Ogbomoso, the hometown town of the late former Oyo State governor, Adebayo Alao Akala, was agog on Friday as dignitaries stormed the ancient town for the final burial.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, among other dignitaries graced the burial service held at the Beulah Baptist Conference Centre, Ogbomoso.
Some shops were locked in honour of the ex-governor, while Akala’s obituary posters and billboards flooded streets in the town with various inscription such as “the legend, sleep well”, “you have written your name in gold”, and “Adieu, the tiger”, among others.
PHOTOS: Burial Of Ex-Oyo Gov Alao-Akala In Ogbomoso
The funeral service for the former governor of Oyo State was held at Beulah Baptist Conference Centre, Ogbomoso on Friday.
The late politician died last month aged 71 years old.
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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo hailed the late governor 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.”
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, also hailed the late former governor 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.
The stage is set for the final burial service of late Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala at the Beulah Baptist Conference Ground, behind Beulah Baptist High School, Ogbomoso pic.twitter.com/EUR1anxBdo
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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, had 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.
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.
Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former governor of Oyo state and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was born on the 3rd of June 1950, into the family of Opadoyin Alaat Ogbomoso in the Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo state.