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• We Lost A Fearless Soldier, Unwavering Advocate – President Tinubu

The remains of the late Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON, were laid to rest on Friday in his hometown, Owo, amidst tears and eulogies.

The ancient town of Owo witnessed an unprecedented number of dignitaries who came from all walks of life to attend the funeral service for the late Governor.

Apart from the dignitaries outside the state, thousands of people, both high and low, trooped from across the 18 council areas of the state to witness the burial.

The expansive auditorium of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Imola Street, Owo was filled to capacity, even as the tents provided outside the Church were not enough to contain the huge crowd within the Church premises.

Outside the Church premises, a large screen was provided for the people to view the Funeral Service. The street was filled with people watching the funeral service outside the Church premises.

President Bola Tinubu attended the funeral service. He was represented by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima.

Also, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, was represented by Supreme Court Justice, Justice Hellen Ogunwumiju.

Other dignitaries at the service included Ondo State Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Kwara State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Abiodun Oyebanji; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde; Osun State Governor, Mr. Demola ADeleke; Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri; Edo State Governor, Godswin Obaseki; Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori; Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo; Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia; Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah; and Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo, represented by his deputy, Salifu Joel Oyibo.

Others are former Governors: Dr. Olusegun Mimiko; Chief Niyi Adebayo; Dr. John Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Alhaji Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari; Senator Gbenga Daniels; Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Senator Chris Ngige; and others.

Members of the Federal Executive Council were led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume.

Also at the Church service were Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olamide Oladiji; members of the state House of Assembly; Ondo State Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola; and other Judges in the state; members of the National Assembly including Senator Adeniyi Adegbonmire; Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Solomon Adeola (Yayi) among others.

The National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress led by the National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, attended the funeral service.

Others were; Leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association; Senior Advocate of Nigeria including the late Akeredolu’s partner, Akin Olujinmi; the leader of Synagogue Church of All Nations, Pastor Evelyn Joshua; members of the State Executive Council under the late Governor, led by former Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu; Primate of the Church of Nigeria, represented by the Dean, Most Rev’d Dr. Blessing Enyindah, Anglican Bishop of Akure Diocese and Archbishop of Ondo Ecclesiastical Province, Most Reverend Simeon Borokini; Frontline Governorship aspirants, Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; Mr. Wale Akinterinwa; Hon. Isaacs Kekemeke among others.

In his sermon titled “The Brevity of Life,” Dean of Church of Nigeria, Most Rev’d Dr. Blessing Enyindah emphasized the need to live a good and fulfilling life.

While noting that life is brief and full of troubles, the Dean said everyone will finally die and leave a story behind to be told by the people.

He stressed that the late Akeredolu made impacts as a lawyer and politician, adding that he impacted society at large.

“He made an impact as a lawyer and as a politician. He made an impact in society at large. He received national honour. He will be missed by his widow, children and grandchildren, political class, Owo, Ondo State and Nigeria at large.” He said.

The Dean urged the government to continue the legacy of the late Governor which is the drive for massive development in the state.

The church also announced its decision to immortalise the late Governor by building a medical and diagnostic center in his name.

President Bola Tinubu in his remarks said the nation has lost a fearless soldier and unwavering advocate for his people.

In a eulogy filled with both grief and admiration delivered by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the President lauded Akeredolu’s indomitable legacy of national service.

He said:”As we gather here today, we are confronted with one inexorable truth: seasons come and seasons go, much like the ebb and flow of our lives, and each of us shall go with the tides one after the other.

“We are also reminded that in this transient journey through life, we are but whispers in the wind. The parts of us that endure after we get to the end of our journey are the choices we make, and this moment is the ultimate confirmation of the noble paths trodden by our dear brother.

“There was no point in life where his voice shook in telling his truth. He was a vastly intelligent man whose passion has created quite a wide vacuum beyond this community.” He said.

The President emphasised Akeredolu’s commitment to serving through democratic means, stating that “he recognised that the most pragmatic path to serving humanity is to present ourselves willingly to be chosen by the people.”

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State said he will forever be grateful and not forget the positive impacts and contributions of late Governor Akeredolu in his life and political career.

“Since 2012, I have been his political associate, his friend, a one time Director General of his campaign team in Ilaje Local Government, as deputy nominee, deputy governor elected, acting governor whenever he traveled and now, he made me the governor even in death. How can I forget? May his gentle soul rest in peace” he said.

Richard Olatunde
Former spokesperson to the late Governor.
Febuary 23, 2024.

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