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Veni, Vidi, Vici: Note to Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala on His Death ~Omonaijablog


By Sunday Adepoju

Calpurnia, wife of Julius Caesar, the prolific hero in "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare, said, "When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes." This famous quote could be translated to Yoruba thus: "Erú kú, ìyá ò gbó; omo kú, ariwó ta."

The quote from Julius Caesar above aptly captures the demise of former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Alexandar Christopher Adebayo Aremu Alao-Akala, who joined his ancestors early hours of today. In far away Calabar, Cross River State called 'the Nation's Paradise', the news of his passage caught me like the proverbial early morning dew. Speechless, dumbfounded, melancholic, depressed I am with ugly incident.

From the title of this piece, "vini, vidi, vici" is a Latin expression meaning "I came, I saw, I conquered." He really came, he really saw and he really conquered having made indelible impact as a politician. His ascension to power as a deputy governor and later as governor was divine. The late Premier of Western Region , Chief S.L.A. Akintola, was quoted to have said that another hero would spring from Ogbomoso 40 years after his (Akintola) death. Akintola was killed in coup in Nigeria led by Major-General Kaduna Ezeogu on January 15, 1966. So, Alao-Akala becoming an acting governor in 2006 has been prophesied. 

The Oyato Governor, who breathed his last at his Opadoyin Akala Lodge, Randa Area, Ogbomoso, was the foremost leader of the first class politicians of Ogbomoso origin and one of the political leaders in Oyo State, Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole. 

Born on June 3, 1950, in Ogbomoso, Alao-Akala had his elementary school at Osupa Baptist Day School, Osupa Area, Ogbomoso. Alao-Akala proceeded to the Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana. He Passed Staff College (Psc) 1990, Diploma in Business Administration (1998), Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) Honoris Causa, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso (2006), Doctor of Science (Political Science) Honoris Causa, Lead City University, Ibadan (2008).
 
Alao-Akala enlisted as Cadet Inspector of Police in June 1974, at the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja. He was recommended for overseas training at the Hendon Police College, in London. He has also attended the Administrative Staff College, Topo, Badagry; the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos; Police Staff College, Jos; Command and Staff College, Jaji. 

Otunba (Dr) Adebayo 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 United Nigeria Party (UNP) to form the United Nigeria Congress (UNC) before its fusion with UNC to form the United Nigeria Congress Party (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 Ogbomoso North Local Government along with seven councilors under the platform of the All Peoples Party (APP) in 1999. 

Alao-Akala founded the Ogbomoso Unity Forum (OUF), a political association which later joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He was the chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.

He became the Oyo State deputy governor in 2003 under Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja/PDP. Between January 2006 and December 2006, he was the acting governor. Alao-Akala contested and won the gubernatorial election in 2007 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and became the Executive Governor of Oyo state, serving a full term till May 28, 2011.

Adebayo Alao-Akala really made significant impacts in politics; he built a lot of notable politicians around Oyo State. Beyond politics, he also belonged to the creme de la creme. One would have wanted Omo Ìyá Aláró to remain here to nurture more leaders. 

Rest in peace, the Great Tiger, Otunba Alexander Christopher Adebayo Aremu Alao-Akala (June 3, 1950 - January 12, 2022), JP, Psc, Mayegun of Okeho, Otunba of Akinmoorin, Aare Soludero of Saki, Bobagunwa of Ogbomoso, Bobajiroro of Owu, Otun Orirun of Ife (the Source), former Executive governor of Oyo State.

Writes Sunday Adepoju from Calabar, Cross River State.

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