Former Ondo State Commissioner for Information Ranti Akerele is dead. The ace broadcaster and sports analyst died in his sleep at 53.
His remains were deposited at St. Mercy’s Hospital.
It was learnt that the late Akerele got home around 9pm on Monday after visiting his wife, Lucy, who is hospitalised.
Sources said he directed his gate man, Taye Festus, to switch off the generator at midnight and retired into his bedroom.
Festus told reporters that the late Akerele was hale and hearty before he went to bed.
“I was expecting Oga to have woken up early but he did not, even after his new driver arrived. We became suspicious around 10am when we did not see him. I went to his window and called him, but he did not respond.
“I opened the window and saw him lying on the bed. I called him, but he did not answer; so, I raised the alarm and people rushed to our compound. I called a carpenter close to our house and we forced Oga’s bedroom door open. Oga was just lying on his bed.
“His wife came home with a drip fixed to her hand, but she was taken back to the hospital by sympathisers.
“Oga’s remains have been deposited at St. Mercy’s Hospital mortuary.
“I love Oga. I have never been maltreated by him and that is why I remained with him till today because I believed things would change for the better for him.”
One of the late Akerele’s neighbours, Bambo Seibo, said: “I cannot believe Akerele is dead. I saw him yesterday and asked about his wife’s health. I do not believe Akerele could die like that. He was very nice to me. His death is shocking.”
The late Akerele, who was a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), is survived by his wife and children.
The deceased, an indigene of Idoani in Ose Local Government Area, was one of Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s close associates.
He was active in the struggle to retrieve Mimiko’s mandate between April, 2007 and February, 2009.
The late Akerele handled the Labour Party’s (LP’s) publicity at Mimiko’s Temporary Situation Office at A&T Presidential Hotel in Akure, from where he dished out information across the country daily about his principal, especially through the electronic media.
As compensation, he was appointed commissioner in 2009.
The late Akerele and a few other commissioners were relieved of their duties in 2011.
The late Akerele, who also served at the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), worked as a media consultant until his death.
He was the media consultant of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), during its 11th Convocation last December 21.