President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his colleagues from other states, the All Progressives Party (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday mourned Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke.
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the Senate President and other senators also expressed shock over the death of their colleague in the early hours of yesterday at a private hospital in Osogbo.
Commiserating with the Osun State Government and members of the National Assembly on the death of Adeleke, Buhari noted that the gentle and kind-hearted former Osun governor passionately and relentlessly championed the cause of the less-privileged and most vulnerable in the society.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said the sudden loss of the legislator will create a gap in the Red Chamber.
According to him, Adeleke had always epitomised unbridled patriotism, maturity and experience, especially with his recent interest in the protection of whistle blowers.
The statement reads: “Adeleke’s contribution to his state, as first elected governor, and the country will always be remembered by posterity.”
In Osun State, the Aregbesola-led administration said it “was still in shock over the nightmare” of the senator’s death.
The government described as a nightmare, the news of the death of one of the illustrious sons of the state.
In a statement signed by Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the Director, Bureau of Communication & Strategy, the government said the death of Adeleke was hard to accept.
It reads: “The sad news of the death of the first civilian governor of our state, Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, has struck us like a thunderbolt. Governor Rauf Aregbesola, who is far away in China on state assignment is still speechless and in mourning.
“While the government awaits the reports of the autopsy which is being conducted, we can only calm our people to take this huge and incalculable loss with equanimity.
“Alhaji Adeleke, no doubt, has served our dear state well -first as its civilian governor and currently as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he has provided adequate representation for the people of his senatorial district and the state. He was a politician with a towering dossier.
“We find this loss inexplicable but we are restrained by the fact that we cannot query the verdicts of our Creator, the Almighty. We commiserate with the good people of Osun over this sad loss. We are still in shock.”
The APC national leadership said it received news of the death with shock and grief, expressing deep sympathies to the immediate family, people and government of Osun State.
The late two-time senator who served in the present Eighth Senate as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Capital Market, was a detrabalised Nigerian, the party said in statement by its spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi.
The statement reads: “He was a democrat, an astute grassroots politician and philanthropist who distinguished himself in all positions of service he occupied.
“The history of Osun State would be incomplete without copious reference to late Adeleke’s contributions to the State’s social, political and economic development as its first elected governor.
“The party recall with pride that the establishment of a Polytechnic at Iree, a College of Technology at Esa-Oke and the completion of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) are some of the notable legacies the late Adeleke’s administration bequeathed during his short stint as governor of the then newly-created Osun State.
“He was exemplary as Chairman, Governing Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Calabar, Nigeria as well as in several strategic Senate committees, viz: Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Integration and Cooperation, Housing and Air Force where he served as member.
“As Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the late Adeleke’s efforts at electoral reforms are noteworthy.
“With the death of Senator Adeleke, Nigeria has indeed lost an illustrious son whose wealth of experience was still needed as the present APC-led administration works to restore the country to path of progress.
“The party is however consoled by the fact that the late Adeleke lived an accomplished and impactful life. May the Almighty God give the late Adeleke eternal rest and the family, the strength to bear the great loss.”