All people are indeed living histories, but they are only consciously read when they eventually check out of the world. The final cock of Chief Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala crew at dawn today, after the 71-year-old had reportedly battled illness for some while.
The father of seven reportedly died in his hometown in Ogbomosho, Oyo state.
Until his death, he held firmly the political fabric of Ogbomosho. This is with due credit to his grassroot influence and development contributions to the town when he was governor. Ogbomosho is the only town outside Ibadan which has produced a governor for Oyo state since 1999.
Ripples Nigeria brings to you, a highlight of his life and trajectory through enduring childhood hardship, police cadetship, and eventually to being a governor in Oyo state.
Chief Alao-Akala was born on June 3, 1950, but two years after his birth, he became fatherless. In 1952, he lost his father in a ghastly motor accident at Iroko via Ibadan on his way to Ogbomoso from the then Gold Coast now Ghana.
His mother remarried, and Adebayo was taken up by his grandmother, Iya Subuola Otunla. Although he was enrolled in primary school, his childhood was rough, and his future had been a fuzzy one if not for what he later termed “amazing grace from God.”
“For a toddler who lost his father at age two, and whose widowed mother’s anguish knew no bound—more so being a young woman—the future did not hold any promise for me,” he recounted in his 530-page autobiography, titled Amazing Grace.
He had his elementary school at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso before proceeding to Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.
“Career as Officer of the Law”
Those were the words with which he described his stint in the Nigeria Police Force. He rose through the ranks from a cadet to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
In the Police he held several positions which included but not limited to Divisional Police Officer, Bode Thomas and Iponri divisions in 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; and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Agodi Area Command, Ibadan, Oyo State Police Command, Ibadan.
He was also the Administrative Officer Police Federal Operations at the Force Headquarters, Lagos right from the position of Station Officer. Then got into the position of Operations Officer, FEDOPS, Lagos. He became the Personal Assistant to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police and subsequently the ADC to the Inspector-General of Police.
He retired from the Nigeria Police in September 1995, as the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Logistics and Supply in the Oyo State Police Command, Eleyele, Ibadan.
The Political Strongman from Ogbomoso
On his political journey, Dr. Akala had some glittering moments of political successes, but he also recorded some failures.
He started off by contesting and winning the Chairmanship position of Ogbomoso North Local Government under the platform of APP in 1998.
In order to solidify his grip on the grass root politics of Ogbomoso, Alao-Akala founded the Ogbomoso Unity Forum, a political association which later joined the PDP. He was the Executive Chairman of Ogbomoso North Local Government from 1999 to 2002.
Alao-Akala enjoyed favour in the PDP, especially in the eyes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He rode on this favour and goodwill to become the Deputy Governor of Oyo State from May 2003. He later became the Executive Governor of Oyo State in January 2006, a position he occupied till May 2011.
After losing his bid for a second term, he defected to the Labour Party in December 2014, contesting the gubernatorial election of 2015 in the state. However, the people of Oyo state favoured Abiola Ajimobi for a second term in office.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka
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