How I met my husband late Gov. Akeredolu: We were both corpers, he was 22, I was 25 – Betty Akeredolu

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By Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong

Here the wife of Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu of Ondo State who passes on yesterday tells her love story with the just departed first citizen of the sunshine State.

Reminiscing how they met she Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu said: “I met my husband in Enugu, he was a youth corper then in Enugu. I was also posted to Enugu.

A friend of mine visited me and she came along with her boyfriend who also came along with my husband. That was how we met and it was love at first sight.

I think people frown at love at first sight but it worked for us.
I fell in love with his broad shoulders. Then he was really looking very cute.

I can still remember what he was wearing that day. It was a red shirt, long sleeves and jeans trousers. That was 37 years ago.

He couldn’t even take me out because he didn’t have money as a youth corper. It was quite magnetic and that was it.

There is a 3-year age difference between us. I am older than him anyway. I was like 25 then while he was 22.

It was love that really endured. I had graduated and in my place (Owerri) when a girl graduates from the University suitors come from left, right and centre. And your parents would expect you to go for a made man with everything, but I have always known that there was no way I could have married a self-made man.

I will better build a home from the scratch with you because I want to have a say in my home” Mrs Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu

Indeed building a home from the scratch she endured with late Gov Akeredolu who studied law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where he graduated in 1977.

Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu CON SAN was born on July 21, 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 a government school in Owo. He proceeded to Aquinas College, Akure, Loyola College, Ibadan, and a comprehensive high school, Ayetoro, for his secondary school education and Higher School Certificate, respectively.

His middle name Odunayo means “Year of happiness” in Yoruba.

He was a Nigerian lawyer and politician.
He assumed office as Ondo governor on February 24, 2017.

He reportedly died of leukemia and prostate cancer

His adopted prefix is “Arakunrin”, while his nickname is “Aketi”.

He was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who became president of the Nigerian Bar Association in 2008.

Akeredolu was also a Managing Partner at the law firm of Olujinmi & Akeredolu, which he co-founded with Chief Akin Olujinmi, a former Attorney General and Minister for Justice of Nigeria.

He was the chairman of Southwest Governors Forum.

He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1978.

Akeredolu was appointed Attorney General of Ondo State from 1997 to 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 November 2011, Akeredolu was among a crowd of aspirants to be the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate for governor of Ondo State in the 2012 elections.

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 Olusola Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Akeredolu promised to create 30,000 jobs in his first 100 days in office. His employment agenda resulted in the submission of over 10,000 CVs to his campaign office.

Akeredolu was awarded the ticket to represent the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2016 elections for governor.

On Sunday, 27 November 2016, he won the keenly contested 2016 Ondo State gubernatorial election.

On Sunday November 27, 2016, Akeredolu was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission as the winner of the Ondo State governorship election.

He amassed 244,842 votes in the election to defeat Eyitayo Jegede with 150,380 votes and Olusola Oke with 126,889 votes.

According to Professor Ganiyu Ambali, INEC Returning Officer, Akeredolu defeated two major opponents, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Olusola Oke of the State Alliance for Democracy (AD), to clinch victory.

He was sworn in as the governor of Ondo State on 24 February 2017 in Akure, the Ondo State Capital.

On 21 July 2020, he was declared the Ondo governorship candidate after the primary elections under the platform of the APC, for a second term.

At the Ondo State gubernatorial election held on 10 October 2020. Akeredolu won re-election for a second term, defeating PDP Eyitayo Jegede, ZLP Agboola Ajayi, and several minor party candidates for his second term.

Akeredolu died at 67 in Lagos State.
His health was managed by State House doctors because they could not fly him abroad. Doctors were looking for dialysis machines.

Akeredolu had returned to Nigeria in September following a three-month medical leave in Germany.

On December 13, he went on another medical leave after being directed by President Bola Tinubu to hand over power to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

The medical leave was a follow-up to a previous medical treatment.

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About Samuel Abasiekong 997 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Public Relations/Advertising Expert, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, Nigerian Red Cross Society Volunteer, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria