Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, better known in politics as ‘Serubawon,’ was a former governor of Osun State, a two time Nigerian senator who represented the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State from 2007 to 2011 and was elected again under the banner of the All Progressives Congress in 2015. He became a member of the Nigerian Senate in 2007.
Isiaka Adeleke was born on 15 January 1955 to the family of senator Ayoola Adeleke and Esther Adeleke. He was born in Enugu and spent is early years in the city until the beginning of the Nigerian civil war. He started his primary education at Christ Church School, Enugu before moving to Ibadan where he completed his secondary education at Ogbomoso Grammar School. Adeleke holds a Bachelor Of Arts Degree, and a master’s degree In Public Administration. He was Chairman, Governing Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Pro-Chancellor And Chairman, Governing Council, University of Calabar, Nigeria.
During the Nigerian third republic, Adeleke ran for governor of the newly created Osun State (Osun Sate was created on August 21st, 1991) which was carved out from Oyo State. He was a member of Social Democratic Party, SDP the dominant party in the state but he was not initially favored to win. The front runner was a lawyer, Oladipo Oladosu but after a close primary in which Adeleke came second, Adeleke was able to win a runoff.
He was then elected the first civilian governor of Osun State in 1992. Notable decisions made by Adeleke was the establishment of a polytechnic at Iree, a college of technology at Esa-Oke and the completion of the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation. However, in 1994, after the dissolution of the third republic, Adeleke pitched its tent to the opposition group, Afenifere but later switched to join a Democratic Party of Nigeria, a new political party with support from close associates of Abacha.
From 2007 to 2011, Adeleke was elected senator for Osun West on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. His main competitor was Mudasiru Oyetunde Hussein, standing for the Action Congress. Hussein had spent two terms in the House of Representatives (1999–2007) as a member of the Alliance for Democracy party in a Lagos State constituency, but originated from Osun state. Hussein appealed the election unsuccessfully. Isiaka was appointed to committees on Upstream Petroleum Resources, Integration and Cooperation, Housing and Air Force. he was also the Chairman of Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In 2014, he dumped the PDP and joined the APC. While leading thousands of his supporters to defect to APC, Adeleke noted that with the alleged assault on him by the then Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, and candidate of the PDP, Iyiola Omisore, he and his followers were no longer safe in the party.
However, In the 2015 elections, he again re-contested for a seat in the Osun West Senatorial District under the Platform of the All Progressives Congress(APC) and Won.
He instituted a scholarship award for about 100 indigent students in tertiary institutions across the country in March 2008.
In July 2009, as chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke praised the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission, saying “so far INEC has performed creditably well”. He has supported the rights of Nigerians living abroad to vote in Nigerian elections. Adeleke, before his death was allegedly eyeing the governorship seat in Osun ahead of the 2018 election in the state.
Adeleke suffered a heart attack. He died on 23 April 2017 at Biket Hospital in Osogbo, the Osun state capital.