Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State has disclosed that he went on self-exile in 2018 after he was rigged out of the governorship election.
Adeleke lamented that his mandate was stolen through a manipulated judicial process, a situation that led him to self-exile.
He spoke at the Adeleke University convocation in Ede, Osun State, on Sunday.
A statement by his spokesman, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, quoted the governor as saying his self-exile helped him escape from his enemies.
The governor also urged young people to focus on their goals in life, noting that the deciding factor in achieving one’s dream is to be determined.
He described education as a tool to propel people to become whatever they want to be in life.
According to Adeleke, “Today marks a year since my election as the governor of Osun State. Four years before then, in 2018, I was rigged out and our mandate was stolen. I was subjected to the worst personality attacks and assaults in Osun's political history.
“After a manipulated judicial process, I went into self-exile for two major reasons. Firstly, to escape the evil plot of enemies who were not satisfied with stealing the People’s mandate. Secondly, to complete my degree programs, especially as my educational qualifications dominated the 2018 campaigns.
“At my age then, I successfully re-enrolled and completed my degree program. I am proud of that achievement, and I thank my family and friends for their total support. I came back to re-contest in 2022 as a brand new graduate. The rest is now history.”
Governor Adeleke said the lesson from achieving his goal of becoming governor was that there should never be barriers in educational pursuit, noting that “What we need is commitment and passion to succeed,” going on to remind the graduating students that “It is that passion and hard work that put these beautiful academic gowns on you today. So go out and conquer the wider world.
“Be a good ambassador of this university in all post-school activities. You are already blessed by these attainments. The sky is no longer your limit.”