The Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has described the death of former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala as a rude shock.
Akeredolu lamented that the Southwest, especially Oyo State have lost a giant and quintessential politician who was committed to friendship, progress and development of the society till the end.
This was contained in a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde in Akure.
“The finality of death is a hard reality to deal with. Notwithstanding, it is a puzzle that only God understands.
” He giveth and taketh. Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala did not bid us farewell. We were not prepared to lose him now. The news of his demise came as a rude shock. It is, indeed, a piercing pain.
“More than mere emotional flashes, we reflect on the time and moments we have shared, the struggles we all partook.
“Our wins and constant hope together. His death causes a deafening silence in our heart. It is a big blow dealt on us.
“As a former Governor, Akala did his best by contributing immensely to the growth of the pacesetter state. Under his reign, the people witnessed development in all ramifications. He was a man that loved his people.
“Akala was a strong pillar of our great party, the APC, in Oyo State. He played the elderly role by stabilizing the party in the state. His death is a huge loss to the APC.” The Governor said.
According to Governor Akeredolu, late Akala served Oyo state meritoriously, having served as deputy Governor, and then, Governor of the state.
Akeredolu also described the death of Alao-Akala, as a personal loss.
Akeredolu, who recalled his relationship with Akala, as a former Governor and later APC chieftain, said he was a dependable friend.
He brought devt to Oyo — Makinde
Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, said the news of demise of a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala was very shocking, as he joined other residents to mourn the passing of the All Progressives Congress, APC stalwart.
The governor, on his verified Facebook page, said: I join the good people of Oyo State to mourn the passing of a former governor of our dear state, Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala, which sad event took place today (Wednesday).”
“May his soul rest in peace and may God grant his family the fortitude to bear this great loss.”
“I have directed that flags fly in half-mast in honour of Governor Alao-Akala, our brother, friend and illustrious son of Oyo State.”
“His Excellency will be remembered for his contributions to the development of Oyo State as governor, especially for taking infrastructural development to other zones of the state outside Ibadan,” Makinde said.
How he died
The frontline politician was said to have died in his sleep in Ogbomoso on Wednesday.
Akala, according to a family source, was said to have returned from Abuja yesterday (Tuesday) to Ibadan, where he watched the Super Eagles football match against Egypt in the evening, before embarking on a journey to Ogbomoso.
The source said, the Ogbomoso born retired police officer was discovered dead when they entered his room on Wednesday morning.
Speaking further, he said the late politician was said to have chaired a meeting with some people on Tuesday.
He died five months to his 72nd birthday which will hold on June 3. His death came exactly a month after the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade lll died.
About late Alao-Akala
Late Alao-Akala started his political career as a member of New Dimension. He participated in the zero-party local government election of 1996 and later co-founded the UNP before its fusion with UNC to form UNCP.
He participated in the Ogbomoso Federal Constituency (One) primary election of the UNCP in 1997. He contested and won the chairmanship seat of the Ogbomosho North Ogbomoso North Local Government along with seven councilors under the platform of APP in 1998.
He was elected the vice-chairman of ALGON, Oyo State Chapter between 1999 and 2002. Alao-Akala founded the Ogbomoso Unity Forum, a political association which later joined the PDP. He was the Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.
Alao-Akala served as the Deputy Governor of Oyo State from May 2003 to January 2006. Following the impeachment of then incumbent Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Alao-Akala was sworn into office in January 2006 and served for 11 months.
In December 2006, the impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court and Rashidi Ladoja was reinstated.
Alao-Akala contested and won the gubernatorial election in 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and became the of the state, serving a full term till May 2011.
On December 8, 2014, Alao-Akala defected to the Labour Party in the state from PDP. On December 10, 2014, he formally declared his intention to re-contest in the gubernatorial election of the state on the platform of the Labour Party in the February 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
During his declaration of intent, all other party gubernatorial aspirants stepped down for him, thereby making him emerge as the Labour Party’s gubernatorial flag bearer in the state.
On December 16, 2017, he defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at a carnival-like ceremony in Ibadan.
In October 2018, Alao-Akala defected to the Action Democratic Party (ADP) where he won the gubernatorial ticket to contest gubernatorial election of the state in 2019.
After the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assemblies elections, Akala defected again to APC, thereby stepping down in the race to become governor of the state.