Monday, May 8, 2017 3:06 pm
By Idowu Adelanwa
I read with pains the press statement said to have been issued at a press conference by the Adeleke Family on Sunday on the decision by the Osun Government to set up a coroners’ inquest into the death of the late politician.
By that singular action, the family now appears to have joined the wagon of those we believe, dishonoured the dead when some hoodlums took to attacking innocent people in the freshness of the politician’s death on April 23, this year.
One is now tempted to ask what does the family want after the unfortunate death of the senator.
I have read the immediate response of the Osun state government. To an extent, we must commend the maturity and the solemn response which represent a clear show of respect for the dead by the government even in the face of this determined move by the family to use the death of their kinsman as a tool to hunt it.
Adele wanted to be governor again. It was his legitimate right. But whether his party the All Progressives Congress was ready for the aspirants to throw their harts in the rings is another matter. But the fact is that Adeleke was not a politician to be caged any rule whatsoever. And so he went ahead with his consultations and mobilizations regardless of whose ox was gored. Adeleke was a politician per excellence.
Yes, the suddenness of his demise is capable of various interpretations and when such happens, there are known scientific channels through which the causes of death, whether controversial or not, could be determined.
Let’s face it! The setting up of an inquest is not the choice of the Adeleke family if they must be told. Senator Adeleke was not an ordinary man. He was a governor. He was serving as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when he died. Coupled with the expressions of doubt over the cause of his death, it is only expected that an inquiry into his death would be caused to happen.
Sunday’s rejection by the family, to say the least, is abhorrent. This is because the exercise is supposed to unearth the real cause of death when in addition we are being told that an autopsy has been ordered.
Do the Adeleke Family members know already what killed their kinsman? If they do, the duty they owe this society is to come forward and tell the world. They are surely going to earn kudos for that.
On the death of Music legend Fela Anikulapo, his elder brother Olikoye, boldly came out to say their man died of HIV. Was it a thing of pride at the time for the Ransome-Kuti family to admit such? No! But the fact was that the family did the society a lot of good by confessing what killed their hero. The world applauded their courage.
For instance, it is strange that the Adeleke family has not in any way spoken about the truth or otherwise of what was reported in a section of the media that a family doctor was actually called in to inject the late Senator. Was it not reported that this doctor (whether quack or not) was ordered arrested by the same family? The world waits for the family to disprove of this or confirm it. That, in itself will be of immense help to understanding the whole dust being raised over this death.
On this particular matter, let the Adeleke family be told pointedly that this is a matter in, which as citizens of the state, they have no say. It’s a matter of law; pure and simple.
The governor of a state is empowered to do what he has done. To say the family would not cooperate with the government on this must be seen for what it is- a sabotage of government activities.
In case they do not know, the inquest might indeed require an exhumation of the body. The family must oblige otherwise they would be seen to be standing in the way of the law.
Just as the Ransome-Kuti family of Abeokuta, Ogun State assisted Nigeria to know the cause of death of Fela, the Adeleke family of Ede, Osun State owes Nigerians the duty to tell us if their knowledge of what killed him makes an inquest unnecessary in their estimation.
*Barrister Idowu Adelanwa, writes from Ebute Meta, Lagos through email@example.com