By Ismaila Chafe and Lucy Osuizigbo
President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu have commiserated with Osun State Government and the National Assembly on the death of Sen. Isiaka Adeleke on Sunday.
Buhari in a condolence message issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Sunday, described the late lawmaker as “the gentle and kind-hearted former Governor of Osun’’.
He said that Adeleke had passionately and relentlessly championed the cause of the less-privileged and most vulnerable in Nigeria.
According to him, the sudden loss of the legislator will create a gap in the hallowed red chamber as Adeleke had always epitomized unbridled patriotism, maturity and experience, especially with his recent interest in whistleblower’s protection.
The president affirmed that Adeleke’s contribution to his state as first elected governor, and the country, would always be remembered by posterity.
He prayed that the almighty God would grant the soul of the departed eternal rest, and comfort the family.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former Lagos governor and national leader of the APC, has also sent out a condolence message to the Adeleke family, in which he recounted recent engagements in Lagos, attended by the departed Senator.
Bola Tinubu described Adeleke, as a grassroots politician with rich political background, whose leadership and good counsel were still very much required when death came.
Tinubu wrote: ”I received the news of Senator Isiaka Adeleke’s death with shock.
” It was too much to bear coming barely a day after that of Dipo Famakinwa. The news of his death was both sudden and saddening for me and I am sure for most members of our political family.
”Sen. Adeleke was a grassroots politician with a rich political back ground. He was hugely popular in his Osun , particularly in the three local governments in Ede, his hometown.
”He was a major leader of our party, the APC. His leadership and good counsel were still very much required when death came.
”The late senator and I shared mutual respect and affection. My path and his first crossed during the aborted Third Republic, in the 1992/93 era, when we both belonged to the defunct Social Democratic Party.
He was in the Peoples Democratic Party at the rebirth of democratic dispensation in 1999, but he later joined us in the APC in the build-up to the 2015 election, ” he said.
According to Tinubu, he left behind a legacy in the area of education by establishing Ire Polytechnic and College of Education, Esa-Oke, among other laudable things during his time.
”Adeleke was with us in Lagos during the colloquium marking my 65th birthday. He also joined us for the inauguration of Aboru-Abesan Link Bridge and adjoining roads constructed by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.
”I commiserate with his wife and children. I commiserate with the entire Adeleke family and his friends and numerous supporters.
”My heart also goes out to his brother, Dr Deji Adeleke. I mourn with Gov. Rauf Aregbesola and the people of Osun over this unfortunate occurrence.
”I pray that they all have the strength to withstand this loss. I also pray for the repose of Adeleke’s soul, ” Tinubu said
Sen. Adeleke died at 62 at Bikets Hospital in Osogbo, after suffering a heart attack, according to family sources.
The two-term senator was a former governor of the Osun in the short-lived democratic dispensation under the Babangida administration.
He was born in Enugu on Jan. 15, 1955 to the family of Sen. Ayoola Adeleke and Esther Adeleke.
He started his primary education at Christ Church School, Enugu, before moving to Ibadan. He had his secondary education at Ogbomoso Grammar School and later went to the United States for his university education.
He was Chairman, Governing Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Calabar