“They are here in ghostly assemblage, the men of our youth long dead. And our hearts are standing at attention, while we await their passing tread”.
The transition of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has come as a rude shock to us all who knew him from his university days.
“Emperor Aketi”, as he was known at the University of Ife, started his political career at the University of Ife where from being an activist he successfully ran for the office of Vice President of the Students Union of the University of Ife at a time when our dear country was at a crossroads following the removal of General Yakubu Gowon from office to end agitations which we all participated in from 1974-1975 under my predecessor in office, Ayo Olukotun (late Prof Ayo Olukotun).
1975-1976 proved to be indeed a watershed year in the Nigerian academic community and the country as a whole. Rotimi was an integral member of the body of students leaders of that time.
Courageous and savvy, he was blessed with courage and wisdom beyond his years.
Nigeria has lost a courageous Leader of men. The South-west of Nigeria has lost one of its foremost advocates for peace and fairness.
He will be remembered for his good work to the people of Ondo State, Yoruba land and Nigeria.
On behalf of all the students, especially the Students Union class of 1975/1976 at the University of Ife and other universities at that time, we thank him for what he did and what he became.
A servant who served the people with his heart, will always be remembered with pride and fondness. Our deepest condolences to the people of Ondo State and his immediate family.
Thank you Rotimi, we salute you. Rotimi Akeredolu. Adieu, Adieu, Adieu.
* Dr John Mabayoje, MD, was the President of the UNIFE Students Union, 1975/76