For Aketi, The Earthly Journey Is Finally Over

Akeredolu

By Ojo Oyewamide 


Last December, the soul of the former Ondo state governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, departed his body. Yesterday, the body disappeared into the womb of the earth. 


Without a soul, the body of man is of no use to the living. Rather, it will remain a borden and inflict emotional pains until it is gotten rid of. 


The interment of Akeredolu’s body has signaled the end of his physical being. He now belongs to the realm of the spirits. As from now, he can only be seen in dreams. 


Supplications were offered to God and gods for the former governor to remain on the side of the living. But prayers failed to rescue him from the vicious grip of the grim reaper. 


However, the failure of prayers in the case of Akeredolu does not suggest their inefficacy. Such is the inevitability of death that nothing can stop it when it is ready to strike. 


Akeredolu was a rebel with a cause. He revolted against injustice and unfairness as a student activist and, later, as a lawyer. His exceptionalism began to show clearly in his university days. He was always a beret-wearing and heavily bearded young man. 


He was widely called Aketi. But everybody in the Akeredolu household is called Aketi. The sobriquet is a short form of Akeredolu. Those very close to the former governor called him Emperor. Was he called Emperor because of his exceptional look in those days? Or was it because of his admiration for Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia? Selassie ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. Till today, Selassie is seen as a defining figure in the modern history of Ethiopia. Only those close to Akeredolu can answer those questions. 


Akeredolu was a restlessness soul at the University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University. His professional soulmate, Akin Olujimi, revealed this in his tribute to the late Owo-born legal icon. 


Listen to Olujimi: "An expressive and effervescent personality, Aketi was everywhere on the campus. Active and gregarious, he was  involved in some reknown student clubs, most notably the Kegite. He looked admirable as he on many occasions led  the distinctive renditions of the Kegite Club on their occasional parades round the campus."  


Also in his tribute, Ikeazor Ajovi Akaraiwe declared that Akeredolu realised the potency of the NBA presidency as an instrument of social re-engineering. Ikeazor was the 1st vice president when Aketi was the president of NBA. 


Ikeazor wrote: "Aketi understood the possibilities inherent in the NBA Presidency and used it. Under him, NBA traversed the national landscape like a colossus. Aketi enlarged the office, and in doing so enlarged the NBA. The sitting Chief Justice at the time called me to complain about Aketi, while my State Governor asked me to advise him. The presidential villa sent for me to explain government position to him through me."


As governor, Akeredolu did his best for his people. He vehemently defended them and was always after their happiness. Yes, he had his faults. But who is that man or woman that is infallible? 


May your soul continue to rest in perfect peace, Aketi, the son of Reverend Eni ire.


Oyewamide writes from Isolo, Akure.

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