Exactly a year that, death like bees sting one of the illustrious sons of Ogbomoso. The trees were sober in the forest and the moons shed tear. Chipping bird shout and refuse to eased, it was dawn before it was realized that the snake has gone back to its burrow, yeah! Akala is gone!
It is to recall that, the former chairman of Ogbomoso North local government breathed his last in the early morning of Wednesday, 12th of January, 2022. The tribute that follows his transition shows that, the life of a man does not consist in the abundance of his possessions, it was mix of mourning and celebration in his Opadoyin residence. The reason for mourning is not to forget but rather to accept the reality of loss, and to live with knowledge that death is final and irrevocable, it was improbable, the way in which the former governor was mourned more than the bereaved.
His burial that came up Feb, 18, 2022 also depicted his nobility with the calibres of people that thronged the land of the valiant to pay their last respect to the sixth executive Governor of Oyo State as his remain was laid to rest. Popularly called ‘Oyato Governor’ due to his human phased style of leadership, there is no gainsaying that his burial will always be a reference point as Ogbomoso has never witnessed such aristocracy before.
Is it the drama that unfolded when his remains were conveyed in motorcade in Ibadan. This was, indeed, an emotional moment! As people trooped to the streets to take a glimpse, there were celebrations of the hero as people stood to honour the Otun Orirun of the Source. Or is it about the massive turnout of the youth, including men and women who trooped out in candlelight procession to honour ‘Oyato Governor’? it was, in fact, unprecedented in the recent history of Ogbomoso, Oyo State and even Nigeria. I mean the manner in which, even, the physically challenged were also among those clad in black attires to mourn the passage of the great titan of inestimable values.
Still remembering the powerful message by Professor Osinbanjo at Beulah Baptist Centre, where the grand finale ceremony was held, the legal icon acknowledged the humanity in the former chairman of Ogbomoso North local government area. According to Ogun-born scholar, professional and politician, “Where ever Akala went when he was alive, all of you would hear ‘Oyato’.” Since his transition, all the tributes had largely focused on his generosity and masses lover spirit. He was, indeed, a humanist who practised politics without bitterness and his arms were open enough to receive anybody that came his way.”
However, this is a lesson to everyone most especially Nigeria politician that, they can be eulogies after they have gone even to the earth beyond. Before and after his transition, Akala’s name is a memorize lyrics to almost all households in Ogbomoso, he was given many nickname due to his humanly nature, a name like, chop make I chop, ATM governor, and to cap it all Oyato which means you are different.
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His philanthropic philosophy distinguished him from his peer, this glaring manifested in the executive Governor of Oyo State Eng. Seyi Makinde speech during his burial, which stated that, late Akala lived a fulfilled life, describing as the most experienced governor in the history of Oyo State. He said he was a man that knew when to play politics and when not. This and many other accolades shower on him even by his political opponent.
However, it is pertinent to know that Akala sparkling garment was not without dirt, as he was charged shortly after his tenure as the Governor of Oyo state by anti corruption agency of the country for corruption and was later acquainted by a court of competent jurisdiction. The rift between him and the council of Obas in the state which was later resolved; The political mis calculation he did in 2019 by supporting All Progressives Congress candidate was a master plan and at the same time a strategic blunder which almost cost him his popularity, by supporting Adelabu, it seem Akala has burnt his candle by two edges but with his resilience and doggedness, the political titan proven to be a candle which is flame can not be extinguished.
It will be logical to say that, the former deputy inspector of police beckon a good legacy to his generation even beyond the shore of Nigeria; as his son Olomijuwonlo Akala was immune by the ravaged faction during the All Progressives Congress primary election due to his father influence. His imprint can not be neglected in the nook and cranny of the state, not to talk of his people oriented government who birthed the name ‘Oyato’.
His altruistic attitude which some Nigeria big Witt like Yinka Ayefele, Taye Currency to mention but few testify to; the political ambition he birthed at the local, state and federal level. The love and ardor he had for his people. He took the vantage of his abase embryo to erect his own empire and enlarge his coast in Nigeria political space. It will be so hard to give a bad testament against him in his home town, a privilege that is only enjoyed by few. One year after his demised, the candidate has not yet emerge that could rout Akala in Ogbomoso.
While his status in the society should be elusive, his philanthropy, benevolent, charitable and altruism set him as a tiger who is more perilous while maimed.
Ojelabi writes from Ogbomoso via [email protected]