Governor Adeleke when he won his case in Supreme Court| File photo
‘Mr governor, they call you a dancer. But you are dancing to praise God. And I heard you are working hard for your people’
By Valentine Amanze
The Biblical King David said that so long the Lord blessed him, he would continue to dance for the Almighty God.
He sang, danced, and praised the Almighty God with his subjects and God continued blessing him.
Perhaps, what people did not know about David’s dancing and singing habit was, aside worshiping his God, he was connecting with his subjects, while at the sametime, enjoying their loyalty – that is real grassroots politics.
With his music, it was easy and simple to mobilize and connect with his subjects to appease the Almighty God.
No wonder he was one of the most successful monarchs and political leaders in Israel.
In Osun State, Nigeria, is a similar character. Formerly called the “Dancing Senator”, Governor Ademola Adeleke always mesmerized his supporters with electrifying dancing steps irrespective of his family background.
In a society that looked down on dancers, Adeleke never looked back. In fact, he became famous with what is natural of him – dancing.
The death of his senior brother, Isiaka Adeleke, a senator for Osun-West, brought him to the mainstream of Nigerian politics after achieving fame in his university days in the U.S., entertaining in clubs with his unique dance steps.
During his electioneering, supporters trooped out to listen to his manifesto and also watch him dance.
After wooing his people with his unique campaign strategy, the Osun people paid back by electing him as their governor.
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday July 16, 2022, declared Ademola Adeleke as the governor-elect of Osun State after scoring a majority of votes cast in the governorship election in the state.
Adeleke polled 403,371 votes to defeat his closest rival, the incumbent governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, who polled 375,027 votes.
His victory was anticipated. He won the heart of the grassroots by coming to their level with dancing. The governor, since winning the election, had been seen in churches and mosques doing what he knows best – singing and dancing for the Almighty God.
As he danced, he continues to deliver democratic dividends to the Osun people via his massive people-oriented projects.
The teachers and other public and civil servants in the state are praising him for raising the bar of governance.
Adeleke said recently his habit of praise and worship was to celebrate the owner of heaven and earth, adding, “I am never ashamed to hold unto God through song and dance.
“Several men and women of God predicted my governorship. I am here to praise God for the prophecy that has come to pass. My communion with God is to come back to thank and praise him.
“I do this in several places of worship. My covenant with God is also to truly deliver dividends of democracy to my people. In 100 days in office, I did what many couldn’t achieve in four years.
“We reformed the public service, attended to workers’ welfare, constructed and reconstructed over 40 kilometers of roads, implemented free medical surgeries with more than 40,000 beneficiaries.
“We are working on super overhead bridges to ease connectivity. We are reforming the education sector. We are building up our agriculture sector. I am working to make Osun State a reference point.
“I seek your prayers. I solicit your prayers. We are committed to God and the people.”
Adeleke’s good work has not gone un-noticed.
In fact, former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently praised him for proving his critics wrong by being a dancing but hardworking governor in his governance of the state.
In his address at the 16th harvest anniversary and thanksgiving service held at the Love of Christ Generation Church C&S in Victoria Island, Lagos State, Obasanjo cited the governor as an example of a leader, who is not ashamed to praise God despite occupying high office of state, stressing that dancing and working for God and the people are things to be proud of.
His words: “Mr governor, they call you a dancer. But you are dancing to praise God. And I heard you are working hard for your people.
“God whom you are praising will shower his blessings on your state and government. I associate with you.
“Again, I learnt you are a listening leader. They said you take advice from the young and old. I am happy to hear that.
“I call on His Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, and other royal fathers to support the governor to deliver more. Mr Governor, continue to work closely with the traditional rulers, elders and stakeholders of your state.
“I charge Kabiyesi Ooni to always host close door meetings with the Governor. God whom the governor is praising will continue to support him. He will not fail.”
Besides Adeleke, there was the first civilian governor of Imo State, Mr. Sam Mbakwe, who had a unique style of connecting with his people and also attract the attention of the federal government to come to his aid irrespective of political difference.
Mbakwe would openly weep when seeking President Shehu Shagari’s financial assistance to develop Imo State.
I thank God; Adeleke, like King David, knows how to attract God’s favour to work for his people.
Let him not relent; second term is acheiveble if he continues doing good and dancing for God. For governors in other states, please connect with your subjects and creat good identity for yourselves.
Adeleke was born on May 13, 1960, in Ede, Osun State. He hails from a popular and influential family from Ede in Ede Local Government Area.
His mother is an Igbo-Christian named Nnenna Esther Adeleke, while his father is a Muslim named Raji Ayoola Adeleke.