13 facts about Ondo governor Akeredolu, who died without witnessing Tinubu as president

Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor of Ondo State, died on Wednesday morning, December 27, 2023, at the age of 67, following a long illness.

The governor died of prostrate cancer while receiving treatment in Germany, according to the Ondo State Government.

Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Orientation, issued a statement announcing the governor’s death.

Mr. Governor passed away quietly in the early hours of today, Wednesday, December 27, 2023,” she said.

“This tragedy has left a deep void in our hearts.” While seeking medical treatment in Germany, Governor Akeredolu accepted the eternal call. He died as a result of complications from his delayed prostate cancer.”

Ademola-Olateju stated that a letter has been sent to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu informing him of Akeredolu’s death, and that the family and the state government will provide more information on the burial plans.

The governor of Ondo State, who had been battling illness for some time, returned to Nigeria in September following a three-month medical leave in Germany.

In December, he delegated authority to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in order for him to fly to Germany for treatment after his health apparently deteriorated, in accordance with the 1999 constitution.

Here are 13 things you may not know about Rotimi Akeredolu:

1. Akeredolu was born on 21st July 1956 in Owo, Ondo State to the Late Rev. J. O Ola Akeredolu of Owo and Lady Evang. Grace Akeredolu of Igbotu Ese Odo Government Area of Ondo State. He started his primary education at a government school in Owo and then proceeded to Aquinas College, Akure, Loyola College, Ibadan, and a comprehensive high school, Ayetoro, for his secondary school education and Higher School Certificate, respectively.

2. Akeredolu was admitted into the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1974 popularly known as Oba Awon University. He obtained his LLB degree in 1977 and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School for his B.L in 1978. He was Vice President Student Union in the 1975/76 session.

3. His middle name Odunayo means “Year of happiness” in Yoruba.. His adopted prefix is “Arakunrin”, while his nickname is “Aketi”.

4. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who became 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.

5. Akeredolu was appointed Attorney General of Ondo State from 1997 to 1999. In 1998, he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He was Chairman of the Legal Aid Council (2005–2006).

6. In November 2009, he faced allegations of corruption when the Bar Association’s third Vice-President, Welfare Secretary, and Assistant Financial Secretary circulated a petition entitled “Complaints against your fraudulent manifestations, violation of the NBA”. Subsequently, the allegations against him were reviewed and dropped by the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Bar Association.

7. On Sunday, 27 November 2016, Akeredolu was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the Ondo State governorship election. Aketi won his re-election as Ondo State governor in October 2020 and was sworn in for a second term in office in February 2021.

8. He was the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, an organization comprised of the governors of the 17 southern Nigerian states. As chairman, Akeredolu also led his other five colleagues in the South-West, promoting various reforms, particularly in the area of security, the most notable of which was the development of the South-West Security Network nicknamed Amotekun.

9. Aketi was a member of the All Progressives Congress and an associate of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, due to health concerns, had never seen him as president since his inauguration on May 29.

10. He was the fourth governor to died in office in Nigeria after Kaduna state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa killed alongside five others in a helicopter crash in Ogbia Creek, Bayelsa state in 2012; Sokoto Governor, Shehu Kangiwa who died in office in a polo accident in January 1982; and Mamman Ali, the then-governor of Yobe state who died in a Florida hospital, United States in 2019 two weeks after he travelled to the country for medical treatment.

11. He was a member, Oyo State Football association, 1992-1994, an associate Member, Nigerian Red Cross Society, Oyo State Branch. He also accepted and became the Patron, The Nigerian Law Society, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Patron, Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Patron The law society, Faculty of Law, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. He was also the Patron, Sports Writers association of Nigeria, Oyo State branch.

12. Aketi was married to Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu and blessed with four children and many grandchildren.

13. He died on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, of prostrate cancer while receiving treatment in Germany. He was succeded by Lukcy Aiyedatiwa (his deputy) as Ondo State governor.

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