Mourning, eulogies as Ondo gov, ex-Reps Speaker, Na’Abba die

Nigerians and groups including President Bola Tinubu, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), governors, Afenifere, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and others.

have paid glowing tributes to the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

In his reaction, President Tinubu described him as a beloved brother, confidant and political soul mate.’

In a statement he issued personally, the president wrote that it was with a heavy heart that he was paying tribute to someone younger than himself.

“It is a difficult task to have to pen a tribute and sing a dirge for a departing soul. It is a more difficult job in our African culture when one is compelled to do so for a younger person.

“Here I am, having the difficult job of singing a dirge for Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu; my beloved brother, confidant, political soul mate, and the Executive Governor of Ondo State.

“Rotimi was a man who moved our nation towards equity, fairness and justice in his strident advocacy against every form of injustice in our country.

“This, he did,  through the instrumentality of the law as a Senior Advocate, as attorney-general of his beloved state, as president of the Nigerian Bar Association and as governor of Ondo State,’’ the president wrote.

He added that Akeredolu was an advocate of peace and security.

“Rotimi was a strong voice in the wilderness calling us to rethink our security architecture so we can have a more secure nation.

“His unrelenting advocacy led to the birth of the local police in the Southwest,’’ Tinubu noted.

Tinubu stated also that the deceased governor was a true democrat who believed in the power of action and service.

“In Ondo State, where he had the honour to serve as the governor over the past six years, he served his people with absolute loyalty, dedication, and forthrightness.

“His footprints dot the entire landscape of the state through the hundreds of kilometres of roads he built; the many schools he built, and healthcare facilities that he provided.

“During the dark hours when marauding agents of darkness killed 40 defenceless worshippers at a church in Owo on June 5, 2022, Rotimi’s leadership qualities as a true statesman and compassionate leader radiated brightly to the world.

“He was a mourner-in-chief who guided his people through an agonising period. Today, I mourn a fighter and fearless defender of truth and the masses.”

The president recalled his personal journey with the deceased. “We fought many battles together to restore progressive governance in the Southwest, in Edo and in Nigeria as a whole. During that uncertain period, Rotimi was resolute and unflinching.

“He showed uncommon courage as a member of our legal team in our battles to reclaim our stolen mandates in Ekiti, Ondo, Edo, and Osun states.

“A gallant lawyer and one of the finest of the legal profession. I beckoned him to contest for the governorship position of Ondo State in 2012.

“Even though he did not make it in his first attempt, his enthusiasm and determination to serve his people never diminished.

“He eventually made it to the Alagbaka Government House in his second attempt in the 2016 election. Since he was sworn in in February 2017, he served the people with devotion.

President Tinubu added that the nation would miss him and prayed the people of Ondo State to take solace that their governor lived a life of service.

Tinubu stated also that he had called the widow, Betty and the acting governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to console them over Akeredolu’s death.

“His death is a blow to our governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and the progressive family as we are diminished by it.

“I hope that his successor Aiyedatiwa will hold steadfast to the vision of governance left by this towering political leader,’’ Tinubu also wrote.

He fought for justice, fairness, equity – Akpabio.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said the late governor was a nationalist and the Iroko of the Sunshine State.

Akpabio, in a condolence message, said Akeredolu was a leader who knew his onions and was indeed the Iroko of Ondo, as he defended the state with all his strength as governor.

He eulogised the late governor whom he said spent his active life fighting for justice, fairness and equity. He noted that Akeredolu believed in true federalism, which he pursued with passion and vigour.

“He was a leader that placed the interest of his people above every other consideration; a man of integrity and strong conviction, with a strict work ethos and never paid lip service to the welfare of the people of the state.

“He was a fearless lawyer who spoke truth to power, regardless of whose ox was gored.

“As governor, Chief Akeredolu left his footprints in the sands of history, executing landmark projects and implementing people-oriented policies that earned him a second term in office.

“A man of style, Chief Akeredolu was obsessed with excellence,” Akpabio said.

Abiodun: Dogged fighter throughout his lifetime

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun described the death as tragic.

In his condolence message to the acting Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the family of the deceased and the people of the state, Abiodun described Akeredolu, as a dogged fighter throughout his lifetime.

He noted that Akeredolu stood for equity and fairness in the run-up to the 2023 presidential election when he was the chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum.

Abiodun said the late governor was a visionary leader, with an unwavering dedication to his people and social justice.

“Akeredolu made an indelible mark on Nigerian politics.

“From his tenure as the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association to his role as the chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, he continuously championed the cause of justice and the uplift of his people.

“Known for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of Ondo citizens, Akeredolu spearheaded major initiatives that brought about positive change.

