Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga
27th January, 2023
By Nehru Odeh
Ademola Adeleke, the sacked Governor of Osun State is a handful. He acquired the epithet, ‘The Dancing Governor,’ because he is quick to use his feet and take to the dance floor at every slight opportunity.
And he does it with so much feverishness, passion, gusto and energy, moving every part of his stout body, so much so that nothing else matters whenever he is possessed by that spirit of dance.
Spirit of dance? Sure. And many believe his conviviality and frivolities belie the huge office and responsibility to which he aspires. Many also believe his addiction to dance, a pastime which intoxicates him more often than not does not make him a good fit for a huge responsibility such as that of the governor of a state.
Yet, he wanted to be the governor of a state. He wanted to shoulder a huge responsibility without showing a sense of responsibility that goes with it. He wanted to be called a Governor without a sense of decorum that that office demands.
Little wonder, when he won the Osun State governorship election in 2022, he naturally acquired the fit but scandalous epithet, “The Dancing Governor.” That alias indeed has many connotations. He prided himself on being called the Dancing Governor without the good sense to know that, that was satirical.
He was called The dancing governor because those two words, dancing and governor are strange bed fellows in public service, which demands a sense of seriousness and not the frivolities he has over the years been known for.
He was called the dancing governor because under normal circumstances a dancer cannot dance his way to the Government House. He was called the dancing governor because in more serious climes, it’s an oddity, a mis-normal, for a dancer to become the governor of a state.
Yet Adeleke danced his way to Bola Ige House. The same frivolous yet adroit manner with which he danced his way to Bola Ige House is the same carelessness and nonchalance with which he has danced away the mandate freely given to him by the people of Osun.
How did Adeleke dance away his mandate? you may ask. He danced away his mandate because he handled it with the same unseriousness that is associated with his pastime, no matter the kind of energy he puts into it when possessed by that spirit of dance.
He danced away his mandate by not tying up the loose ends. He danced away his mandate by not putting a sense of responsibility and seriousness to the keenly contested and competitive office he was aspiring for.
While delivering judgment on Friday, 27 January, the election tribunal led by Justice Terste Kume, said there were some discrepancies in the election results that made him governor of the state.
Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party had in 2022 polled 403,371 against Gboyega Oyetola’s 375,027 votes. But not satisfied with the election results, Oyetola filed a petition at the tribunal challenging the declaration of Adeleke as the winner of the election.
Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of the state asked the tribunal to nullify the election, hinging his case on alleged rigging by over-voting, infractions in some polling units.
Delivering judgement the tribunal held that the governorship election was characterized by over-voting, adding that after deducting the excessive votes, Oyetola’s figures rose to 314, 921, while Adeleke’s came down to 290, 266.
The tribunal therefore, instructed INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi. It directed that the certificate of return be issued to Oyetola instead.
The foregoing clearly shows the discrepancies in the election that propped up Adeleke as Governor. While aspiring to be governor, Adeleke never shed the unseriousness associated with his dancing habits. He handled the mandate given to him by his people with the kind of levity and unseriousness associated with his dancing past time.
Little wonder he failed to tie up the loose ends. He failed to make sure that there was no over-voting, whether by humans or spirits. He failed to realize that if his opponent can prove the case of over-voting as Oyetola has just done, he would definitely lose the mandate.
The same levity with which Adeleke handled the election results in Osun State is the same tardiness he had handled his West African School Certificate Examination results. The discrepancies in the election results are similar to the ones in his testimonial and West African School Certificate results.
Though Adeleke has showcased his dancing skills on several occasions in the past, that for which he has won acclaim and popularity, howbeit satirical, has turned out to be his Achilles Heels. Because underneath the seriousness he puts into dance is the unseriousness and nonchalance associated with it. And he has paid for it by losing the mandate given to him by the Osun people.