Former All Progressives Congress (APC) Interim National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande never thought that he could mark his 80th birthday on Wednesday. Reason: he had always harboured the fear that he might die young.
For this reason, the former Osun State governor said he was always in a hurry to make his accomplishments before he clocked 50 years old.
Akande, who spoke with a voice laden with emotion at a grand reception organised for him to mark his 80th birthday anniversary in his Ila-Orangun country home, explained that he exercised the fear that he might not live up to 50 because his mother died when she was 45 years old and father died when he clocked 50.
According to him, he taught it was hereditary that he would not live long. “My father died at age 50 and my mother died at the tender age of 45 and I thought within me that definitely, I am not going to live long. I, therefore, tried to achieve much early in life.
“When I clocked 50 and did not die as expected, I decided to slow down. That is God in action. I also came to know that doing things for humanity is much more rewarding than for oneself. With my colleagues then, we formed Ila Charity Club and later Ilupeju Club, from where I knew the complexity of Ila town.”
Akande advised the politicians to be less concerned about personal issues, but rather think of what would benefit the society.
Osun State Governor Gboyega Oyetola described the former governor as “a person that stands out as symbol and model of politics of principle, politics without bitterness, political inclusion and integrity”.
He described the celebrator as a great man by any estimation, a compassionate human being, an example of decorum in any circumstances and indeed a principled leader.
Also speaking, the immediate past Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola described Chief Akande as a father to all, adding that he impacted positively on whosoever comes his way.
He said: “For him, political participation is for the higher goal of improving the condition of man -galvanising the human and material resources of the society for meeting needs and solving problems and in the process bring progress.”
Aregbesola, who noted that Osun is the most difficult of all the states of the federation to govern, said governance in the state “is not eating bread and butter”.
According to him, Akande motivated him to come to the state to be governor, adding that during his tenure, he was always guiding him with his wisdom.
He described him as one of his political fathers, who is outstanding, truthful, honest and has integrity.
Also, senator representing Osun Central Prof. Olusola Adeyeye referred to Chief Akande as a father to all politicians and a disciplined personality that abhors corruption.
Dignitaries at the event include the state governor’s wife, Kafayat; Aregbesola’s wife, Sherifat; the state deputy governor, Gboyega Alabi; former deputy governors Otunba Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori and Senator Christopher Iyiola Omisore and the state deputy governor, Bisi Egbeyemi.
Others were the Second Republic senator and Afenifere National Leader Chief Ayo Fasanmi, Minister for Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, Osun State House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salam, former Osun State House of Assembly Speaker Adejare Bello and the Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo.
Among the traditional rulers were the Oluwo of Iwoland Oba Adewale Abdul-Rasheed Akanbi; the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Olabomi; the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun; the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Adedotun; and Olufon of Ifon-Orolu Oba Adekinle Magbagbeola.