Davido’s theory of loyalty

Akaolisa Emmanuel

Akaolisa Emmanuel

David Adeleke aka Davido, the great music star, has undoubtedly stamped his name as a voice not just in Nigeria or Africa but on the global stage too; you can call him a credible non-state actor. Going beyond music in winning awards nationally and internationally, he has also appeared in blockbuster movies, participated in the great #EndSARS and recently wowed hearts when he gave out a whopping 250,000,000 million naira to orphanages across the country.

Few days ago he caused a stir online when he cast aspersion on his cousin, Dele Adeleke. An onlooker would have immediately thought it to be a ‘family issue’ being brought to the open until further tweets by the superstar revealed that it was more than that; it’s a clash of principles and politics literally.

In order to fully understand the matter we have to go back to the gubernatorial election of 2018 in Osun state. During the 2018 gubernatorial election in Osun state, Davido devotedly supported and campaigned for his uncle Ademola Adeleke who was the flagbearer for the PDP, unfortunately the PDP lost the election in controversial manner to the APC and their candidate the current governor of Osun state, Oyetola. Though Davido’s uncle went to court and got a widely celebrated verdict which declared him as winner of the election, the verdict was upturned in another judgment by the supreme court.

Fast forward to 2022, another election in the state lurks at the corner and Davido’s uncle, Ademola Adeleke, is in the contest again, still under PDP. This time around a family member is joining him in the ring, not as a coach, fan or cheerleader, but as a fellow contester – to make it more interesting it is in the same political party PDP. The family member is no other person than Dele Adeleke.

One might ask, why is Davido not happy with his cousin; has there been any rift between them in the past? This might not be the case as in one of the tweets Davido stated that Dele Adeleke currently lives in a house belonging to Davido’s father. If Davido should be campaigning against anyone, is it not supposed to be opponents from other political parties, albiet subtly?

We might also do well to consider Dele’s motivation, why is he competing against his uncle in something as delicate and yet not delicate as the governorship position of a state, not a land tussle or something of usual family conflicts. Is Dele trying to say that his uncle is not fit for the job and as such seeks to save the people of Osun state from electing an incompetent person? Is Dele being used as a political saboteur by political powers behind the scene? Since he is not as old as his uncle Ademola Adeleke, can he not wait for his time while he builds a structure for himself on the sidelines? Is he justifying the saying that a man’s enemy will be members of his household?

Without much ado it is not out of place to say that Davido’s grudge with his cousin is based on principle, a universal one maybe; family first. But Dele is part of his family just like his beloved uncle Ademola. We can then only guess that Davido has taken his stand based on the principle of first mention or declaration of interest.

Does this have any lesson for how political participation should be done in Nigeria, especially in the forthcoming general elections of 2023; of how contestants/politicians and the masses should get themselves involved in the democratic process? It is definitely a no as the basic family setting is different from the general family setting known as Nigeria though there might be few similarities.

One can only guess that Davido is trying to bridle-in his cousin Adeleke from portraying a division in the large Adeleke family. Probably in all these years in which the public knew about Ademola’s governorship ambition, Dele might have sat in gatherings or dining tables with Davido, Ademola and other members of the family without ever voicing out his ambition, so it comes as a shock understandably to Davido, Ademola and others involved.

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Professor Jideofor Adibe


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