Akeredolu arrives Nigeria hours after rumoured death

Ondo State

By Banji Ayoola

Barely 24 hours after he was rumoured dead, Chairman of South West Governor’s Forum and Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, arrived Nigeria after a 14-day vacation in Germany.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde, announced his principal’s arrival on his page, saying: “Ondo state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, arrived at the International wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria at exactly 10:35pm on Sunday, April 17, 2022.”

On his arrival in the country, in a statement he signed, the governor declared his support for the senatorial ambition of his wife, Betty, in her Imo home state. Mrs Akeredolu is seeking to contest the Imo East Senatorial election in 2023.

Rumour, engineered and fueled by an online report, had been making the rounds in the state that the governor, who, according to the report, had been ill, had eventually passed on in a German hospital.

However, Olatunde had dispelled the rumour in a video posted on his Facebook page showing the governor dancing and singing to prove to cynics that he is still alive.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party had on Sunday alleged that the governor was using the state’s funds to sponsor his wife’s senatorial ambition in Imo state.

In the statement titled “Public service: The greatest privilege,” Akeredolu said: “Betty, FLOOS, let me choose this great day in our lives, our 41st wedding Anniversary to notch up in print my support for your popular and known quest to serve your people in the Senate.

“The evolution of modern societies bears indelible evidence of significant inputs of few people. This trajectory records definitive impacts of those who dare to think and act differently. The consequence of this defiance finds expression in radical departure from the old order, leading to transformation. It yields quality accretions which impact positively on the people in any given space.

“The world owes those who dare a debt of gratitude for audacity, tenacity, consistency and focus. These torch bearers withstand the brunt of vilification, contempt, deprivation and even rejection. They remain undaunted until the set goal is achieved. They are rarely praised afterwards.

“Public service is taken as the highest form of participation in the affairs of a human community, state or a country. It ennobles anyone, privileged to serve, whose tenacity, focus and integrity ensure development. Only a few are truly equipped for service. They must be encouraged at all times.

“Anytime, anywhere and under whatever circumstances, those who hold views which threaten to shatter age-long widely held beliefs and/or practices are a special breed. Those whose activities have borne positive impact on the lives of the under-privileged, must be supported by all good people.

“I join all other well-wishers, admirers, supporters and stakeholders to support, openly and without any reservations or equivocation, my Adorable Betty in her bid to continue to serve the people in her State of birth, Imo.

“I do this, most enthusiastically, as a partner, admirer and active follower for over four decades. I consider myself highly privileged to have a workaholic, gender and human rights activist, humanist and philanthropist as wife, adviser, harshest critic, supporter, political associate and, above all, an unrelenting ideologue, ready to sacrifice and confront any obstacle, natural and artificial. I am of the firm belief that any group, society, community, state or country, privileged to avail itself of the quintessential service of a bold crusader, as she, is lucky indeed.

“Seeking to continue what she started long before I came into politics, when she ran for the House of Representatives, at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, is not strange to me or anyone who has been watching the activities of this special personality. I SUPPORT HER ASPIRATION NOW, AS I HAVE ALWAYS DONE, EVEN BEFORE I JOINED POLITICS. I know her to be a passionate believer in rectitude. I believe in her mission to emancipate women from the shackles of all forms of oppression.

“I have known her as a fiercely independent personality who is never afraid to voice her dissent on any issue. I have witnessed her triumphs over adversities at close quarters. She made me appreciate more the nuanced difference between foolhardiness and courage. Many have come to accept her as a rock of refuge for the oppressed and hopeless. She has been a strong advocate for equity and justice and against unprofitable superstitions, beliefs and habits which predispose people to diseases and avoidable deaths.

“I am proud of this gift from Imo State. I support her aspiration wholeheartedly. I am convinced that the people of Imo State will enjoy quality representation from her. Her presence in the Senate promises exciting moments.

“I harbour no anxiety that my Adorable Betty, ADA OWERE, has all it takes to BEMORE. While offering her my unalloyed support, I wish her all the best in this current quest to extend and particularise the scope of service in the interest of the people.

“May the will of the Almighty be manifested and fulfilled in this endeavour, and many more, designed to uplift the downtrodden.

“May fair winds aid this sail!”

Akeredolu had appeared on a video clip with his Chief of Protocol, Mr Bola Alabi,, singing and religious songs mocking his traducers and declaring that he is alive and praising the Lord for the grace and blessings.

Reacting to the death rumour, Olatunde had wondered how anyone, under any guise, would wish a fellow human dead.

In a statement on his verified Facebook page on Saturday evening, entitled “Ignore gistlover, fake news is evil,” the Chief Press Secretary had alleged that “some rabble-rousers and frustrated elements have continued to abuse the usage of the social media.

He wrote: “The social media is a blessing to this generation. All the social media platforms have afforded us ample opportunities that were not there in the dark days. As beautiful as these advantages are, some rabble-rousers and frustrated elements have continued to abuse the usage of the social media. They underscored some of the curses of the digital age.

“The fraud called “Gistlover” has continued to show the irresponsibility of the social media. It has mindlessly advanced its voyage of spreading fake news. The handler of the Instagram page is nothing but cold-hearted creature. A machinery and ready tool in the hands of political adversary. That creature is a tragedy of this generation.

“I read the latest fabricated item on that page and I was amazed at how anyone, under any guise, would wish a fellow human being death. It is the most extreme bad blood ever shown. Politics aside, is that not inhumane and heartless?

“My phone won’t stop ringing in the last one hour. The lies posted by the infamous “Gistlover” have generated serious worries from many quarters. Just like I told those who called me on the phone. “Governor Akeredolu is hale and hearty. He’s alive and living well.”

“We must Identify the bad eggs in the society. They are everywhere. Mostly on the social media. The blessings of the social media must not rob us of our sense of responsibility. We must be deliberate in making sure that only sane and responsible people are taken seriously on the social media space.

“Don’t listen to naysayers. 4+4 is complete 8. God is our guide.”

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