Alao-Akala: Remembering a political titan

It looks like yesterday that a man who bestrode Ogbomoso, the land of valiant, like a behemoth quit the stage. Who dares challenge the supremacy of the Supreme Being? Nobody! Nonetheless, we have to succumb to the will of God and accept the design of his destiny.

Yesterday, 12th January, 2023 marked a year that Ogbomoso-born political juggernaut, Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, was captured by the irate hand of death. This is somber! When the doleful news of his transition hit the airwave last year, an avalanche of people, especially in Oyo town, hardly believed its authenticity.

Inexplicably, his ‘changing of address’ occurred a month after His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade lll, JP, CON, CFR, Soun of Ogbomosoland, joined the craft of his progenitors at the ripe age of 95. Without ounce of any reasonable speculation, the death of the two legends in the space of a month shook Ogbomoso to its foundation and has created vacuums which are yet to be filled.

Otunba Alao-Akala was born on 3rd June, 1950 at Akala compound, Taraa area, Ogbomoso, Oyo state. He died two years after he joined the fraternity of septuagenarians. His maternal grandmother with whom he lived at childhood was an indigo merchant before she bid the world bye. He was a courageous police officer before he ventured into politics.

Chief Akala was a political titan. His knowledge about the politics of Oyo state was vast and superb, distinct, emulative and it’s one of the contributory factors that led to his emergence as the democratically elected chairman of Ogbomoso North local government in 1999 when Alhaji Lam Adesina emerged as the governor of Oyo state.

As fortune will have it, he served as governor in interim and substantive capacity in 2006 and 2007 respectively, with the unflinching support of Pa Làmìdì Àkànjí Àríyìíbí Adédibú, popularly known as ‘Aláàfin Mòlété’. He thus became the only non-Ibadan person to date to have democratically mounted the mantle of Oyo state governorship.

Otunba Adebayo was a proverbial political ladder that several politicians had climbed to attain public offices. Without gainsaying, tons of politicians have drunk immensely from his reservoir of knowledge. He was more than a political prodigy.

He was a philanthropist; he would always be ready to render assistance for the people, this earned him the sobriquet “Aláàánú Mèkúnnù”. Chief Aremu was humility personified; he embraced the haves and the haves not with both arms, in public gatherings with a mirthful smile apparently registered in his face. That’s his nature.

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Among the constellation of stars, his star was visible even to the blind. The traditional titles conferred on him by different monarchs in different towns rested on the hard surface of the good deeds possessed by him. Among the titles are: Otun of the Source, Bóbagúnwà of Ògbómòsó, Bóbajíròrò of Òwu Kingdom, Máyegún of Òkehò, Òtúnba of Akínmòórìn, Basòrun Atunluto of Àkúré, Akogun of Ìluà, Atunluse of Ifè Òdàn, Àgbàakin of Ìséyìn, Aríwàjoyè of Ede land, Aare Kebimapalu of Oyo state.

Summarily, I want to avail myself of this opportunity to give Hon. Olamijuwonlo Alao-Akala, the scion of the late Otun of the Source and the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, for Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South, and Oriire federal constituency an admonition which I beseech him to consider worthy. He should maintain the unbeatable bequest left behind by his illustrious father. The character possessed by the people’s governor such as humility, generosity, transparency, honesty and unbridled affection for the people should be imbibed and possessed by him as well.

As today marks the one year remembrance of Òtún Orírun, may God, in His infinite mercy, in outright manner expunge all his sins and grant him a regal space in the Elysium.

Continue to rest in peace, Sir.

Aremu Okin Omo Iya Alaro.

Inaolaji writes from Oja-Ajagun area, Ogbomoso, Oyo state, via inaolajiolayode@gmail.com


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