Home » How Akeredolu fought for southern presidency – S’West govs reveal

How Akeredolu fought for southern presidency – S’West govs reveal

by Daudu John

How Akeredolu fought for southern presidency – S’West govs reveal


The governors of South-West states, on Friday, said a committee would be set up to ensure a befitting burial for the late governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, who died in a German hospital on Wednesday after a protracted illness.


Speaking on behalf of other governors in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during a condolence visit to the family of the late Akeredolu, the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, described the late Akeredolu as a courageous individual whose vacuum would be difficult to fill.


He stated that the governors have decided to collectively take responsibility for Akeredolu’s funeral, adding that a joint committee of South-West states would be set up to work with the deceased’s family and the state government to accord him (Akeredolu) a befitting farewell.


Abiodun said, “Without a doubt, we are all still in a state of shock and disbelief. Akeredolu was the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum, Southern Governors’ Forum, a position he held and led very courageously, and fearlessly. He was a learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria and a successful second-term governor of the state.


“All of us are here on behalf of our families, the entire Southwestern states, to commiserate with the family and people of the state. Our prayer is that the Almighty God will forgive his sins and grant him eternal repose. We also pray the wife, children, family members and the state government to bear this very sad, shocking, and painful exit.


“This was a man who was an advocate for a southern presidency. We could recall vividly the reinvigorated Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in Delta State about two and half years ago. He championed the course that the presidency should come from the South, and he stayed with it among several others that he championed successfully. He will surely be missed by all of us. The vacuum he left will be very difficult to fill by everyone.”


Meanwhile, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, on Friday declared a three-day mourning for the late Akeredolu.


He said, “All flags at public buildings across the state are to be flown half-mast for the three days of mourning, which commenced on Friday.”


The governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, also joined his colleagues on Friday to pay a condolence visit to the late Akeredolu’s family at his residence in the Jericho part of Ibadan.


The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Mohammed, said in a statement that Bello was accompanied by the governor-elect of the state, Ahmed Ododo, and was received by the bereaved wife of the late governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu.


Bello further stated that Akeredolu left an indelible mark on humanity until his final breath. He also counselled the grieving family to embrace the inevitability of death, urging them to cherish the enduring legacy of the departed.


He added that Akeredolu was not merely a senior colleague but a statesman whose sagacity and benevolent guidance “significantly enriched our leadership, notably within the governors’ forum and the democratic institution in Nigeria.”


According to him, “We were in Lagos for the NGF’s meeting and on Christmas homage to President Bola Tinubu when we received the lamentable news of the passing of our elder brother and senior colleague, His Excellency Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN.


“This monumental loss resonates deeply with us, the people of Ondo State, and the entire nation. I chose to embark on this early journey to extend my heartfelt sympathies to you and your family in this sorrowful moment. May the heavens welcome the soul of my brother with the same generosity and kindness he bestowed upon humanity throughout the years.”


Also, the immediate past Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, in his commiseration message to the immediate family, associates, the government and good people of Ondo State, noted that Akeredolu would be missed by the ‘progressive family’ for his frankness and commitment to the good of the downtrodden, describing as a nationalist who made an impact to ensuring that there was a shift of power to the southern part of the country in the last general elections.


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