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Akeredolu: Nigeria lost a fearless soldier, advocate for humanity – Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has described the former Governor of Ondo State, late Rotimi Akeredolu as a “fearless soldier” for his unwavering advocate for the people…

President Bola Tinubu has described the former Governor of Ondo State, late Rotimi Akeredolu as a “fearless soldier” for his unwavering advocate for the people of the state. 

Daily Trust reports that Akeredolu died on December 27 after suffering prostate cancer. He was aged 67.

Tinubu, who spoke on Friday at the funeral service held at St Andrews Church, Imola in Owo, lauded the former governor’s courage and dedication to serve the state.

The President, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, eulogised Akerdolu, whom he said left behind an “indomitable legacy of national service.”

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“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,” he said.

While tracing the late Akeredolu’s journey from his legal career to his pivotal role as governor of Ondo State, Tinubu also saluted him for his vast intelligence and the profound impact of his leadership.

“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,” he added.

The President emphasised Akeredolu’s commitment to serving through democratic means while alive, saying the late governor recognised the most pragmatic path to serving humanity.

He also commended the governor’s strength of character and conviction with the sacrifices he made to serve his people.

Tinubu urged the nation to cherish Akeredolu’s memory and “the indomitable legacy” he left behind.

“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,” Tinubu said.

Earlier, the state Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, said the people of the state would not forget the indelible impact the late Akeredolu left behind.

Aiyedatiwa said his late principal was a courageous leader, fighter and warrior, adding that his memory would linger forever in the hearts of the people.

He said, “Sometimes we wonder how he decided to leave us so soon. Why can’t God give him more years to still stay with us? A real husband to the wife, a real father to the children, a leader and governor for the state for many years, and loyal friends to all of you. Why did God take him home so soon?

“They say good people don’t live for too long; I think he is one of them. For me, I cannot forget him so soon because we share a lot together. How can I forget those political, physical, and dusty roads that we have travelled together since 2012?

“As his political associate, friend, and one-time Director-General of his campaign, Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency, as Deputy Governor nominee, Deputy Governor elected, and Acting Governor whenever he travelled, and now he has made me a governor even in death. How can I forget?,” he said.

In his sermon at the funeral service, Henry Ndukuba, Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, asked Tinubu to act fast to alleviate the untold hardship Nigerians are facing.

Represented by Blessing Enyindah, the Archbishop of Ikwerre, from Rivers State, Ndukuba told Tinubu that there’s ‘trouble in the land’, noting that time was already behind the president.

“There is trouble everywhere in Nigeria. 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.

“Time is running fast. 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 something fast because time, that is four or eight years as the case may be, is brief and the time is running,” he said.

According to Ndukuba, the untold hardship Nigerians are facing under the president was no longer bearable for the masses.

He explained that the country under Tinubu’s watch was in a big mess, stressing that insecurity, hunger and ritual killings had become the order of the day.

“We move from one trouble to another. Please help us, Mr. President to do something. We appreciate your efforts, but what we need now is quick solution to the present hardship in the country,” the Archbishop added.

He urged the people to remember that their time on earth was a very short one, stressing the need to make a positive impact on society, most particularly when holding public positions.

“The eyes of God is watching you about what you are doing. One day, you will account for what you have done in this world,” he added.

In her tribute, the wife of the late governor, Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu, noted that his husband was lovely while alive.

“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 is 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,” she said.

The funeral service was attended by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

Others include Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, Sheriff Oborevwor of Delta State, Charles Soludo of Anambra State, and AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara State.

Also present at the event were former governors Olusegun Mimiko, Kayode Fayemi, Niyi Adebayo and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the APC National Chairman, among other dignitaries.

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