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Between Oyetola’s Candour And Adeleke’s Insincerity By Kola Odepeju



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“We must not because we want to get to position and then we start to tell lies. Let’s be speaking the truth. I don’t lie, it’s what I will do that I will say. For anyone to say that he will clear the backlog of salary arrears owed workers by previous government (not my own government) is a blatant lie.” – Immediate Past Governor of Osun, Alhaji Isiaka Adegboyega Oyetola.


The above quote was the response of Oyetola to the promise of the current governor of Osun state, Mr. Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke that he would clear the workers’ salary arrears within six months of getting into office. It would be recalled that in the build-up to the Osun 2022 governorship election, some Radio and Television stations organized debates for the governorship aspirants then purposely to create avenues for the candidates to sell their manifestos to Osun people. It was in one of those governorship debates; the one organized by the BBC Yoruba, that governor Adeleke (then an aspirant) made the pledge which has now turned to an empty promise. It has turned to empty promise because six months into his administration, he has been unable to fulfill that promise. What a shame?


When the Russian political activist and writer, Emma Goldman quipped; “Politicians promise you heaven before election and give you hell after”, she must have had politicians like Governor Adeleke in mind, no doubt. That governor Adeleke has reneged on this promise speaks volumes of his insincerity and naivety. And “insincerity”, according to George Henry Lewes, “is always weakness” while “sincerity – even in error – is strength”. So on the basis of this quote, the difference between Oyetola and Adeleke can easily be seen. Six months into his administration without making good that promise it must by now be clear to him that “talk is cheap”, as it goes in popular saying. Things are easier said than done and that’s why wise people don’t rush into making promises because they know that failure to live up to your words only reduce your integrity as a leader.


Of course failure to fulfill promise/s is highly opprobrious and it’s hateful in the sight of our Creator and a punishable offense before Him. In fact, the holy Quran comes up with a poser to mankind; “Why do you say that which you cannot do? It’s most hateful in the sight of God that you should say what you cannot do”. This tells us how grievous is the offense of reneging on promises. Unfortunately making empty promises has become part and parcel of our political culture in this part of the world as we seem not to see anything wrong in it. We make promises and break them gleefully. So worrisome indeed.


It needs mentioning here that majority of our politicians don’t know that *promises may win you friends but failure to deliver will most surely turn them against you*. This is the challenge before governor Adeleke now and l don’t know how he can wash himself clean of the mess which his failure to fulfill that promise has wrought on his integrity. Mr. Governor must have realized by now that the age-long aphorism that; “Honesty is the best policy” still remains intact and beneficial to personal and organizational integrity ever since the Shakespearean era. Dishonesty makes you lose your honour and when you lose your honour, you surely lose yourself.


Kudos must be given to Oyetola for his sincerity. Whether it hurts you or it goes down well with you, Oyetola will say the truth. This is far from praise-singing him but the truth. Even his arch enemy who will like to call a spade a spade will tell you that Oyetola doesn’t lie. He will tell you what he will do. He’s just as he describes himself in the opening quote of this piece and there are evidences to back this up. Being a man of refreshing candour if you go to him to request for anything once he gives his words you should be rest assured that the thing is done. On the contrary if he says no, then that’s the end of the matter. This attribute is very necessary for personal, organizational and national growth and development. Indisputably it’s the lack of this attribute that our country is in this mess. For the Bible says; “truth exalts a nation”. It further admonishes that we should tell the truth and shame the devil. Surely, no legacy is so rich as honesty.


For our country to move forward we need leaders like Oyetola who will say the truth always irrespective of whose ox is gored. Beyond capacity and competence a leader must be truthful. Capacity and competence will do the work truly, but truth is the weapon with which to eliminate corruption. If a leader is capable and competent but truthfulness is lacking in his lexicon then propensity for corruption will be there. And corruption at leadership level is responsible for corruption at all levels of our existence. A leader of Oyetola’s hue reminds one of Chief Obafemi Awolowo who once passed through this planet and who could rightly and unarguably be referred to as the father of political sincerity in our country. If leaders will stick to their words our society will be better off. For the pervasive dishonesty in our country today has its roots from insincerity on the parts of our political leaders. When the head is rotten, the whole body system is in shambles, definitely

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