BAYO AGBOOLA writes about the late Otunba Alao Akala former governor of Oyo state who died yesterday January 12, 2022.
Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former governor of Oyo state and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was born on the 3rd of June 1950, into the family of Opadoyin Alaat Ogbomoso in the Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo state.
Alao-Akala had his elementary school at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso . He proceeded to the Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.
He was enlisted as into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Inspector of Police in June 1974, at the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja and .was later in the Nigeria Police Force recommended for overseas training at the Hendon Police College, in London.
He also attended the Administrative Staff College, Topo, Badagry; the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos; Police Staff College, Jos; Command and Staff College, Jaji.
The late former governor of Oyo state started his career in the Nigeria Police from the position of Station Officer in the Nigeria Police, and later the Administrative Officer, Federal Operations at the Force Headquarters, Lagos as well as rose to the position of Operations Officer, FEDOPS, Lagos and became the Personal Assistant to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police and subsequently the ADC to the Inspector-General of Police.
Otunba Alao-Akala while in the Nigeria Police was O/C Advanced Training Wing, Police College, Ikeja; Divisional Police Officer, Bode Thomas, Lagos; Divisional Police Officer, Iponri Police Station, Lagos; Railway Divisional Police Officer, Nigeria Railways, Ebutte Meta, Lagos; Area Commander, Western District, Nigeria Railway Police, Ibadan; CSP Admin. Gongola State Command, Yola; CSP Admin. Kwara State Command, Ilorin; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Agodi Area Command, Ibadan, Oyo State Police Command, Ibadan and retired In September 1995,from the Nigeria Police as the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Logistics and Supply, Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan.
In the political arena where he became famous, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala started as a member of New Dimension in Ogbomoso and later participated in the zero-party local government election of 1996 after which he co-founded the UNP before its fusion with UNC to form UNCP. Otunba Alao-Akala participated in the Ogbomoso Federal Constituency (One) primary election of the UNCP in 1997.
In 1998, Otunba Adebayo Alao- Akala contested on the platform of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) and won the Chairmanship seat of the Ogbomoso North Local Government along with seven councilors and was elected the Vice-chairman of ALGON, Oyo State Chapter between 1999 and 2002 during which he solely founded a political association known as the Ogbomoso Unity Forum which later joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and became the Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.
He came into the Oyo state political limelight in the year 2003 when he was nominated and elected as the Deputy Governor of Oyo State under Governor Rashidi Ladoja from May 2003 to January 2006. Midway in the administration of Senator Ladoja, he was impeached as the governor of Oyo state and Otunba Alao-Akala was sworn into office in January 2006 and served for 11 months before the impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court leading to the reinstatement of Senator Ladoka.
In 2007 with the full backing of the late strongman of Ibadan politics, High Chief Lamidi Adedibu and others, Otunba Alao-Akala contested and won the Oyo state gubernatorial election on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and served a full term till May 2011.
Not yet done with politics, Otunba Also Akala on 8th December, 2014, defected to the Labour Party in Oyo State from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to re-contest in the gubernatorial election of Oyo State on the platform of the Labour Party in the February 2015 general elections in Nigeria. He later dumped the Labour Party and defected into APC on 16th December, 2017.
Following his inability to secure the APC governorship during which he alleged the late former governor Abiola Ajimobi of imposing his anointed candidate on APC, Otunba Alao-Akala at a brief ceremony in his Bodija house in Ibadan on October 2018, Alao-Akala announced his defection to the Action Democratic Party (ADP) where he won the gubernatorial ticket to contest for the office of Governor of Oyo state in the 2019 general elections.
Few months after defecting into ADP , Otunba Alao-Akala midwives a coalition for the governorship election in the state to send packing the ruling APC in Oyo state only for him to opt out of the coalition over claims by a leading politician in the state that the coalition would settle for an Ibadan person for the governorship election. Otunba in February 2019 again defected back to the APC, dropped his governorship ambition to work for the APC candidate in the election.
Late Otunba Alao-Akala remained in the Al Progressive Congress, and became the Chairman of the APC Elders Advisory Council in Oyo state till death. Few weeks to his death. Otunba Alao-Akala was cleared of the N5 billlion alleged fraud instituted against him and two others by the EFCC.
Till death, late Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala remained one of the well loved by the people of the state as his administration was tagged ” Ometo, Oyato” , some of his admirers even nicknamed his as ATM Governor while in office.
Outside the political arena, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala stood till death as a businessman of note as Founder and Chairman of TDB Global Ventures and Parrot FM radio station, both in Ogbomoso, Oyo state………………….
Oyo APC has lost a political heavyweight – Folarin
The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content and lawmaker representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Senator Teslim Folarin said Oyo state All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost a political heavyweight with the death of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Senator Folarin expressed deep sadness over the death of the former governor, saying, Oyo State has lost a phenomenal statesman.
In the statement personally signed by Folarin, the Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content noted that the former governor’s death came “at a crucial time when his leadership and wise counsel are needed especially by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State”.
“I’m deeply heartbroken after receiving the shocking news of our leader’s demise. I still could not believe that Oga Akala has left us. Who are we to question God’s Decision?. he said.
Senator Folarin added, “in mourning, I remember the fond memories and indelible strides former governor Akala left behind. His Excellency will be remembered for his selfless commitment to the development of Oyo State”.
“Men of honour would always be men of honour! Late Akala was one of such men of honour. He lived a life of service to humanity and made leaders of leaders in Oyo State politics. The former governor will remain indelible in the minds of people of Oyo State. He was great leader, exemplary philanthropist, astute administrator, patriotic Nigerian and political heavyweight”.