Politicians and political stakeholders ignored their political and personal differences to honour the late Oyo State Ex-Governor, Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, during his final burial rites which began with a Day of Tributes in Ibadan.
The Day of Tributes, held on Monday, at the Jogor Event Centre, Liberty Road, Ibadan, kick-started a week-long funeral activities lined up to pay last respect to Alao-Akala, who would be buried, on Friday, 18th February, 2022, in Ogbomoso.
At the event, organised by the Oyo State Political Class, in collaboration with the State Government, a retired federal permanent secretary and lecturer, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Jos, Professor Tunji Olaopa, said what Nigeria needs ahead of the 2023 general election is motivated politicians and not mere political jobbers.
Olaopa, who is the founder of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP), described the late Alao-Akala as an example of a motivated politician, by his background and existential deprivation.
He said:”Whatever motivates anyone running for office, the critical matter is that such a person must be ready to do whatever it takes to make life more abundantly richer than what exists before he gets there.
This is what it means to make politics the act of the possible, and Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala was our exemplar.
Olaopa observed that the political class must take a cue from Alao-Akala and keep pushing the political interest of their constituencies, while forging alliances that are critical to the fruition of a political culture and resilience that are required for building a strong and prosperous Nigerian state, overall, with sensitivity to better harness the diversity to not only position the Southwest in the larger federation, but to salvage the ailing and failing Nigerian nation-state.
He stated: “Alao-Akala had an ideology of live-and-let-live, a politics that tried as much as possible to be devoid of bitterness that has become the hallmark of the Nigerian politics.
Lest I am misconstrued, Akala was not a saint by any stretch of imagination.
He was just a man; an amiable lover of pleasure, a socialite who cherished being in social circles with friends and associates”
Left humanity better
The Chairman, Planning Committee, Chief Bayo Ohu, noted that Oyo State and Nigeria had lost an enigmatic political leader, saying Alao-Akala did his best and left humanity better than he met it.
Ohu announced that an annual programme that would be known as ‘Alao-Akala Day of Political Unity’ to be celebrated annually, would be put in place by the political class, irrespective of political parties, under a banner of no tension, no rivalry, but to foster the practice of politics without bitterness, which Alao-Akala stood for.
Alao-Akala, who was governor of the state from 2007 to 2011 and deputy governor from 2003 to 2007, breathed his last on January 12, 2022 at his Ogbomoso residence, at the age of 71.
Though he served as governor and deputy governor on the platform of the Peoples Democrtic Party (PDP), he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) prior to the 2019 elections, and he was the Chairman, Elders’ Advisory Committee of the APC in the state.
Glowing tributes were paid to the memory of Alao-Akala by various political leaders and dignitaries who graced the occasion, including PDP and APC stalwarts.
Politicians Pay Tribute to Late Oyo Ex-Governor, Alao-Akala