Tears, violence at Adeleke’s funeral

Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke’s exit yesterday was as dramatic as his life.

Amid tears and tension, the remains of the first civilian governor of Osun State were interred at his Ede country home.

Women clasped their hands on their heads, sobbing as his body was lowered into the grave inside his sprawling home around 11.00 am. It was a moving spectacle.

Family members, political supporters and associates were crying, wailing and cursing those they alleged were responsible for the colourful politician’s death.

At the funeral were many dignitaries, including governors of Ekiti, Ogun and Ondo states – Ayodele Fayose, Ibikunle Amosun and Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The body left the mortuary of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital in a long convoy around 10.15 am for Ede.

It had been returned to the hospital on Sunday after the late Adeleke’s younger brother, Deji, ordered that an autopsy should be done.

All was tense as irate youths took over the main entrance into the late Adeleke’s home.

The youths reportedly attacked former special adviser to the governor, Ms Idiat Babalola, who is an indidgene of Ede.

Ms Babalola, who arrived at the venue of the burial at half past 10, was warned to stay away from Adeleke’s home by the youths who accused her of “betraying” the late politician.

Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, the younger brother of the deceased, Deji and security operatives shielded Babalola from her would-be attackers.

The angry Adeleke supporters collapsed canopy on Amosun, Akeredolu, Oyinlola and others in their bid to chase out Ms Babalola.

She was escorted outside the house by Amosun and his security aides as the youths threw sticks and mangoes at her.

Some youths went on the rampage in Ede, attacking traders for opening their shops.

They accused the traders of not giving due honour to the late Adeleke, who was the Asiwaju of Edeland.

From 6.00am, the protesters were said to have started combing every part of the town to apprehend culprits, who opened their stalls to customers.

Stocks of the traders were reportedly destroyed and thrown on the road for vehicles to destroy.

The man who gave the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke an injection has been arrested by the police, The Nation learnt yesterday.

He is being held at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Osun State Police Command, according to family sources who pleaded not to be named.

Police Public Relations Officer Sade Odoro did not return calls to confirm the arrest as she had earlier promised.

At the interment, lslamic clerics from Ede and environs, led by Chief Immam of Ansaru- deen Mosque, Ede, Sheik Adekilekun, admonished all to be upright and know that death could come any time.

He urged people to lead a holy life that would prepare them for meeting the Creator.

Describing the late Adeleke as a lover of the poor, Adekilekun advised politicians, especially the new breed, to emulate his political philosophies.

The cleric advised the people to remember that life is vanity, stressing that there was time for everything – the time to be happy and the time to live and to mourn.

Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola and the House of Assembly declared a three-day mourning period in honour of the late politician.

In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the governor said: “This is to announce that the the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has directed the declaration of a three-day period of mourning throughout the state. This is in honour of the departed first civilian governor of the State of Osun, Alhaji Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke.”

The mourning began yesterday. All flags are to fly half mast.

The Assembly also declared Monday to Wednesday as mourning period.

A statement by the chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, said the Speaker, Najeem Salaam, gave the directive.

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