February 24, 2024

Eulogies as Akeredolu is buried in Owo


•You left me alone to face all manner of mockery, Akeredolu’s wife cries
•Act now, your time is running fast, Anglican Primate tells Tinubu

Eminent Nigerians, led by President Bola Tinubu, on Saturday, eulogised the virtues of the late governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, as his remains were interred at his country home in Owo, in Owo council area of the state.

The late Akeredolu who died in Germany on December 26, last year, was conveyed to his hometown for final burial.
He was aged 67. His corpse arrived at the state capital, on Wednesday and was received by the state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa and members of the executive council, for onward journey to his Owo, country home the same day.

President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, led state governors, Ministers, chieftains of the ruling All Progressive Congress, top government functionaries and other important personalities to the funeral service, held at the Saint Andrews Cathedral Church Imola, Owo, Ondo state.

Act now, your time is running fast, Anglican Primate, tells Tinubu

In his sermon during the church service, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Henry Ndukuba, represented by the Anglican Bishop of Ikwerre, Rivers State, Most Rev. Dr Blessing Enyindah, asked President Bola Tinubu to swiftly address the increasing hardship facing Nigerians.

Ndukuba said “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 the 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.”

He described the late Akeredolu as someone who didn’t see life as something serious and a self-disciplined personality.
According to him “His reason for imbibing the principle of self-discipline is because of his understanding of the brevity of life.

Nigeria’s lost a fearless soldier, unwavering advocate – Tinubu

President Tinubu, in an eulogy described the late Akeredolu as a fearless soldier and unwavering advocate for his people.

The President, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima lauded Akeredolu’s “indomitable legacy of national service.

Tinubu said “We are gathered here today to bid farewell to a remarkable soul, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN, CON,” the President began, reflecting on the transience of life and the enduring impact of our choices.

“He lauded Akeredolu’s courage, dedication, and his unwavering stance as “a fearless soldier for his people.”

“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,” the President said.

The President, traced Akeredolu’s journey, from his distinguished legal career to his pivotal role as Governor of Ondo State.

He praised his vast intelligence and the profound impact of his leadership, noting that “ 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.”

While emphasising Akeredolu’s commitment to serving through democratic means, Tinubu said that “he recognised that the most pragmatic path to serving humanity is to present ourselves willingly to be chosen by the people.”

The President commended his “strength of character and conviction”, acknowledging the sacrifices he made to serve his 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 his abilities,” he said.

He urged the nation to cherish Akeredolu’s memory and the indomitable legacy he leaves behind and noted that the “memories we hold dear will be a source of comfort in these difficult times.”

The President prayed that “may God, in His infinite mercy, repose Rotimi Akeredolu’s soul and bring solace to his loved ones.

Akeredolu made me governor even in death — Aiyedatiwa

The state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in his address, described the late governor, as a “courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior.

Aiyedatiwa said that “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.

The late governor Akeredolu “was a courageous leader, a fighter, and a warrior. How can we forget him so soon? It is not possible because he lives on.

“He used the instrument of governance to intervene in different sectors of the state, including education, health services, and infrastructural development, among others.

Aiyedatiwa noted that “ he has made me a governor even in death. How can I forget?

Akeredolu’s wife, Betty, hits critics

The wife of the late governor, Betty Akeredolu, in her tribute, lamented that her husband left her “alone to face all manners of mockery.

Betty Akeredolu said “You just left me, just like that. It hurts, badly it hurts. Now alone to face all manners of mockery.
“ Not a few lashed out that you were a weakling because you loved me.

“A beg o! Can an Amotekun generalissimo be a weakling? Mbanuu! It doesn’t add up nau. Haba!
By the way, do they know what love is?.

“ I don’t think so. In their homes while growing up they saw their mothers trampled upon as doormats. Beaten up like punchbags.

“They copied the template and treated their wives as pieces of furniture that can 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 reigned supreme nationwide.

“ In civilised climes, if you beat your wife, jail awaits you even if you are a Governor.

“They marvel that a Nigerian man can love his wife. To them na only Oyibo man dey love.

“They are infuriated that a Yoruba man can love his wife who is Igbo. How can? Igbo lasan, lasan!
“To them na only Oyibo man dey love.

“Na love at first sight brought us together, biko. No be juju!
“Na love make me cross the Niger.

“That love at first sight turned out to be true and pure.And you were proud to say it. You were proud to show it
“You were even prouder to tell the people of Ondo State and beyond that, we were a team. You were audacious 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 are now like a radio jingle on the lips of all and sundry.

“As a partner, you were kind and playful but annoying sometimes with your jokes which became normal over the years given that trying to change you from cracking expensive jokes was an exercise in futility.