Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has described the death of former Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu (SAN), as a monumental loss, and a big lesson that those in position of authority must always strive to defend the interests of Nigerians.
George, who recalled the role played by Akeredolu in the formation of the local security outfit in South-West, Amotekun, said he (Akeredolu) stood out when lives and property of people of Ondo State in particular and Yoruba people of South-West were threatened by invaders.
George, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, was military governor of old Ondo State (Ondo and Ekiti) from 1987 to 1990.
Akeredolu was also Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner before he was elected and reelected as Governor in 2016 and 2020.
He died on Wednesday at 67, due to complications from protracted prostate cancer.
George, who expressed his condolences on the death of Akeredolu, said he was devastated by the news of the death of the legal giant and politician of note who was once the President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
“Akeredolu, who I always referred to as ‘My Aburo’, made a great difference in the lives of his people and the nation through a combination of purposeful leadership and commitment to excellent service delivery.
“It is really unfortunate and sad that we are referring to this legal giant, great scholar, politician and administrator par excellence in past tense….CONTINUE READING
“He was a consummate and courageous politician who spoke truth to power till he breathed his last.
“In the build up to the 2023 presidential election, he stood out as a bold politician by insisting that power must return to the South after eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Akeredolu stood his ground by insisting that the right thing must be done.
“When a first class traditional ruler in Ondo State, Oba Israel Adeusi, was killed and when some blood-thirsty maniacs invaded Saint Francis Catholic Church, Owo and killed worshippers, Akeredolu showed courage by insisting that those responsible must be brought to justice. He shed tears, spoke and Abuja listened to him.
“When he was indisposed, it was really unfortunate the needless controversy that emerged over the transfer of power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who is now the governor.
“Such was not necessary at all because the 1999 Constitution, as Amended, is very clear on a matter like this. The argument and power play were absolutely unnecessary.
“The lesson in this is that leaders must always think of the collective interest of all. Nobody will leave this world alive. We will all die one day. Any struggle for power that is outside the spirit of the Constitution should not be allowed.
“What are we struggling for? Position, power, money, fame, influence? All these are transient. Nothing lasts forever apart from the power of God.
“Aiyedatiwa was even threatened with impeachment but where is he today? He is the governor but he will not be there forever because Akeredolu was once there but today, he is gone.
“The big lesson is that we should fear God, respect fellow human beings and do the right thing for this country to assume its rightful place in the comity of nations.
“Akeredolu’s death has robbed Nigeria of a statesman who was totally committed to the development of Ondo State, Yorubaland and Nigeria. He used his legal and political platform to advocate for the entrenchment of democracy and good governance.
“Akeredolu is gone. Everybody will go one day. As a leader, what will Nigerians say about you when you are gone? The lesson of his death is that we must all sacrifice to ensure the greatness of this country.
“I sympathise with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Southern Governors’ Forum, South-West Governors’ Forum, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the children, the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Olowo of Owo, and others.
“May God grant ‘Aketi’ eternal rest….CONTINUE READING