Home » Tinubu, Atiku, Akpabio, Lawan, Peter Obi, others mourn Akeredolu, Na’Abba

Tinubu, Atiku, Akpabio, Lawan, Peter Obi, others mourn Akeredolu, Na’Abba

by Akeem Adeyemi
Tinubu, Atiku, Akpabio, Lawan, Peter Obi, others mourn Akeredolu, Na'Abba

President Bola Tinubu has expressed deep sadness over the death of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, describing him as a “fearless brother” and a dedicated public servant.

Popularly known as “Aketi” among his constituents, the 67-year-old Akeredolu passed away on Wednesday morning after an extended health struggle while undergoing medical treatment in Germany.

Tinubu, in a heartfelt statement, described Akeredolu as a “towering figure,” a “strong voice in the wilderness,” and a “mourner-in-chief” who guided his people through a period of darkness.

The president stated Akeredolu’s “strident advocacy against every form of injustice” and his instrumental role in pushing for the establishment of local police in the Southwest region.

“Rotimi was a man who moved our nation towards equity, fairness and justice in his strident advocacy against every form of injustice in our country through the instrumentality of the law as a senior advocate, attorney general of his beloved state, as President of the Nigerian Bar Association and Governor of Ondo State,” Tinubu said.

He said Akeredolu’s dedication to public service, particularly during his six years as Governor of Ondo State, citing the “hundreds of kilometres of roads built, the many schools built, and healthcare facilities that he provided,” and praised his leadership during the Owo massacre in 2022, calling him a “true statesman and compassionate leader.”

Former Nigerian Vice President and presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar also expressed shock and sadness over the passing of Akeredolu.

In a statement issued today, Atiku hailed Akeredolu as a “quintessential gentleman who took the finesse to governance” and lauded the late governor’s two terms in office for their lack of “destructive politics.”

Senate President Godswill Akpabio, former Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Deputy President Barau Jubrin have mourned former Speaker Ghali Umar Na’Ábba, who died in the early hours of Wednesday in Abuja at the age of 65 and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, who died at the age of 67 in Lagos.

This was contained in a separate statement from the media office of each senator on Wednesday.

In a condolence message, the senate president who described the death of Na’Abba as saddening for the nation to lose Na’Abba at this time in its history said: “On behalf of my family and the entire National Assembly, it is with intense sadness that I received the news of the shocking death of the second speaker of the House of Representatives of the 4th Republic, Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’ Ábba, which occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, December 27, 2023, in Abuja”.

Describing the former speaker as a patriot, selfless politician, and a true democrat who sacrificed his ambition by repelling dictatorship and instituting the independence of the Legislature, he said: “I am indeed saddened at the news of the death of Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, is a patriot, a true democrat, and a courageous and selfless politician, who staked his exalted position in the fight against dictatorship to preserve the independence of the Legislature and foster national development.

While eulogizing Akeredolu, Akpabio had this to say: He spent his active life fighting for justice, fairness and equity. Akeredolu believed in true federalism, which he pursued with passion and vigour. I am sad that we have to lose Chief Rotimi Akeredolu this early in life. He was a leader that placed the interest of his people above every other consideration. He was a man of integrity and strong conviction with a strict work ethos and never paid lip service to the welfare of the people of the state.”

“He was a fearless lawyer who spoke truth to power regardless of whose ox was gored. As governor, Chief Akeredolu left his footprints in the sands of history, executing landmark projects and implementing people-oriented policies that earned him a second term in office. A man of style, Chief Akeredolu was obsessed with excellence. I believe the people of Ondo, the South West, and the entire Nigeria, especially the progressives will sorely miss Chief Rotimi Akeredolu because he lived a purposeful and focused life and distinguished himself as a lawyer and one of the best-performing governors in the country.”

Describing Akeredolu and Na’Abba as visionary leaders, the president of the Ninth Senate, Senator Lawan said: “It is with great sorrow and a profound sense of loss that I mourn the passing of two distinguished leaders: Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba. Their untimely deaths have left an irreparable void in the political and governance landscape of our nation.

Described Akeredolu as a visionary leader who dedicated his life to the service of his people, with unwavering commitment to the progress and prosperity of Ondo State, which was evident in his numerous achievements, including the infrastructural development projects, economic initiatives, and agricultural reforms, he said that the former speaker, Na’Abba, on the other hand, was a strong advocate for democracy who played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s democratic governance during the time he held sway as Speaker of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003.

The former Anambra Governor and Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, also described his closeness to Akeredolu, recalling their initial meeting when Akeredolu invited him to speak at an NBA event, noting that they “remained close” and “always discussed issues about Nigeria.”

Former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki described Akeredolu’s life as “remarkable, inspiring, and accomplished by all standards” in a statement.

Saraki praised Akeredolu for his “extraordinary ability to lead and serve,” emphasising his dedication to both the legal profession and public service.

“We will sorely miss His Excellency, Aketi,” He stated.

Meanwhile, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said Akeredolu was a friend and brother, stating that they have been “allies through many battles, shared triumphs, and stood side by side, witnessing his relentless pursuit of justice.”

Sanwo-olu noted that Akeredolu’s passing is a profound loss, not just for Ondo State but also for the nation, adding that his impact as a beacon of hope and progress will forever echo.

“Rest in eternal peace, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. Your spirit of resilience and commitment to justice will forever inspire us,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“I pray that God grants him eternal rest and gives his immediate family, friends, associates, and the people of Ondo State the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

While extolling the late Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba, Deputy Senate President Barau said the deceased was a parliamentarian par excellence, who promoted and defended legislative independence during his era as the Speaker of the House of Representatives between July and June 2003.

Barau who chaired the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation during Na’Abba’s tenure, said the deceased was
committed to the concept of separation of powers, protection of the rule of law and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during his tenure.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our late brother, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba. May Allah SWT grant him Jannatul Firdausi and give all of us that he left behind the strength to bear this irreparable loss. He was a patriotic Nigerian par excellence who lived and worked for the development of our beloved country. Throughout his tenure as speaker of the House of Representatives and even after he promoted and defended the country’s Constitution. This was what endeared the late Speaker to all,” he said.

You may also like

Update Required Flash plugin