Reflections as Sunday Adeleke bows of service

Date: 2016-11-30

Some 30 years ago, Sunday Joshua Adeleke, joined the service of Kwara State government as a teaching staff under the state Education Management Board before he later made his way into the mainstream civil service as an information officer. And it was that path, which culminated in his retirement. AHMED 'LATEEF reports on the valedictory session held in his honour in Ilorin on Monday.

For the outgoing Director of Information, Kwara State House of Assembly, Sunday Joshua Adeleke, the journey of the last 30 years in the state civil service came with the good, the bad and the ugly. But in spite of the ugly side of the sojourn, he would have cause to sing songs of praise to the Almighty God for seeing him through the murky waters of public service.

In the state believed to be civil service driven, it is always an uphill task to attain exalted positions in a situation where senior government officials in the service usually line up to slug it out for positions. The reason for this is not far fetched. Competence and professionalism usually throw spanner in the works.

But for Adeleke, all appears to be a different ball game. He is a core media professional with seamless penchant for writing. His antecedents and experience as a teacher aided his astuteness and versatility in the art of writing. In a society that pampers ignorance, incompetence, laziness, indulgences, the outgoing Director refused to join such unproductive fray because of his firm conviction that it is better to be meritorious than joining the band wagon.

Thus, his stint as the Director of Information in the state legislature was eventful and impactful for those who came in contact with him. Adeleke can be likened to genius when it comes to writing because he does so with ease.

The trajectory of his work experience as press officer from various ministries of government up to exalted office of Chief Press Secretary to the Secretary to the State Government sharpened his pen when it comes to writing. With his redeployment to the state House of Assembly in 2009 as Director of Information, he would have rested his golden pen while basking in the euphoria of his new office.

But he did not stop. After taking over the directorate of information, he continued in his art of writing. The quarterly bulletin of the state Assembly is usually adorned with his pieces on the activities of the first arm of government.

Unlike some of his junior and immediate colleagues, who would have gone to sleep in the wake of being appointed into top positions, Adeleke with self determination maintained his ground as a professional in his jack of trade.

Fortunately for a man with many feathers on his cap, the journey of 30 years in the service is reaching a crescendo today but with accolades and rain of eulogy.

To commemorate Adeleke's exit from the civil service, the state Ministry of Information and Communications where he started another phase of his career, held a valedictory session for him on Monday at the conference room of the ministry, attended by political office holders and top government functionaries.

Members of the state House of Assembly including Hon Victoria Bunmi Afolayan (Oke-Ero Constituency), Hon Abdulrafiu Abdulrahman (Ilorin North West Constituency) and Hon Funsho Abodurin (Isin Constituency) also graced the occasion to show their love and eulogize Adeleke for not only bowing out of service successfully but also not disappointing them throughout his stint in the House as the head of Directorate of Information.

The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Alhaji Mahmud Babatunde Ajeigbe, led his Permanent Secretary, Dr (Mrs) Rhoda Funmilayo Ajiboye, other permanent secretaries, General Manager and Editor of the state Printing and Publishing Corporation, publishers of The Herald titles, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Adebayo and 'Yomi Adeboye respectively on the ceremonious event.

Victoria Afolayan, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues from the hallowed chamber, showered praises on the retiring officer for being friendly and fatherly within short period that she came across him, and prayed Almighty God to lift him to the higher ground.

In his comment, a former Special Adviser, Communication Strategy to the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulraheem Adedoyin, applauded Adeleke for exhibiting high sense of professionalism while in service, saying "he was writing continuously and getting them published on newspapers. This act is very unusual among press officers".

Congratulating the outgoing Director, Adedoyin urged those in the service to build legacies for themselves for people to remember them for good while exiting the service.

"When you are in service, think about how people will honour you when you leave", he advised.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Cabinet Services, Elder David Afolabi Adesina, described Adeleke as a warrior of sort, who believed and professed in divine destiny.

