President Bola Tinubu has expressed great sorrow over the death of Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, calling him as a “fearless brother” and dedicated public servant.
The 67-year-old Akeredolu, well known as “Aketi” among his supporters, died on Wednesday morning after a lengthy health battle while receiving medical care in Germany.
Tinubu lauded Akeredolu as a “towering figure,” a “strong voice in the wilderness,” and a “mourner-in-chief” who lead his people through a period of darkness in a moving statement.
According to the president, Akeredolu’s “strident advocacy against every form of injustice” and his vital role in pressing for the establishment of local police in the Southwest region were important factors in his selection.
“Rotimi was a man who moved our nation towards equity, fairness and justice in his strident advocacy against every form of injustice in our country through the instrumentality of the law as a senior advocate, attorney general of his beloved state, as President of the Nigerian Bar Association and Governor of Ondo State,” Tinubu said in a statement.
He praised Akeredolu’s dedication to public service, particularly during his six years as Governor of Ondo State, citing the “hundreds of kilometres of roads built, the many schools built, and healthcare facilities that he provided,” and praised his leadership during the Owo massacre in 2022, calling him a “true statesman and compassionate leader.”
Former Nigerian Vice President and presidential contender Atiku Abubakar expressed astonishment and sadness at Akeredolu’s death.
In a statement issued today, Atiku praised Akeredolu for being a “quintessential gentleman who took the finesse to governance” and praised the late governor’s two stints in office for their lack of “destructive politics.”
Former Anambra Governor and Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi also spoke about his friendship with Akeredolu, recalling their first meeting when Akeredolu requested him to speak at an NBA event and said they “remained close” and “always discussed issues about Nigeria.”
In a statement, Akeredolu’s life was praised as “remarkable, inspiring, and accomplished by all standards” by former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Saraki lauded Akeredolu for his “extraordinary ability to lead and serve,” emphasizing his commitment to the legal profession as well as public duty.
“We will sorely miss His Excellency, Aketi,” said he.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu described Akeredolu as a friend and brother, saying they had been “allies through many battles, shared triumphs, and stood side by side, witnessing his relentless pursuit of justice.”
Sanwo-olu stated that Akeredolu’s death is a great loss not only for Ondo State, but also for the nation, and that his legacy as a beacon of hope and progress will live on.
“Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, rest in eternal peace.” “Your spirit of resilience and commitment to justice will inspire us for the rest of our lives,” Sanwo-Olu remarked.
“I pray that God grants him eternal rest and gives his immediate family, friends, associates, and the people of Ondo State the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”