Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu

We Lost a Pillar of Support

Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu

On the 27th of December, 2023 we received with shock, the news of the death of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON. Until his death, Governor Akeredolu was the Executive Governor of Ondo state, Nigeria and the wonderful husband of the Founder of BRECAN Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.

Born on 21st of July 1956 in Owo, Ondo state, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu was an accomplished lawyer who rose to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN,. He was a one time Attorney General of Ondo state and and also a one time President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA,. Akeredolu’s contributions to the NBA led the Association to name their new Secretariat in Abuja after him in 2012.

In November 2016, he won the gubernatorial election in Ondo state and became the Governor of the state. He was re-elected in October 2020 for a second term in office.

Governor Akeredolu was an excellent man in all ramifications. He embodied and exemplified courage, boldness and determination. He loved his people and was a firm believer in the principles of justice, equity and fairness. He remained astute and resolute in his political convictions, which are all yielding wonderful dividends today. In October, 2022, The then Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari conferred Gov. Akeredolu with a national Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON. He spent a total of 6 years as the Governor of Ondo state before his death on December 27th, 2023 after a protracted battle with prostate cancer.

For us in BRECAN Mr. Akeredolu was our strongest pillar of support. He supportingly stood by his wife Betty during her ordeal with breast cancer in 1997. After she fully recovered, he stood by her as she struggled to establish the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) one of Nigeria’s foremost cancer NGO.

Documents and records at BRECAN headquarters, Ibadan are littered with pictorial evidences of his outstanding support to BRECAN in the past 26 years ago. Under his administration a budget line was approved for cancer control in Ondo state. He recently also embarked on the process of building a state of the art cancer centre in Ondo state. Such was his commitment to the fight against cancer in Nigeria.

As we mourn his passing today, we celebrate his life and times which were filled with giant strides, exemplary leadership and selfless service to humanity.

In December 2022, BRECAN adopted prostate cancer as part of our cancers of focus alongside breast and cervical cancers. Governor Akeredolu’s death has now become an added push for us to do more to create awareness and demand for more investment in cancer care in Nigeria.

Prostate cancer mortality has been on the increase in Nigeria recently. This is a clarion call for coordinated and result oriented interventions in cancer care and control in Nigeria. We have lost one of our fighters, a man who truly believed and supported our cause, but we have not lost the battle. We will fight on with renewed vigour and determination.

Our prayers and solidarity are with the Founder of BRECAN Chief Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu and her family in this trying moment. We are with you and We pray that you find the strength and courage to navigate this period and beyond.

May his soul rest peace.