By Femi Alaka, Ibadan
Not a human being could be so loved and blessed as Arakunrin Rotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, the man calling the shot at the Alagbaka House, Akure, and for those who love him, he would absolutely worship.
His story could be likened to the famous novel and one of the best fictions in history, Robinson Crusoe. The character lived alone in the desert for 99 years and finds his way back to the human community. He was fortified with love, acceptability, warmth reception in an unimaginable proportion.
Akeredolu after a life struggle incubated hatched in Ibadan and Ile-Ife went back to his state of origin to become a servant Governor in a hotly contested election. The rest is now history.
The sun shines on him when he was trusted with the responsibility of governing one of the most populous states in the South West of the country, Ondo state about four years ago. For the people of Ondo State, with “Sunshine” sobriquet, this is certainly the best of time to appraise the performances and qualities inherent in those that have governed them. Leadership is a function of followership. The people deserve their respect in the temple of justice. I give it to them with due respect.
Successive leaders in Ondo State from late Chief Micheal Adekunle Ajasin, Bamidele Olumilua, Adebayo Adefarati, Dr Olusegun Mimiko made great impacts in developing the state, their efforts have been complemented by Rotimi Akeredolu with great zeal. However, nobody can do it all, no matter how rich or intellectually endowed, there will always be room for improvement. This explains why Akeredolu cannot be said to score 100 percent.
Being a person I knew from childhood, it will not be an exaggeration to dishonesty to describe Governor Akeredolu as a quintessential intellectual imbued with administrative ingenuity visible in his governance in Ondo State.
The voice of man is the voice of God. As an inquisitive character and Public Affairs Analyst of long standing, I was impressed of accolades from certain quarters on his impacts on infrastructural, educational, heal, agricultural, human and capital developments in his state of primary assignment. His adversaries would always be quick to add that there would always be the need for improvement. I verily share this sentiment.
I crave the indulgence of readers here to submit my modest assessment of the personality under reference. This is largely due to my understanding of the qualities in him right from his early years.
As defined by circumstances of his birth, a native of cosmopolitan Owo town in Ondo State reputed for producing egg heads and movers and shakers of public and private industries, Akeredolu is a child of destiny and never daunted by challenges. He opted to study Law and gave it all his best. The desire for education gave him the privilege of democratic activism. No wonder why young Lawyers often deferred to him as their mentor .The strength of any man is his ability to rise each time he falls. He contested as Governor and lost. He never gave up, he repeated the struggle and won. God time is always the best. Simply put, he is simplicity personified, a mixer, humble, loyal and generous to a fault. He relates with friends and acquaintances with the fear of God.
The people of Ondo state have a lot to still benefit from his milk of human wisdom, intelligence and very frank principles that could only be find in great mentor history in the likes of, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere and Abraham Lincoln, all of blessed memories etc.
Right from Loyola College, Ibadan, a school reputed for high standard which I have the opportunity to attend with the Governor during the highly competitive secondary school days, I saw in him ability to deliver in position of higher responsibilities, always passionate about man development and the immediate society. His other side is that, he can show aggression when he faces challenges from expected and unexpected quarters. He made history in his chosen career by becoming Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and steadily rose to become the Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA. There is no way all these experiences would not rub on his understanding and performances as a public office holder .His intimidating credentials married with the necessary combination of technocrats and seasoned politicians in Ondo State would always make the difference in his assignment as number one citizen of Ondo State.
Aspiring leaders and politicians have a lot to learn from his sagacity and mien given his voyage and track, walking where Angels fear to tread.
Like in every creature, everyone deserves opportunity to serve and complete good works of an administration especially in a country where second term in office is entrenched in the constitution. That “Aketi” is seeking for a second term in office speaks volume of his determination to complete unfinished projects in Ondo State. He would like to continue the rehabilitation of schools, provision of health facilities, upgrading roads in all the local governments, modern markets uplift, gender development, economic prosperity, landmark innovations, giving the security alternative “Amotekun” right footing, developing the tertiary institutions, building a very strong traditional system and above all, leaving an endurance legacy of a Servant Governor.
Ondo people earned my respect in the way they marry principle with action, there is no nonsense in their dictionary and would always call, a spade a spade, no matter whose ox is gored.
The task of leaving affairs of the States in credible, tested and experienced hands is a collective task everyone must performed. It is time again for the sun to shine in Ondo State as history beckons at all in indigenes and residents to decide in the fast approaching governorship election.
. Femi Alaka, an Ibadan based Industrialist and Public Affairs Analyst