I wish Akeredolu were alive to see me become governor – Aiyedatiwa

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The late former Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, according to the current Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, considered him as part of his legacy and expressed his desire for Aiyedatiwa to succeed him.

Aiyedatiwa expressed his regret that Akeredolu was not alive to witness him assuming the position of governor, as it would have been a proud moment for the late leader.

Aiyedatiwa took office on December 27, 2023, following Akeredolu’s passing in Germany where he was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.

Aiyedatiwa is now vying for re-election in the upcoming state governorship election in November.

During a conversation with journalists and media executives in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday, Aiyedatiwa stated that he would have preferred his late boss to witness his governorship, as the late Akeredolu would have been proud of him as a deserving successor.

The governor said, “I am proud to say I am a part of Akeredolu’s legacies. It has been his wish that I succeed him. He said it on our first day of inauguration. During our Exco meetings, he repeated it severally.

“I would have preferred he stayed back and watched me govern the state. I know he will be proud of me.”

The governor stated that he had imbibed some qualities from the leadership style of his former boss which include fearlessness in addressing issues, adding that he and the late former governor were best of friends.

“I trained under Akeredolu. He was a man who always spoke his mind on national issues. He says his thoughts not minding his pursuit. When he speaks, the nation will be at attention. We imbibe his qualities on governance, “ he eulogised.

Meanwhile, the funeral arrangements for the late former governor commenced with a winning soul crusade held at the MKO Abiola Democracy Park in Akure on Thursday evening.

The Chief Press Secretary to the late governor, Mr Richard Olatunde, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

Olatunde said, “As we bid farewell, we acknowledge that our parting is not one of finality. Instead, we commit ourselves to preserving his (Akeredolu’s) memory and upholding the noble deeds he accomplished throughout his life. Even in death, his influence remains steadfast, for he shall forever be our guiding light and inspirational leader.”

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