By Aliyu Dangida
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, is dead, News Point Nigeria has learnt.
The governor, aged 67, died on Wednesday morning after a prolonged health battle.
A top government source confirmed the unfortunate development to this newspaper.
Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), ex-president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and ex-Attorney General of Ondo State, was a second-term governor before his death.
The governor had to be flown abroad for treatment for his medical condition in June. He had returned to Nigeria in September after months overseas but stayed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
As his health worsened, Akeredolu was under intense pressure from opposition parties and activists to resign or hand over power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in line with the 1999 constitution.
Also, the governor’s loyalists in the state House of Assembly were at loggerheads with Aiyedatiwa attracting President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.
Eventually, the governor transmitted power to Aiyedatiwa early December when he embarked on another medical leave to Germany, the second in 2023.
Akeredolu was born on 21st July 1956 in Owo, Ondo State to the Late Rev. J. O Ola Akeredolu of Owo and Lady Evang. Grace Akeredolu of Igbotu Ese Odo Government Area of Ondo State.
The precocious Aketi, as he was fondly called by friends and admirers, started his primary school education at Government School, Owo, before proceeding to the famous Aquainas College Akure in 1968.
He later proceeded to the prestigious Loyola College, Ibadan in 1969 to complete his secondary school education. He also attended Comprehensive High School Ayetoro for his higher Secondary School Certificate.
Akerdolu was admitted into the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1974 popularly known as Oba Awon University. He obtained his LLB degree in 1977 and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School for his B.L in 1978.
Apart from his illustrious ancestry and cosmopolitan upbringing, a peep into his tenure as elected Vice President 1975/76, of the student University days at the famous and prestigious University Of Ife now (Obafemi Awolowo University) shows the architecture of service, fame and greatness in the making.
As a leader of the Students Union at Ife, Aketi helped to engineer a leadership focused on issues, robust debates and constructive engagements. He encouraged a genuine mobilisation of mass consciousness against inequality, injustice, corruption, arbitrariness and recklessness.
A devoted Christian with a warm and accommodating heart for people of other faiths, Akeredolu, in addition to a distinguished and Spartan career of legal practice, also donated his lifetime to a career of mentorship and social service.
He was a member, Oyo State Football association, 1992-1994, an associate Member, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Oyo State Branch. He also accepted and became the Patron, The Nigerian Law Society, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Patron, Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria(BRECAN), Patron The law society, Faculty of Law, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. He was also the Patron, Sports Writers association of Nigeria, Oyo State branch.
Aketi was married to Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and blessed with four children and many grandchildren.