Many encomiums have deservedly been giving throughout the week to the indomitable Baba (as he is now reverently called) Chief Bisi Akande. The accolades have been well-earned. Without seeking to distract from the achievements of a life that has illuminated on the ethos of public service, Baba Akande has received plaudits because he is a reminder almost (sadly) a relic of an edifying era.
They simply do not make them like him anymore. Baba Akande represents the ethos upon which the ideal post-colonial state is supposed to have been constructed. He is thoughtful, composed, pays attention to details and has, consistently in a long sojourn in the limelight avoided even a whiff of the untoward. The octogenarian has been a former secretary to the state government, and later deputy governor of the Old Oyo State in 1979 as well as the second civilian governor of Osun State between 1999 and 2003. All of the posts were held without blemish.
In view of the erosion of any form of sensible standards, this is a superlative achievement. It takes great tenacity of purpose and uncommon courage to swim against what has become the murky tide of Nigeria’s public life which today appears to be woven round – corruption, sloth, an epicurean veneer centered on gain without pain and in many cases sheer indolence. We salute his courage.
In our considered opinion Chief Akande’s greatest contribution is the fact that he has steadfastly defended the hegemony of Yoruba progressive ethos and politics established since 1948. This is crucial. For it is constantly under threat, and people like Baba Akande have consistently being at the fore-front of a resistance.
The defense is crucial, for the political hegemony established in Western Nigeria has centered around the need to elevate living standards through the provision of education, ever widening access to health facilities as well as an over-arching strategy to use the levers of the State as a mechanism to ensure ‘Life more abundant’ for the benefit of the overwhelming majority as opposed to the privileges of a few. For his unwavering defense of a position which has been so beneficial to the Yoruba speaking nation we give him great, hearty Gbosas!!!
There are nevertheless, decisive battles ahead and we are grateful that the thoughtful, steadfast Baba Akande respected for his unimpeachable integrity will be at the heart of it all dishing out wise counsel. We wish him many happy returns as well great fulfilling years head in continuing good health.