As Ondo holds lying-in-state, court session, commendation service for late ex-governor

Kwara, Bayelsa Govs, Mimiko, others welcome Aketi’s body to Akure

Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, on Wednesday paid glowing tributes to his predecessor, late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON, as the remains of the former governor arrived Akure, the State capital, in continuation of his burial activities.

Governor Aiyedatiwa, while speaking at the Commendation Service held at the Ondo State Sports Stadium in Akure, said Akeredolu served the State and the country meritoriously and left indelible marks in the sand of times.

The Governor said: ”Aketi, you came, you served and you left great marks in the sand of times. And as we gather here today to pay our respect to the gone leader, I ask you to look at the remains of the man who asked not what Ondo State can do for him but what he could do for Ondo State.

“Ondo State, look ahead of you, there lies the remains of our father, our leader and pathfinder Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, a true patriot of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Here lies the remains of our Governor, who led us from the front and took us across many rivers until he crossed the last river from where he could not return.

“Here lies the remains of a fighter, an all-time general, who fought and won for justice, liberty, prosperity, rule of law, human rights, good governance and most importantly Character and Courage. Here lies Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the main issue of conscience in the dark days of trouble for the nation.

”Here lies the man who was the perfect representation of the true spirit of our state and its people. Brilliant, bold, strong and unwavering in his convictions. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, you were a true commander- visionary in thinking, focused in execution and dedicated in sustenance. You were a true patriot. You were loyal to friendship, shared beliefs and justice for the weakest.”

Continuing, the Governor said of his predecessor: “He raised his voice high to the roof to speak truth to power. He condemned inequality, complacency, divisiveness and double standards. He asked for the supremacy of rule of law. He asked for fairness, love and true nationalism. He faced the troubling issues of the times with the candour of a statesman.

“He not only condemned indolence of thought, he proffered solutions that guaranteed peace. He not only talked, he walked his talk. He advocated for a new thinking, a new action and a new direction. He took these risks against bigger powers whose might is determinate and final. He took a great risk at the peak of his reelection attempt.

“To the Akeredolu family, we thank you for giving us a great gift of Aketi eternal. To Owo, thank you for giving us a man of honour and culture. To the legal profession, thank you for nurturing and producing a mind of learning and culture.

“Our particular condolences to his wife, our dear mother, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, Children – Rotimi jnr, Teni, Yejide and Babajide as well as Oga’s brothers and sisters. We feel your grief and loss. But thank you still. Thank you for giving Ondo State and Nigeria your best. Thank you, for you offered him, an ordinary man who did extra ordinary things in our lives. Thank you, for providing the warmth, love and confidence that helped him even in the great battle against sickness and death.

“On behalf of the Ondo State Government which he led heroically till the end and which I now have the privilege to lead, still carrying his flag, I thank Governor Akeredolu for spearheading a new Ondo State.”

Those present at the lying in state and commendation service included the Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, Bayelsa state governor, Senator Douye Diri, former Ondo state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the deputy governors of Ekiti and Sokoto states, the Minister of State for Youths, Mr. Ayo Olawande and the family members of the late governor, led by the wife, Betty Akeredolu.

Earlier, the remains of the former governor had been received for lying-in-state by officials of the state government, led by Governor Aiyedatiwa, at the Governor’s Office in Akure, with hundreds of workers trooping out to pay their last respect.

Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
February 21, 2024.

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