I was not on the side of governor Akeredolu during the 2016 electioneering. On the other side with his main challenger, we gave and take the salvos. That is way of pen pundits. It was Yemi Olowolabi, a big brother and admired senior on this lane who manned the gate on the side of Akeredolu. The dossier of this intrigual time will not be the business of this piece. The election was won and lost. The bearded Akeredolu succeeded Olusegun Mimiko.
Looking back now, Eyitayo Jegede and Olusola Oke lost the fight to Akeredolu, and satisfactorily too, since the winning was not disputed. Another opinion said the election was very much credible to the extent that neither of Oke and Jegede dare contest the seismic winning. The congratulatory missives were delivered at virtually equal speed with the declaration of the electoral umpire.
Eyitayo had taken it in his strides, the way Akeredolu did as candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2012. I could not reach Oke’s mind at the time, but for those who know, he is not a diffident. Oke has gallantry in his veins. I understand him as a virtual fanatic when it themes on pursuance. He is one hard core optimistic that believedly battles his way through hurdles and rubbles, rarely giving up. I once told a close friend about how Oke was a heady enthusiast of Olusegun Agagu, something now very rare among putative political followers.
As adolescents, we watched Chief Oke fight daringly in favour of late Agagu. He is resilient. He and other apostles of the late governor were a formidable squad. On this list was Segun Mimiko, the immediate predecessor to Akeredolu, Tayo Alasoadura, the current Minister of state for Niger Delta, D.I Kekemeke, former state chairman of APC, Pastor Femi Agagu, presently the Commissioner for Education, Eddy Olafeso, former Deputy National Chairman of PDP.
There were other egg-heads in the clique. Akeredolu was not with them. He was elsewhere doing what he chose and love more, part of the reasons he was not seasoned in the politicians’ parlance. Not a few among his associates saw him as green. His nuances were suspected early enough. To many, if governorship were to be a matter of rotation, it must be among the homegrown comrades. This outlook was part of the wars Akeredolu fought.
He was not actually fighting the party leaders as doubters say. He fought wrong mentalities. He fought untoward ideologies that he considered inimical to the substance he swore to do. It is true that Aketi has a ‘weakness’ for which he has won more critics. That is his penchant for candour. He is blunt to a fault. He says it as he sees it. He lacks the capacity for feigning as political actors are wont to do.
For being forthright he attracted only few friends and pitched himself against wild political cats and the ripples would last throughout his governorship. Akeredolu’s intentions were very much misrepresented to the people. Politicians are good at so doing. The former governor Olusegun Agagu suffered the same fate for being unpretentious. He was let down for busy building Bridges and creating wealth for the future of the state while leaving the thirst of politicians unattended.
What is more profound? It is in the face of this distractions that Akeredolu has kept faith with the truth. Amidst serial conspiracies, he remained undaunted while delivering sturdy achievements to the state and her people. Since he was elected, he has given primacy to the people, the underdogs, and never waivering. His efforts at opening up the state for economic prosperity and developing infrastructure are unmatched.
His handling of roads, school buildings and massive investments is something to be admired by all. Governor Akeredolu’s administration facilitated Ondo-Linyi Industrial Hub, made Ondo State afforestation the economic future of the state. His marked intervention with Ore-bridge is both endearing and enduring.
Yet, he is not resting on his oars. He daily continues to improve on his performances.
The same way he is improving on political relationships, even the ones he should ordinarily choose to scorn. Beneath his virulent voice, Aketi is innately peaceable. Besides the reconciliatory efforts of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, Akeredolu is reaching out to his associates on the need to put the house in order, in ultimate interest of the party and the people.
The governor dropped the airs. He reached for believers and critics alike. “I’m ready to apologise to whoever I have wronged.” That is the statement of governor Akeredolu. I have learned earlier that it takes a strong man to apologise. And that is what his attitude represents. In another opinion, “Apology is a show of strength, an act of true honesty, an act of generosity; it is restoring the self-concept of those we offended; it offers hope for a renewed relationship and strengthens connection with the people we hurt.”
That is what Akeredolu is doing in truth. That is how much he is deserving of a repeated collective trust. He is doing very much to secure the future, even for the generations yet unborn. His re-election would further engender socio-economic growth and development of the state.
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