Adedeji Adeleke: The Ideal Godfather

Olawale Olaleye

Godfatherism is not so much an obnoxious political idea. So also the debates around it are as old as everyone’s individual memory can recollect. It is, nonetheless, one idea – parasitic and exploitative – that’s never sat well with a majority of the people. Reasons, of course, are not far-fetched.

Do a checklist – from Lagos to Anambra, Rivers and Kano – the one impression godfatherism has succeeded in etching in the minds of the people is very unpleasant. Therefore, at the mention of godfatherism, the reaction is often akin to a mob action, even if the concerned arrogantly ignore.

But, just maybe Osun State, after last weekend’s victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke, as the governor-elect, might have birthed a different kind of godfather – a benevolent, decent, noble, humble and ideal one – in all boxes of considerations.

No pun intended, it is hard for many people to tell, who between Mr. Adedeji Adeleke and his super star son, David, has the most name-recognition globally. Although it is the prayer of every parent that their wards turn out greater and better. Maybe that’s what has become their lot today.

However, Mr. Adedeji the father, might have become the unintended godfather of the state, having done everything legally within reach to make his younger brother, ‘Demola, governor of their precious state – a state they had done a lot for in many decades to see to its growth and development.

Meek but obviously steely in convictions, Mr. Adeleke, who has become the unsolicited godfather, even though his lifestyle has shown he never wanted to be put in the public space, may teach, albeit inadvertently, some instructive lessons in godfatherism.

He is evidently not one to steal from the people and the government. Instead, he would give from what he has to help the cause of the state. And like someone once boasted, Osun does not also have his kind of money. This Adedeji Adeleke that everyone knows is not one to impose his preferences on anyone, appropriate state assets through family and cronies or make governance their family heritage.

Instead, the family name appears to mean a lot to him and his siblings and rather than watch Mr. Jackson mess it up, they would all rally round him and fix the challenge. Therefore, to those already saying he had become the “unofficial governor” and insinuating it would be business as usual with godfatherism, should please, cut this man some slack. It is too early in the day. Truth is, he might have become an accidental godfather, certainly an ideal one to treasure.

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