“Under his leadership, the state witnessed significant advancements in healthcare, infrastructure and education.

“His commitment to sustainable development earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues and citizens alike,” he said.

The governor noted that as the nation mourned the loss of Akeredolu, his memory would continue to serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.

“In this time of immense grief, the people of Ondo State must unite and draw strength from their cherished memories of the late governor.

“You must resolve to honour his legacy by building upon the foundations he laid, ensuring that his vision for a better and brighter future for Ondo State lives on,” he said.

Ganduje mourns Akeredolu

Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman said his death is a great loss not only to Ondo State and the entire country but also to the progressive family, the legal profession and the APC.

“As we come to terms with this loss, let us honour Akeredolu’s memory by remaining committed to the ideals and principles he held dear,” he said.

Ganduje also charged the people of the state to continue to work together, building on his firm foundation and striving for the progress and prosperity of the state.

He expressed optimism that Akeredolu’s legacy would endure, and that his vision for a better Ondo State would never be forgotten.

Ganduje said the deceased left behind a remarkable legacy of dedication towards the development and betterment of Ondo State.

He commended Akeredolu’s accomplishment as a lawyer and an advocate for progress and for his unwavering commitment to steering the affairs of the state and for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of his people.

“As we reflect on Akeredolu’s remarkable contributions to public service, we remember his unflinching commitment to the principles of democracy.

“His determination to make a lasting impact on the lives of the people he served, and his undying love for Ondo State and its people.”

The APC chairman noted that throughout his tenure, Akeredolu exhibited exceptional leadership skills, fostering economic growth and implementing critical infrastructure projects.

He added that the deceased also championed initiatives that enhanced the standard of living for the people of Ondo State.

Urbane, cerebral leader – Oborevwori

Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori sadi the late governor was an urbane and cerebral leader of great value who was progressively committed to the growth and development of Ondo State and Nigeria.

“As a senior lawyer and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Akeredolu contributed immensely to the growth and development of the legal profession in the country.

“Chief Akeredolu paid his dues and had a fulfilling legal career that culminated in his emergence as President of the Nigerian Bar Association and later as Governor of Ondo State.

“It is my firm belief that the achievements of the late Governor in the legal profession and in the governance of Ondo State will continue to inspire many to take to the legal profession and contribute to nation-building,” Oborevwori said.

The governor prayed to God to grant the soul of the legal luminary eternal rest.

Adeleke mourns Akeredolu

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State said Aketi made huge contributions in the legal field and public service.

He described  Akeredolu as one of the finest minds in the legal profession in Nigeria.

“I want to say that his wise counsel and constructive contributions will be missed.

“Nigeria has lost one of its finest. I am shocked and shaking,” Adeleke said.

Adeleke condoled with the family of the deceased and the government and people of Ondo State over the death.

The governor urged them to sustain Akeredolu’s  legacies.

Sanwo-Olu: His death personal loss

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said Akeredolu would be greatly missed for his positive impacts in Ondo State, South-West and Nigeria as a whole.

“The death of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) is a colossal loss to the country, particularly the people of Ondo State. He made lots of impactful contributions during his lifetime to the growth and development of Nigeria, first as a lawyer and later as a two-term governor.

“Arakunrin Akeredolu was a courageous leader. He served the people of Ondo State passionately during his tenure as Governor of the State.

“I pray that God will grant Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu eternal rest and give his immediate family, friends, associates, and the people of Ondo State the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

NACCIMA lost a valuable ally – Oye.

The National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Kelvin Oye, described him as a selfless and true gentleman who exhibited an unparalleled level of humility.

“As the President of NACCIMA, I had the honor of knowing him on a personal level, and I can attest to his remarkable character and unwavering integrity.

“Governor Akeredolu was not only a friend but also a true gentleman who exhibited an unparalleled level of humility.

“I recall a time when in Private practice as a Lawyer, I entrusted him with a brief, and to my surprise, he brought the entire deposit in cash as my commission despite being far my senior. This act of selflessness spoke volumes about his character and earned my utmost respect.

“Furthermore, I had the privilege of working with Governor Akeredolu on a particular issue regarding the irregular acquisition of Ondo State Chamber of Commerce trade fair land. Despite our disagreement on the matter, he nevertheless promised to provide us with an alternative fully built-up land.

“This act once again showed the kind-heartedness of a man who always put the interest of his people first.”

Oye further noted, “As a state, Ondo State has lost a visionary leader, and as an association, NACCIMA has lost a valuable ally.

“Governor Akeredolu’s passing will undoubtedly leave a huge void in the hearts of all those who knew him. I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family, friends, and the people of Ondo state. May his soul rest in peace.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top