The demise of the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu has indeed created a vacuum in the political space, not just in Ondo State but Nigeria as a whole.

The condolence messages flooding the internet are enough to prove Akeredolu’s relevance to the politics of Nigeria.

Akeredolu, Other Governors Who Died In Office
Akeredolu, Other Governors Who Died In Office

Late Akeredolu passed away on Wednesday after months of battling an illness reported to be leukaemia.

The former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) died at 67.


The late Ondo State Governor became the third Nigerian governor to die while in office after the former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa and ex-Governor Mamman Ali of Yobe State.


On November 27, 2016, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Akeredolu as the winner of the Ondo State governorship election.


He had polled 244,842 votes to defeat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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Jegede scored 150,380 votes and Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) got 126,889 votes.

Akeredolu was sworn in as governor on February 24, 2017.


He won the battle to re-contest for the 2020 Ondo State governorship election after beating Olusola Oke, D.I. Kekemeke, Jimi Odimayo, Segun Abraham and others in the APC primaries.

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, Akeredolu was re-elected after polling 292,830 votes against his major opponents from PDP and the Zenith Labour Party, Eyitayo Jegede and Agboola Ajayi, respectively.

Transfer Of Power

He was sworn in for a second term in office on February 24, 2021, alongside his new deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Akeredolu had been out of office since June 2023, when he officially transferred power to Aiyedatiwa and proceeded on a 21-day medical leave in Germany.

The leave, which was supposed to end on July 6, 2023, was extended indefinitely as the governor continued receiving treatment in Germany.

He later returned to Nigeria on September 6 and resumed at his private residence in Ibadan, Oyo State, to recuperate amid a lingering crisis bordering on governance far away in Ondo.

The Battle

Issues followed. From Aiyedatiwa’s running battle with the state Assembly members who moved to impeach him to the sacking of his media aides by the governor.

The political crisis in the Sunshine State had headlined the dailies regularly, braking up the polity of the state.

It took the intervention of President Bola Tinubu to prevail on the lawmakers.

There were repeated calls from different quarters, asking Akeredolu to either resign or resume office.

However, his handlers continued to give the impression that things were under control and that he would be fine soon.

The Alarm

It became abundantly clear that all was not well when Kayode Ajulo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, raised the alarm in November that some commissioners forged Akeredolu’s signature to approve documents.

The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Rasaq Obe, confirmed the claim a few days later.

On December 11, Akeredolu wrote to the state Assembly that he was proceeding on another medical leave.

Although he handed over to his deputy, many have argued he should have resigned instead of transmitting power to Aiyedatiwa in an acting capacity.

Patrick Yakowa

Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa served as governor of Kaduna State from 2010 to 2012, when he died in a helicopter crash.

He was appointed deputy governor in July 2005 and returned as Kaduna’s number two citizen in the April 2007 election.

He was sworn in as governor on 20 May 2010, succeeding former Governor Namadi Sambo, who had been sworn in as vice president the day before.

Yakowa, 64, successfully ran for election as Kaduna Governor in the April 2011 poll and won.

The Crash

On December 15, 2012, Yakowa died in a helicopter crash along with the former National Security Adviser, General Owoye Andrew Azazi (rtd).

The tragic incident occurred while they were flying from Bayelsa State to Port Harcourt.

They were returning from the funeral of Oronto Douglas’ father in Beyelsa when the incident occurred.

Others in the ill-fated helicopter crash were Dauda Tsoho and Mohammed Kamal, both aides, as well as the two pilots: Muritala Mohammed Daba and Adeyemi Sowole.

Yakowa’s deputy, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, was consequently sworn in the following day, as the state’s new governor by the state Chief Judge, Justice Rahila Cudjoe.

Mamman Bello Ali

Mamman Bello Ali represented Yobe South Senatorial District between 1999 and 2007 and was the chairman Senate Committee on Public Account.

He contested and won the governorship election in Yobe in 2007 under the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and was in office until his death in 2009.

Also, like Akeredolu, he died of leukaemia while receiving treatment at a hospital in Florida, United States.


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