The Accidental Godfather: Is Davido’s Father, Deji Adeleke, Gradually Stepping into the Jagaban’s Shoes?

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The Accidental Godfather: Is Davido’s Father, Deji Adeleke, Gradually Stepping into the Jagaban’s Shoes?

The Accidental Godfather: Is Davido’s Father, Deji Adeleke, Gradually Stepping into the Jagaban’s Shoes?
July 20
19:54 2022

… Why ‘Dancing Senator’ should not be left alone

…How Billionaire Adeleke Rakes in Billions from Ondo, Ogun States

In that unguarded moment of euphoria following the announcement of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the Osun State governorship election in the early hours of Sunday, July 17, superstar singer, Davido, name-checks his billionaire father, Deji Adeleke, as ‘the real Jagaban’.

Amid the uproar, the older Adeleke quickly shut his world-famous son up, perhaps to distance himself from Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu popularly known by his traditional title of Ja a gabar (a leader of warriors) of Borgu. Borgu is a town in Niger State. Over the years, Ja a gabar has mutated in contemporary Nigerian lexicology to Jagaban and has garnered wider reverence and instant recognition.

Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the forthcoming general election, is regarded as one of Nigeria’s most formidable politicians with an array of political protégés in different high-profile political offices.

Davido’s reference to his father as the real Jagaban was not lost on those who saw the video. A patently self-effacing billionaire, Davido’s father was uprooted from his anonymity by the musical successes of his beloved son. Conversely, the Adeleke name is very popular in Osun.

Apart from Davido’s fame and his father’s Adeleke University and other such institutions in Ede where they hail from, the eldest Adeleke, Senator Isiaka (Serubawon) was the first democratically-elected governor of the state in 1992. He went on to become a Senator but died due to a heart attack in 2017.

To placate the Adelekes, the deceased was succeeded by his brother, Demola, who would go on to earn the nickname ‘Dancing Senator’ because of his penchant for breaking into a wanton dance routine even at the ding of a church bell. Had he been alive, the late Isiaka would have had the first right of refusal on the governorship ticket of the APC in 2018. Demola knew this and angled for the ticket but was denied due to the alleged overriding power of Tinubu who preferred his cousin, Gboyega Oyetola, to succeed his protégé, Rauf Aregbesola. This led to Demola’s defection to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, where he narrowly lost to the APC’s Oyetola. That was in 2018. Oyetola lost his bid for a second term to his old foe.

With the election of Demola as Osun’s governor-elect, the state has now come full circle. Osun State is back in the hands of the Adelekes, maybe not the Adeleke that discerning political watchers would have preferred. Indeed, aside dancing, the new governor-elect has been pilloried for being vacuous, slaphappy, and unfitting for the position of a governor. Apart from being the alleged salaried carer for all the Adeleke children, Demola is not known by any profession or business. His educational background was also questioned when he entered the political fray.

Thus, after his senatorial stint, he went back to school and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from the Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the United States in 2021.
Even at that, sources say there is still not much difference between the Dancing Senator of 2018 and the governor-elect of 2022 in terms of comportment and capacity to deliver in an elective or appointive office. There are, therefore, understandable fears that if left alone, the new governor would turn into Nero who fiddled while Rome burned.

A family source said Davido’s father will not allow that to happen and that he would have no choice but to govern the state by proxy. This would necessitate the incoming Governor Adeleke to report regularly for directions at the stately Ikoyi mansion of his older brother. The family source said this is not because Osun has much to offer the billionaire but, because the family name is at stake, he has to step in. Therefore, the din about him taking over the state from Demola to feather his already brimming nest of billions does not arise, the source asserted.

Indeed, billionaire Adeleke has his hands in many lucrative pies. He is the chairman of Pacific Holdings Ltd, a diversified conglomerate with interests in maritime, oil and gas, banking, and agriculture among others; and Sepco-Pacific Energy Co Ltd, owners of Omotosho and Olorunsogo power-generating plants. The multi-billion naira Omotosho power plant, located in Okitipupa, Ondo State, is a 336.8MW gas-fired power project commissioned in November 2006. Interestingly, the Olorunsogo Power Plant, located in Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, and Omotosho, are two of the 16 companies pre-qualified for the privatisation of five National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

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