"Sunday Joshua Adeleke, as we fondly call him, is a friend, a confidant, a brother, popularly known and called Asiwaju of the Source. I came to know this gentleman of Igbomina extraction from Kwara South zone of Kwara State, quite well in 2003, when both of us worked under Alhaji S.A Ibrahim, the then Secretary to the State Government of Kwara State, and subsequently, under Alhaji Oba Babatunde Qudus, the then coordinating Permanent Secretary for General Services, Political, Cabinet and Special Services. He is a workaholic, who is committed and devoted to his duties and takes his jobs seriously and to their logical conclusions.

"He conducts government functions with ease, and professional touch of a well bred professional, portraying Ministry of Information and Communications, his home Ministry, in good light as a worthy ambassador.

"He is a warrior of a sort, who believes and professes in what will be will be and that destiny cannot be changed. If he believes in a cause, he will champion and pursue it to its logical conclusion. He hardly takes no for an answer, regardless of the circumstance. He is highly positive person, a feat that helps him to achieve result with ease.

"He is a jolly good fellow, who is humorous to a fault and has no dull moment in his dictionary of life. You would ordinarily want him by your side all the time. However, his humour is not the Baba Sala type", Adesina eulogizes.

Speaking on why valedictory was organised, the state Commissioner for Information, Ajeigbe, said the idea was conceptualized to appreciate the selfless and meritorious service of the retiree and advised others still in the service to emulate good ones.

"We need to be grounded and structured, our concern in service should not be about salary and wages, it should be about giving it all. I'm really happy about the gathering", he said.

Ajeigbe promised that the ministry under him would continue to recognise selfless service and give direction on where to go, adding that "we need to rekindle the spark that was in the ministry when my predecessors were there".

In his valedictory speech, Adeleke recalled in nostalgia his sojourn in the service and the people he has been working with.

Adeleke, in his speech titled "The Jinx has been broken, victory at last", disclosed that since he joined the service of the state government in 1986, he has never lobbied for any position even when opportunity presented itself.

"Song of praises fill our mouth and our heart to Osana in the highest. Many will be wondering why a jinx, why victory. The Information Ministry that I joined on February 1, 1991 as an information officer one having transferred my service from the then Kwara State Education Management Board where I started my first appointment September 25, 1986 was at the initial stage a sight to behold.

"When I was first employed as a teacher September 25, 1986, I had already known that I will end up in the information sector because of my flair and love for writing and information dissemination activities. The dream became a reality in January 1991 when a friend and a former clerk to the (State) House (of Assembly), Mr Ayotunde Olaitan Oyeniyi, assisted me at that time to make the transfer of service a possibility. He was then a planning officer in our Ministry. I salute his courage and steadfastness and pray that Almighty God will reward him accordingly.

"My first stint on assumption of office February 1991 was the publication spirit of the Information Division and after some months, I was posted to the Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development. On creation of Kogi State out of the old Kwara State in October 1991, I was moved to the Ministry of Works and Transport and saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the last ministry where I had served as the Public Relations Officer. At the risk of sounding immodest, let me say that God has been gracious and merciful to me as I was one of the few information officers that made their mark in excellence in professionalism.

"One interesting thing happened while I was serving in that new Ministry under the then Commissioner, Dr Jide Oyewo, who was found of passing complimentary remarks about me to Alhaji Hameed Adio, then in charge of Information, Social Development, Youth, Sports and Culture on very noticeable competence that he could not hide.

"Those remarks did not last more than two years as I was recalled to come and serve Hameed Adio as the Ministry's Press Officer. Dr Jide Oyewo resisted my posting but as an obedient civil servant, I bowed to pressure and moved as directed. Having served in that capacity to the best of my ability and admiration with the commissioner, I retained my position until Hon. M.T. Umar became the commissioner.

"Let me also recall that while in service, we have hazards of the job like any other profession", Adeleke said.



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