Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Friday, hailed the late former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala as a great man, who recognised and lived his life in accordance with the Biblical teaching that there is a time and a season for everything under the sun.
Makinde, who declared that the state government would immortalise the late former governor, said a committee headed by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi, has been put in place to work on how best to honour the late Chief Alao-Akala.
The governor called for suggestions from well-meaning residents of the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor stated these at the Beulah Baptist Conference Centre, Ogbomoso, venue of the burial service for the late former governor.
He praised the former governor for putting aside party differences to work for the progress of the state when he (Makinde) informed him of a plan to flag off the Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin road.
He said: “In Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, the Bible says ‘there is time for everything under the sun.’ In the last conversation I had with Governor Alao-Akala, I called to inform that I would like him to be the one to flag off the Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin Road project and he said to me, ‘Seyi, just call to give 48 hours notice and I would be there.’
“He knew there was a time to tear down and a time to rebuild together. The former governor recognised the fact that that particular time was not the time for us to project our political differences but a time to come together in the interest of Oyo State.”
The governor maintained that apart from supporting the family of the governor, he would also redeem whatever pledge Alao-Akala made to students of the Ogbomoso Baptist Conference College.
“As for the children who came with a request, I know how you feel and I will champion the cause to redeem whatever it is the late Governor Alao-Akala has promised them.
“Finally, I have been going around to determine how we can honour our great man from Oyo State. And we have set up a committee headed by the Chief of Staff. If you also have any advice in this regard, let us know and, within the shortest period of time, the government of Oyo State will ensure that he is adequately honoured.
“On that note, I want to say farewell to a great man, my brother, my mentor and a great son of Ogbomosoland,” Makinde added.
In his speech, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, equally hailed Alao-Akala for being a humane and simple man, who played politics with open mind.
Osinbajo said: “Everywhere Alao-Akala went in his days as governor, you would hear the chant of ‘Oyato.’ Of course, he really did many things differently in office.
“He significantly improved the IGR of the state from a paltry N300 million to N1 billion in eight months and put in place a very good security architecture.
“Alao-Akala practically demonstrated what is possible when you have creativity and compassion. Since his transition in January, I have read several glowing tributes to his memory and the common refrain running through all of those tributes has been the attestation to his uncommon generosity.
“He was indeed a simple and humane man, who practised politics with an open mind. “Many testified that his resources were available to all and his home was there for anyone to come for help.”
Some of those in attendance at the burial service include former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare; Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Governors Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara) and Prince Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), who were both represented by their Deputy Governors.
Others were: Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by his Commissioner for Information, Mr. Donald Ojogor; former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Senators Fatai Buhari and Ayoade Adeseun; former House Leader, Mulikat Akande-Adeola.
On the entourage of Governor Makinde were the Deputy Governor, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan; Secretary to the State Governor, Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun; chairman of the Oyo State Advisory Council, Senator Hosea Agboola, commissioners and chairmen of parastatal-agencies among others