Dele Adeleke, an aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has explained why he is challenging his uncle, Ademola Adeleke, for the party’s ticket ahead of the Osun 2022 governorship election.
In an interview with Channels Television, Mr Adeleke said he is more competent than his uncle, who was the governorship candidate for PDP in 2018. He also said that being Senator Adeleke’s nephew should not hamper his aspiration to serve the people of the state.
He stated that running for a political office is more about competence than political alliances and, claiming to be the best candidate PDP can produce to challenge the incumbent Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Asked how long he had wanted to pick Osun governorship race, he said he began to nurse the political ambition when he started playing the “engine room role” in the political space of Osun and beyond.
It was gathered that in 2018, Mr Adeleke was the PDP’s Returning Officer during the gubernatorial election in the state. He had defended his uncle during the polls, challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in courts after the elections.
‘Call to Service’
He, however, said his aspiration is as a result of the “massive call to service from youth in Osun and different sectors across the state”. He also said some stakeholders have charged him not to shy away from “this social responsibility”.
He added that he would not be able to live with the reality of having the opportunity to make a difference and shying away from it.
Interestingly, Senator Adeleke’s nephew said he will not step down for him in the political race even though he is pressured to do so. He said his nephew should rather step down for him, considering his old age.
‘Osun in a Precarious State’
Moreover, Mr Adeleke, a financial expert, said his decades of experience in the banking industry would save Osun from its current precarious economic state. He said he believes he is more fit to bring better economic fortunes to the state than any other candidate both in PDP and APC.
“Osun is in a precarious state. Osun is the 10th most indebted state in Nigeria,” he said. “In 2020, Osun paid the sum of 21.6billion as loan repayment. That is the third-largest loan repayment in this country. In fact, our debt per capita is the highest in Nigeria.”
He said even Senator Adeleke knows he is fitter and more prepared for the gubernatorial race.
How it started
In September 2021, Senator Adeleke returned from abroad, publicly declaring his intention to run again for the Osun governorship election.
During a welcome party organised for him in Osogbo, the state capital, he urged Governor Oyetola to start preparing his handover notes, saying his days are numbered on the seat.
He also urged interested parties to be modest with their campaigns in the interest of the state and their party.
How it’s going
When Senator Adeleke declared his ambition to run again in 2022, what he did not know was that his nephew was nursing the same ambition.
On December 11, 2021, his nephew, among others in the state, picked the party’s nomination form, expressing his interest to wear his brother’s political shoe.