The decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to confer on the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, alongside many other prominent and worthy Nigerians, is one which has been applauded by many.
Akeredolu is listed among the recipients of the 2022 National Honour Award for the Commander of the Order of the Niger.
This honor comes as no surprise to many Nigerians out there. Within and outside his state, he has demonstrated a high level of leadership brilliance. His commitment to national issues is one that has consistently made him a national treasure.
Many people admire him for his consistent intervention on certain national issues, even when others have chosen to take a back seat.
Akeredolu, who is currently in his second year, is a man who is indeed worthy of the accolades that are coming his way.
In Ondo State, the Governor, who is prominently referred to as “TALK AND DO”, has made several laudable and significant contributions to the development of the state.
The Governor has committed himself to the industrial development of the state, one which has seen the state being transformed from its civil outlook to an emerging industrial and economic hub.
Notable is the construction of the Ore Interchange, a project that has successfully served the state, making it more economically viable and attractive.
The Ore overhead bridge complements a long list of road construction projects that have been carried out in the state for the benefit of the people.
Another legacy project was the creation of the Ondo-Linyi Industrial Hub. The industrial hub has an automobile assembly plant, a paper mill factory, a textile company, the largest cassava to ethanol factory in Nigeria, as well as the country’s first MDF factory that produces high-density fibre and marine boards.
We acknowledge that Governor Akeredolu is laying a good foundation for industrial growth, with the accompanying opportunity to diversify the revenue base of the state. Prospects that the industrial hub would help manage the unemployment challenge are also clearly discernible.
While we have a long list of achievements made by the governor in the state, it’s also worthwhile to mention some of the very significant roles played by the governor on the national scene.
When the security architecture of the south west became a debacle with the various cases of kidnapping, armed robberies, herdsmen attacks and other security breaches becoming a thing in the south west, the governor rose up to the challenge alongside other SouthWest governors and, against the challenges thrown their way, Rotimi Akeredolu led the SouthWest Governors to create the Amotekun Corps, a regional security network which was created to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.
Today, Amotekun has kept growing, and the local security group has kept doing well despite everyone’s expectations.
The governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, recently said that his government is going to buy weapons to protect the people of the state. He said this was necessary for the government to do its legal, constitutional, and moral duty to the people of the state.
Governor Akeredolu has chosen to stand and be counted at a time when it has become more politically expedient to pretend that all is well when in reality, the situation on the ground speaks to the very opposite.
Trusting Governor Akeredolu to never mince words, he had a week ago faulted the Federal Government’s objection to the use of arms by the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Amotekun Corps, while allowing its equivalent in Katsina State to bear arms.
The governor, who is also chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF), in a statement, insisted that the Ondo State government will defend its people, stressing that the denial of the right of Amotekun to bear arms to protect the people of the state violated the tenets of federalism.
He has kept showing Nigerians in different ways that he is a good thing for the country.
Also, the Governor has shown that he is one of the few people who has kept pushing for Nigeria to have real federalism.
He has spoken out against the Nigerian constitution from 1999, which puts security at the top of the list of things that only the government can do.
He holds that the Nigerian government wields too much power; hence, there is a need to rejig the constitution in such a way that would give power to the states in the country.
In one of his interviews on Arise TV, he stated, “We hold it as self-evident that a federal state must put in place a system of administration which reflects its heterogeneous character. “The federating units must progress from the semblance of autonomy to the recognition of their unique features that justify their existence.” All institutions must emerge as a consequence of deliberative engagements designed to accommodate and serve all segments of society. Social services become seamless and effective when governance is localized.
“Devolution of powers must be perceived as necessary for the development of the country. “There can be no meaningful progress in a system where the federating units are treated as mere outposts for the central administration,” he added.
In a lecture in December 2009, Akeredolu said no amount of electoral reform or judicial system could give Nigeria free and fair elections if Nigerians themselves refused to take practical steps to ensure that their votes count. Later that month, he stated that Umaru Yar’Adua, the President of Nigeria, should have handed over to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan in an acting capacity during his illness, a statement that was backed up by the Nigerian Bar Association, who said he was authorized to speak on their behalf.
In 2012, the Nigerian Bar Association named its new secretariat in Abuja after him, with its president citing the reason as the need for “generational identification and recognition of those who have contributed immensely to the development of the association. The sheer courage it took for him (Akeredolu) to endure the ordeal is a testament to his selfless service.”
No doubt, Akeredolu has proven his worth; the various accolades coming his way are testament to his significant contributions to the growth of the state and the sustainance of the nation’s democratic institutions.