This is Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor-elect, Ondo State

Akeredolu was born on 21 July 1956 in Owo to Reverend J. Ola Akeredolu of the Akeredolu family and Lady Evangelist Grace B. Akeredolu of Aderoyiju family of Igbotu, Ese Odo, in Ondo State.

Akeredolu started his primary education at Government School, Owo. He proceeded to Aquinas College, Akure, Loyola College, Ibadan and Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro, for his secondary school education and Higher School Certificate, respectively. He attended the Loyola College in Ibadan .

His middle name “Odunayo” means “Year of happinesss” in Yoruba, he went on to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) to study Law, graduating in 1977. He was called to the Nigerian Bar 1978.

Akeredolu was appointed Attorney General of Ondo State from 1997–1999. In 1998 he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He was Chairman of the Legal Aid Council (2005–2006).

In November 2009 he faced allegations of corruption when the Bar Association’s Third Vice-President, Welfare Secretary and Assistant Financial Secretary circulated a petition entitled “Complaints against your fraudulent manifestations, violation of the NBA”.

Subsequently, the allegations against him were reviewed and dropped by the National Executive council of the Nigerian Bar Association.

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 authorised 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 being the need for “generational identification and recognition of those who had contributed immensely to the development of the association. Everything in the NBA is usually highly politicised. The sheer courage for him (Akeredolu) to go through the rigour is a testimony to his selfless service.”
Governorship candidate

In November 2011, Akeredolu was among a crowd of aspirants on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for Governor of Ondo State in the 2012 elections.

In an interview that month, Akeredolu said that he had become well known and respected as President of the Bar, and described himself as a progressive. If elected, his priorities would include agricultural development, fish farming for export, improvements to education, jobs for youths and improved roads. He would provide free education and primary health care. He was in favour of increased subsidies and greater local control over public spending.

On 28 July, 2012, Akeredolu was selected as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for Governor of Ondo State during the ACN congress in Akure.
His selection pitched him in a head to head battle with the incumbent, Olusegun Mimiko and Mr Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Although Akeredolu came a distant third in that election, but he made good use of lessons learnt to build a formidable political alliance that will cut across the state. Since 2012, he maintained a deep touch with politics at the grass root, making new friends and sustaining old relationships and it paid well for him at the primaries defeating Segun Abraham, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s predated candidate. The rest as they say now, is history as he has been elected governor of the state.

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