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Adedeji Adeleke: what is Dubai?


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Nothing is as wild as a Writer’s mind. It’s a forest of many ideas and processing place of news items. Picking, shuffling, dumping, squeezing news for news. What was the news this time around upon which my mind was squeezing?

It was the disengagement of Adelabu from the Ministry of Power by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. My mind was running fast and wild there was something about doing power right to make Nigeria great again that the icon on my mind’s computer was searching for.

Dr. Adedeji Adeleke is a Nigerian business magnate and the brain behind Adeleke University Ede, Osun State.

Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi
The author, Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi

He isn’t too much into social hype nor political vibes but disposed to social life or not, his name is a legacy of success in the music and entertainment industry; where his son, David Adeleke a.k.a Davido is one of the leading icons of afro genre of music on the global stage.

This doyen of the Adeleke political dynasty hardly lends his voice to political discourse notwithstanding his influence in politics. Any political player will ignore him to his or her own peril.

The elder brother of His Excellency, Demola Adeleke, I will describe him as the wings upon whose brother Demola’s destiny took the flight to the destination Okefia Government House Osogbo.

The month was July in the year 2023, 13th July to be precise and a day after the ritual of my commitments for over two decades to another illustrious son of Osun State has been performed, 12th of July being the Birthday of Distinguished Senator Ade Fadahunsi has always have me around him.

13th rolled out the next 2 days of what was to be the 9th undergraduate, 5th postgraduate and 3rd doctoral hooding of the Adeleke University Ede. Coincidence or not, July 2023 was going to be after Ademola won the Osun State Governorship election.

And interestingly 45 days after the subsidy was declared gone at his inauguration ceremony by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Universities are what they are, ivory towers but neither Adeleke nor his University will choose seclusion from the reality of the nation both him and his founded institution are so proud of. The University’s 3 days event was designed to reflect on the Nigeria situation and proffer solution to add value.

Professor Labode Popoola, former Vice Chancellor of Osun State University served the first salvo of a thought-provoking week; in pre-convocation lecture, titled; the change maker must change”. Setting the stage for Dr Adedeji Adeleke explanations of the reason why his intervention project to support power supply in the country is being delayed; why my $2b power plant will be delayed for one year.

The business mogul and Pro-Chancellor of Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, Dr. Deji Adeleke, has explained the reasons the ongoing construction of a 1,250-megawatt power plant which cost $2 billion in Ajebandele village, Ondo State may be delayed for one year.

Ajebandele is a village strategically located on the Sagamu Ore Express Road. The plant when completed can successfully end the trauma of Okitipupa environs and all the adjoining communities that hasn’t seen power supply in the past 15 years.

Adeleke is one of the leading industrialists in Nigeria. He commenced the project a few years ago to complement the existing 4,000 megawatts of Nigeria. He made the revelation while addressing the 9th set of graduates of Adeleke University Ede, Osun State.

Adeleke disclosed that looters invaded the power plant site to steal components of the turbine machines which worth $5 million and may lead to delay in delivering the project in record time. His speech was entitled; ‘Change Begins with You’!

Adeleke counselled that citizenship comes with responsibilities which will go a long way in nation building, saying everybody must contribute its quota, by doing the right thing, then and only then can we conscientiously be able to hold our leaders accountable.

In his word: “I am building a 1250Mgwt power plant, Nigeria has about 5,000Mgwt, adding mine to it is a lot. The cost is $2 billion. We started it in a village in Ondo state. We brought in turbines that cost about $72 million.

“The construction of the project engaged over 1000 people and at a minimum 200 to 300 people will come from that village, that is for direct employment not to talk of indirect. The few security that we engaged are to protect our engineers so that they will not be kidnapped so we need young men from that village to help us guide the power plant.”

”Last month, we discovered that some of the turbines have been broken into, some of the components built with copper have been looted, those components were yanked off in each of those turbines, these are heavy items that will require at least 10 people to lift single one.

“This means that somebody would have brought in a truck at night to carry those things away. The project will be delayed for another year to get those things they looted back. This is going to cost us a minimum of $5 million to replace.

“So can we blame our leaders for that? These are young people in their twenties that we employed. We have to sack them out of the plant and bring in securities from top agencies in Nigeria to man and take over the whole plant. I am sure that those things they looted, they won’t sell for N5 million.”

Weeks from now, the changers would be up for 365 days appraisal in power. How well have they changed? How much has changed from life under Buhari to life under Tinubu in the thought of Popoola’s lecture.

If change begins with you, according to Adeleke, how well have you, my readers changed from the old Nigerian to the New Nigerian portrait upon which a better and greater nation can be built?

Adeleke asked for a year’s delay, will he keep his word and add life to the epileptic supply that power has become. Will Adeleke helps light up Okitipupa and its environs.

Will changing Adelabu change the supply of Power to our homes a year after Tinubu’s ascendancy to power? Time like they say will tell!

Adeleke explained that he turned down an exemption letter from the United Arab Emirates(UAE) because the country had banned Nigerians from visiting.

“I buy a lot of spare parts from a company based in Dubai, so I was sent a letter that I will be given a special exemption to be visiting Dubai if I wanted to, so I told them that I am not interested. If Nigerians are not welcome to Dubai, why should I be happy to get an exemption to go to Dubai, what is Dubai anyway?”

One would expect that such a project by an individual would have enjoyed Government protection. Particularly in a state that almost a quarter of its citizens have been thrown into darkness for almost 2 decades.

Two things are my own take from Dr. Adeleke’s audacious approach to living as per this explained scenario.

First is his sense of patriotism to our motherland. If it’s just all about business, he could have accepted the suggested letter of exemption which he turned down in the interest of the larger Nigeria.

The other is his unquenchable craving to be a solution provider especially in the energy sector. His 1,250Mgwt project had quartered the 5000Mgwt the national grid is groping to sustain. With his kind of spirit, I can understand and reiterate with him; WHAT’S DUBAI ANYWAY!

Going forward and especially with a new government about to be decided, both the government and the people of Ondo State need to be pro development, particularly in the area of protection of lives and properties.

Dubai was a wilderness of barrenness in 1983, until the Emirates Restructured and adopted the 1963 model of our regional constitution upon which the envy of the world questioned by Adeleke was built.

What indeed is Dubai, modelled after what we abandoned that we cannot become if Nigeria is restructured to promote regional healthy competition, we once experienced that made Western Nigeria the fastest developing region in the world in the mid-sixties?

Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder. He’s also President Voice of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table; email: bolajiakinyemi66@gmail.com; Facebook: Bolaji Akinyemi; X: Bolaji O Akinyemi; Instagram: bolajioakinyemi; Phone: +2348033041236.

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