Dancing senator Ademola Adeleke has joined the Osun governorship race and his chances are as good as anyone's.
“In accordance with the directive of the leadership of our great party, I wish to respectfully express my intent to vie for the ticket of the party as its candidate in the Osun state governorship election holding on the 22nd September, 2018,” Adeleke wrote his party, the PDP.
It’s an interesting development. Adeleke is barely a year old in the senate. After his brother (Isiaka, who was a senator) died in April of 2017, Adeleke vied for his vacant seat.
The APC refused to hand Adeleke the party’s ticket for the senatorial seat so he did what every politician in Nigeria would do—he defected to the PDP and was handed the ticket on a platter.
On the morning of July 9, 2017, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that Adeleke had defeated Mudashiru Hussain of the APC to emerge senator of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Since his election, Adeleke has entertained us with his dance moves which are great by the way. I can’t recall Adeleke speaking up on a piece of legislation or expertly marshalling a point on the floor of the senate.
Now he wants to become governor of his State.
A friend in Osun State tells me that Adeleke has a good chance of emerging winner of the September governorship election.
According to this friend, “Osun has three senatorial districts like every other State and two of those three have produced governors except for the West. The West is where Demola comes from.
“The APC is at the moment tinkering with the idea of “shortchanging” the West by picking its candidate from another zone. The PDP has seen this and has played its hand.
“But why Adeleke? you might ask. Osun PDP is starved of funds and only Omisore has the funds to prosecute an election. Enter Adeleke.”
In my friend’s permutation, if whoever emerges APC flag bearer doesn't possess Adeleke's instant name recognition and clout, then it’s the dancing senator who would be crowned Osun governor in September. Adeleke also has deep pockets and that’s always a positive in an election contest in Nigeria.
Again, there's the emotive factor. The people of Iwo, Ede North, Ede South and Irewole now have an emotional connection with the Adelekes after Isiaka's death. Adeleke could have plenty of sympathy votes in his corner.
Aregbesola has been a different kind of political opponent as APC flag bearer in two election cycles. His erratic style of politicking and governance has made him difficult to predict and beat by Omisore and the PDP. As he exits the stage, the PDP should be forgiven for fancying their chances and that’s why Adeleke is already dreaming of becoming Osun’s next governor.
And at this rate, all bets are off.