ICYMI

December 27, 2023

SAN, NBA boss, Governor: Life and times of Rotimi Akeredolu

SAN, NBA boss, and more: Life and Times of Akeredolu

Popularly known as Aketi, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu,  died on Wednesday in Lagos, after a prolonged battle with leukemia.

In his lifetime, Akeredolu was a legal practitioner par excellence and an astute politician, loved by all and sundry in both Ondo and across the country.

Aged 67, he was born on 21 July 1956, in Ese Odo, Ondo State and died on 27 December 2023.

He had his education at Aquinas College, Akure, Loyola College, Ibadan, Oyo State, and Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, for his secondary school education and Higher School Education.

Aketi then proceeded to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study law and he graduated in 1977.

The lawyer

He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978.

He became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1998, and ten years later, emerged as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2008.

Akeredolu was also a Managing Partner at the law firm of Olujinmi & Akeredolu, which he co-founded with Chief Akin Olujinmi, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice of Nigeria. 

On 21 July 2020, he was declared as the Ondo governorship candidate after the primary elections under the platform of the APC. 

As the governor of Ondo State, he was voted as the chairman of Southwest Governors. 

One of the most exceptional things about Akeredolu was adopting ‘Arakunrin’ as a title instead of ‘Mr’.

His profile in politics started rising as he was appointed Attorney General of Ondo State from 1997 to 1999.

He was then made Chairman of the Legal Aid Council (2005–2006).

The governor

In November 2011, Akeredolu was among a crowd of aspirants to be the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for governor of Ondo State in the 2012 elections.

On 28 July 2012, On Akeredolu was selected as the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for governor of Ondo State during the ACN congress in Akure.

His selection pitched him in a head-to-head battle with the incumbent, Olusegun Mimiko and Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

On Saturday 3 September 2016, Akeredolu was awarded the ticket to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2016 elections for governor. 

On Sunday, 27 November 2016, he was declared the winner of the keenly contested 2016 Ondo State gubernatorial election.

On 29 July 2020, Rotimi Akeredolu picked Lucky Aiyedatiwa as his running mate for the 2020 Ondo State governorship election after the controversy between the governor and his deputy, Agboola Ajayi.

Re-elected

He was declared the winner of the October 2020 governorship election in Ondo State on 11 October 2020 after winning 15 out of 18 local governments.

On Saturday 10 October 2020, Akeredolu was re-elected governor of Ondo State and announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission on 11 October 2020. He won with a total number of 292,830 valid votes against his major opponents from the Peoples Democratic Party and the Zenith Labour Party, Eyitayo Jegede and Agboola Ajayi respectively.

He was sworn in for a second term in office on 24 February 2021. He and his new deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, assumed office on the same date and are the incumbent deputy governor of Ondo State.

In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) was conferred on Akeredolu by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Akeredolu has been undergoing treatment for leukaemia since January 2023, and has had a long period of medical absence.

On 12 December 2023, in advance of another period of medical leave, Akeredolu signed the notice appointing deputy governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as acting governor of the state.

Vanguard News