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June 25, 2024
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Akeredolu laid to rest as Tinubu, governors, judges, SANs bid farewell |

The week-long funeral rites for the late former Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, reached the climax on Friday following the funaral service held for the deceased at the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, Owo, headquarters of Owo Local Government.

During the funeral service, President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, led governors and other dignitaries to the church.
The remains of Akeredolu, who was until his death the Chancellor of the Owo Anglican Diocese, were brought into the church at around 9:55 with a guard of honour mounted by officers of the Amotekun Corps.
Tinubu, who described Akeredolu as a fearless soldier and advocate of the people, urged that the memory and legacies of the late governor be preserved in order to serve as comfort to those endeared to him.
The president maintained that “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.”
“Today is a day of remembrance, a day to pay our respects, a day to reflect on the fact that our friend and brother served humanity to the best of their abilities,” he said.
On his part, Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa stated that his late boss would be greatly missed, particularly since the late governor paved the way for his political journey.

“You are all here because he stood for something: good governance and the rule of law. He means a lot to different people, and that is why he has been described in different words. He was a courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior. How can we forget him so soon? It is not possible because he lives.
“He used the instrument of governance to intervene in different sectors of the state, including education, health services, and infrastructural development, among others.
“Sometimes we wonder how he decided to leave us so soon. Why can’t God give him more years to still stay with us? A real husband to the wife, a real father to the children, a leader and governor for the state for many years, and loyal friends to all of you. Why did God take him home so soon?
“They say good people don’t live for too long; I think he is one of them. For me, I cannot forget him so soon because we share a lot together. How can I forget those political, physical, and dusty roads that we have travelled together since 2012?

“As his political associate, friend, and one-time Director-General of his campaign, Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency, as Deputy Governor nominee, Deputy Governor elected, and Acting Governor whenever he travelled, and now he has made me a governor even in death. How can I forget?”
In his sermon, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, was represented by the Anglican Bishop of Ikwerre, Rivers State, Most Rev. Blessing Enyindah. Delivering the sermon, he described the late Akeredolu as having a self-disciplined personality.
However, the Primare urged Tinubu to act fast and address the increasing hardship facing Nigerians.
He said, “His reason for imbibing the principle of self-discipline is because of his understanding of the brevity of life.
“May I, on behalf of Nigerians, pray and call on the President, Senator Bola Tinubu, to do something to reduce the hardship faced by Nigerians?

“We have the hope he would do it because he promised us renewed hope, and according to him, it is his turn, so the turn and opportunity have been given to him now. We are waiting and expecting the fulfilment of our renewed hope.
“We plead with him to do it fast because time, that is, four or eight years, as the case may be, is brief and the time is running.”
Meanwhile, the wife of the late governor, Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, dismissed the claim that her husband was a weakling who was not in control of his household.
Betty, in her tribute, disclosed with the demeanour of Akeredolu, will be exposed to all manners of mockery “from the so-called friends and adversaries alike.

“Can an Amotekun generalsimo be a weakling? Not a few lashed out that you were a weakling because you loved me.
I don’t think so. In their homes while growing up, they saw their mothers trampled upon as doormats. By the way, do they know what love is?
They copied the template and treated their wives as pieces of furniture that could be easily discarded as trash. And in many instances, the subjugation was garnished with beatings while the community looked the other way and remained unperturbed as gender-based violence.
“You were even prouder to tell the people of Ondo State, and beyond that, we were a team. You were audacious enough to tell your people that “you voted for one but got two.” A testimony of my positive contribution to your life and career, emotionally and intellectually.

“We differed on one aspect, though. Religion. You were religious and wore your faith on your sleeves. I’m not. With no apologies. You were frustrated. Yet, we managed to work it out by harnessing our communication skills.
“You came to terms with my position on religion and respected my choice of pragmatism. And a peaceful home we built by respecting each other’s idiosyncrasies, supporting each other’s career pathways, and loving each other at the same time. That you were courageous and fearless is now like a radio jingle on the lips of all and sundry.”
The remains of the late governor, who died on December 26, 2023, after battling with prostrate cancer, were later interred close to his Maranatha residence at the Government Reserved Area, GRA, Owo.
Dignitaries present at the funeral service include Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, and other members of the National Working Committee of the party. Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwoolu; Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun; and Governor of Ekiti, Aboidun Oyebanji.
Others are Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Aboidun, Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Makinde, Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, Governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, Governor of Delta, Governor of Benue, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, former Governor of Zamfara, Abdul’aziz Yari, among others.

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