Aketi: An erudite lawyer and radical political translates – Rauf Aregbesola.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

It is with a heavy heart that I join the wife, children, friends, the progressives family in Nigeria, people and government of Ondo to mourn the passing of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the beloved former Governor of Ondo.

Aketi’s life was a mirror of the admirable legacy he has woven. He navigated his roles with excellence – from steering the Nigerian Bar Association to advocating brilliantly in Nigeria’s highest courts, and from fostering progress across Ondo as governor to championing the unity of our federation. All the while, he stood as a pillar of love and guidance for his family, a devoted husband and a caring father. His story prompts us to reflect on the enduring impact of a life dedicated to service, unity, and family.

The departure of someone as dynamic as Aketi, at any stage in life, stirs a deep emotional current and a profound sense of loss within us. This is the collective heartache we share as we reflect on the void left by his passing.

In this reflection, we recall Aketi’s pivotal role in a defining moment for our party, ACN, and the people of Osun in 2007. He was integral to the legal team that fought tirelessly to reclaim the mandate given by the electorate. This legal battle was historic, marked by its length and the complexity of being tried twice, both initially and on appeal. After an arduous three and a half years, a favorable verdict was finally secured, just 180 days before the contested term’s end. Aketi, alongside other esteemed legal minds, navigated this challenging litigation, demonstrating the tenacity and dedication that we’ve come to associate with his character, championing both our party’s cause and the people’s will.

After his significant contributions in the legal arena, Aketi sought and was twice entrusted by the people of Ondo to lead as their governor, a role he embraced and excelled in with distinction. He wasn’t just a leader; he was a friend, a radical colleague, and a brother committed to the cause.

In a gesture of magnanimity and connection, Aketi opened the doors of his office to celebrate the silver jubilee of my alma mater in February 2022. He was a gracious host, personally welcoming me during my tenure as the minister of interior on two critical occasions. The first visit was to inaugurate a state-of-the-art fire engine for the Federal Fire Service in Akure, and the second, a more somber affair, to understand the devastating impact of the terrorist attack in Owo and extend condolences to the people of Ondo on behalf of the President. Each visit underscored his dedication to service and the well-being of his community.

Arakunrin stood out as a true advocate for regional unity, actively engaging in initiatives that propelled this vision forward. Notably, he was the sole Governor to join Osun in embracing the Omoluabi anthem, illustrating his commitment to regional solidarity. His absence will be deeply felt by nationalists, federalists, and patriots alike, for he was a staunch supporter of progressive ideals.

I feel a profound personal loss as I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his wife, children, and the broader Ondo community upon Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s passing. On behalf of my family and colleagues, please accept our deepest condolences.

In our grief for a brother greatly valued, I pray for his soul’s peace and for strength for his family to endure this immense loss. I also hope for continued courage within the government to carry forward his progressive agenda. Arakunrin’s legacy is too significant to fade.

May Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu find peace and joy in the next chapter of his journey. Aamin.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

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