9th December, 2021
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari; APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and others on Thursday eulogised the qualities of former APC Interim Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande.
The event was the unveiling the autobiography of Akande, titled: “My Participations,” held at the Eko Hotel and Suits, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Speaking, Buhari said he was duty bound to be at the book presentation because Akande is a decent, truthful and friendly person.
Buhari said his first encounter with him was in 2006 when they wanted to unseat the PDP government and that the effort then came to nothing, but that they did not give up as the nation was going down under PDP.
“He was always in the thick of things. He emerged as governor of Osun in 1999. He inherited looted treasury, enough challenges to overwhelm a leader and he faced the challenges and overcame most of them. Within one year, he paid all the salaries through his competence,” he said.
Buhari said in 2003, it was common knowledge that Akande and others fell victims of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s electoral massacre when he took over the Southwest except Lagos.
“We fused together, though we failed in 2011, we came back into APC, he was chosen as the chairman, throughout, I found him honest and truthful. Akande has a permanent smile on his face. Students will find this book useful, I recommend this book to them,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Tinubu described Akande as a hero and a man of impeccable character.
He said with men like Akande with selfless character, the lives of Nigerians would be made better.
Tinubu said Akande is a key light in the nation’s political story and that his life has shown what a public figure of a nation like Nigeria ought to be.
“From a humble beginning, he rose through hard work and perseverance to th top, he did not walk th easy way but through hard work. He tutored himself to become a qualified accountant at the age of 22,” he said.
The former governor of Lagos Stat said without Akande, the merger that brought about APC would not have been possible.
“Without Akande, that merger would not have come to pass. We owe him gratitude for this and this led to Buhari’s victory in 2015. We have been fellow travelers in the journey to democracy,” he added.
Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu described Akande as a beacon of democracy and a selfless leader.
“He is a man of great respect and it is not surprising that his autobiography is being witnessed by politicians and others. His name is synonymous with honesty, loyalty and so on.
“All his life, he has lived consistently by those values, he has fully paid his dues. The standard of his fairness and equity set him as a man of integrity. He made sacrifice for the birth of APC. The book is deeply rooted in politics. The book is a timely offering. We are confident he still has many more years to go,” he said.
Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Ogbonnaya Onu said Akande made important contribution to APC.
“Akande did so much for the APC that he deserved every honour that can be given to him. Akande is a unique personality who deserved to be celebrated, he worked very hard and determined to succeed in life. Through home studies and correspondence he worked hard to become an accountant.
“This man stood by whatever he believed in, his honesty saved him several times in his life. His life shows that our nation is a land of opportunity. He was born poor but never allowed it to dissuade him. His story showed that one future is not determined by one’s background. It showed Nigeria has a bright future, our nation can benefit from th life of Akande,” Onu stated.