Ondo State standstill for Akeredolu, as Aiyedatiwa sends message to wife, children, Owo people

….As Ondo People hold lying-in-state, court session, commendation service for late ex-governor in Akure.


– 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 Ondo State APC Chairman, Engr Ade Adetimehin; among others dignitaries as well as 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.


The Chief Judge of Ondo state, Justice Olusegun Odusola has described the former governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as a courageous fighter.

Justice Odusola stated this at the Special Court Session held in honour of the late governor at the state high court headquarters in Akure the state capital on Wednesday.

He said “Arakunrin was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the State with such ingenious courage that his approach has become a national model. He was amazingly down to earth and this great asset is also his major weakness in a society where sycophancy is the order of the day. Whatever he promised to do, he would fight to accomplish.

“He had a desire to build an ultra-modern facility for the High Court (and had started the journey), but could not to do so partly because of his ill-health but largely because the individual who stood as the eye of the Executives in the administration of the judiciary could not interpret that dream.

“Expectedly, our new Governor, His Excellency, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa has reiterated his promise to bring Arakunrin’s dream to reality. It is a delight, to note that Arakunrin never interfered with judicial activities even when it did not favour his desires. He would always tell us “Milord, deliver your judgment in your true conscience, if I am not satisfied I will appeal”.

“That is the man we are all gathered here to bid farewell on his last journey. I am paying tribute to a man who understood the principles of separation of powers and lived it, not only in words, but in action.

“In my last encounter with him, at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“He also spoke about Judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made.

“I therefore pay homage to an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus. A man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.

“In the annals of Ondo State leadership, Arakunrin’s tenure will continue to be a good reference point. He left us with the fondest memories among which is his famous song of praise: “Awa ta jewo re ni gbangba…….” the CJ said.


The ancient town of Owo, hometown of the late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, was locked down on Wednesday as the Traditional Ajabue Procession was held in honour of the late Governor.

The Ajabue Procession was led by the late Governor’s children, Mrs. Yejide Rusewe; Babajide Akeredolu, the late Governor’s siblings, Toyin Akeredolu; Mrs. Modupe Adeyinka, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, Femi Akeredolu, and his trusted ally, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye.

Decked in uniform Ankara attires, the people of Owo in their hundreds trooped out to join the Ajabue traditional procession which started from the late Governor’s residence, Ijebu-Owo, GRA.

Among the notable personalities present at the event were former Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Engr. Raimi Aminu; Members of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi and Hon. Morenike Witherspoon; former Special Assistant on Natural Resources, Fatai Olushina; former Commissioner for hygiene and Water Resources, Hon. Fatai Olotu; NLC National Vice President and National President, Nigeria Civil Service Union, Comrade Sunday Oluwole Adeleye; as well as some Permanent Secretaries, among others.

Speaking after the traditional procession, the late Governor’s son, Babajide, expressed gratitude to the people of Owo for their overwhelming support in celebrating his late father’s life.

He emphasised that the significant turnout and enthusiastic participation in the Ajabue dance demonstrated the love the people have for their late father and the family as a whole.

“I want to sincerely appreciate the people of Owo for their tremendous support, for coming out in large numbers to connect with us, to accompany us, to dance with us, and to engage in all activities related to my late Dad.” he said.

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