Niyi Akande, Osogbo.
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ademola Adeleke, has explained why he missed the governorship debate organised by BBC and Channels Tv for selected candidates participating in Osun governorship election.
Senator Adeleke explained that he did not delibrately absented self from the two programmes, but was “held up by the electorate in the places where he had gone to campaign.”
Adeleke was one of the five candidates invited for the debate organised by the Channels Tv which featured the All Progressive Congress (APC), candidate, Gboyega Oyetola; ADP candidate, Moshood Adeoti, ADC candidate, Fatai Akinbade and SDP candidate, Iyiola Omisore.
Speaking at a town hall meeting organized by a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Oduduwa Youth Development Initiative and held in Osogbo, Adeleke said his absence at the debate was never deliberate, as he could have used the medium to further explain to the teeming populace his programmes, if elected governor of the state.
Adeleke said he was already on his way, returning to Osogbo after campaigning in many communities in Ife axis of the state, when a community where they had gone to campaign blocked the highway.
He said members of the said community, later complained to him that they had never benefitted anything from government in the past and demanded assurance he would treat them in similar manner if elected governor.
“To our surprise, while we tried to skip small towns and villages as we made efforts to meet up, they started trooping on the road and they were excited.
“The last village that we attended at Ife East, they complained of lack power supply in the town for many years. They trooped to the road and blocked our path and this was around 7.30 p.m.
“What we did was to send a message to a correspondent of Channels, and later I sent a message to Seun Okinbaloye (Channels presenter).
“It is not that we didn’t delibrately attend the debate, no!. We need to reach the voters. We need their votes. And when they block the road and they say you can’t go, what do you do?”, Adele said.
Assuring the people of Osun of the dividend of democracy, if elected governor, Adeleke said he would do everything within his reach to ensure Osun and its people were pulled out of the current hardship.
Responding to a question regarding the appellation of “dancing Senator”, he was given by some people, Adeleke said: “I have been tagged ‘Dancing Senator’ but this shouldn’t be use against my personality because everybody dances. Have you seen someone who doesn’t dance ?”
The federal lawmaker declared that he would “surely dance to Government House after the Saturday’s gubernatorial election.”
He continued: “When I was in the university abroad, I used to go for dancing competition, even though I am a Nigeria, I would still win dancing competition. That was where I got the nickname ‘Jackson’, but my real name is Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke.
“There is no crime in dancing, my tranducers are only trying to make a mountain out of molehill. I strongly believe in my supporters’ vote and with those votes, I will dance to the Government House by winning in all the local government areas in Osun.
He opined that anyone that fails to pay his or her labourers’ their due is wicked and ungodly.
“Anybody who fails to pay his or her labourer’s is wicked. With what we have seen with APC government in Osun, I can boldly say that the government is wicked for not paying workers in the State.
“Nonpayment of salary is responsible for the 29th position of this state in the ranking of West African Examination Council. When I get to power, I will overturn it by ensuring that the welfare of every workers in the state is catered for.
“The insensitivity of APC government is responsible for the crises bedevilling LAUTECH. It is evidently clear to the masses that PDP government takes education as a priority.
Earlier in his welcome address, the president of Oduduwa Youth Development Initiative, Mr. Ayo Ologun, said the organization is apolitical and has patriotic youth who want to know what anybody who is eyeing political seat have for the masses.