the other hand, why has bad news continued to travel fast and why are enemies of the state feasting so hugely on it? With the autopsy and inquest confirming our fears already in public domain, where do we go from here? Again, if carnality cannot be a purveyor or conveyor of good things, how on earth do we get Nigeria’s cult of hypocrites and the universe of doubters and haters to retune their knowledge of the understanding of the Giver and Taker of life?
Perhaps, the most significant aspect of my argument is that Isiaka was born into a well-to-do family. And, as fate would have it, he was able to define his goals very early in life. He was also fortunate to have lived long enough to fulfill his destiny. At age 37 or thereabouts, he had become the first governor of the newly-created Osun State; and at the point of death, he was not only sitting on top of many bluechip companies, either as their chairman or Chief Executive Officer (CEO), he had also become a two-term senator of the Federal Republic. From the foregoing, the family can be said to have all it takes in this world to sponsor investigations on any ‘if’, ‘what’, ‘how’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ of its scion’s sudden demise. So, where do all these attempts at blackmailing the government or bringing the governor’s achievements into disrepute leave Adeleke as a family and Osun as a state?
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant the faithful departed eternal rest!
*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State (firstname.lastname@example.org)
O20, Okenisa Street,
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State.