President Muhammadu Buhari is in Lagos to lead other dignitaries in attending the public presentation of “My Participations,” the autobiography of former protem chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bisi Akande.
The President is the Special Guest of Honour. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State is the Chief Host while Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State and Akande’s longtime political ally, is the Guest of Honour.
The chairman of the occasion is Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. The Chief Presenter is Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, one of the pivotal figures in the negotiations that gave birth to the APC. The book reviewer is Segun Ayobolu, a well-known journalist and columnist.
Akande, second elected Governor of Osun State, is publishing his ninth book which may according to veteran journalist and columnist, Dare Babarinsa, prove to be the “most controversial being a comprehensive narration of Akande’s impactful, colourful and crowded political career.”
“This work is a national gift that could not have been more instructively timed. There are books whose very handling must be done with heavily insulated gloves since, virtually every page sizzles with contradictions between attestable reality and impudent claims, attempts to cover past crimes and dodge responsibilities. Not so, this contribution from the Wise One of Ila-Orangun. If there is any sizzling, it is simply the fire of truth’s passion that leaps at the reader from between the covers. Akande’s fire purifies, being a flame of illumination carried over from real life to brightens the pages of a saga of service to Nigerian humanity,” Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka wrote on the Foreword to the Book.
Trained as an accountant, he was employed in his younger days as an executive of British Petroleum, one of the global behemoths dominating the oil industry. He started his involvement in politics as a councilor in Ila-Orangun, Osun State, before he was elected into the Constituent Assembly in 1977, taking part in the historic assignment of preparing the Nigerian Constitution. In 1979 when Chief Bola Ige became the first elected Governor of old Oyo State, he made Akande his Secretary to the State Government, SSG. By 1983, following the rumpus in the ruling Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, of Oyo State, Akande became Ige’s Deputy Governor.
Akande was one of the hundreds of politicians detained by the military regime of General Muhammadu Buhari, following the collapse of the Second Republic in 1983. Though he regained his freedom in 1985, he vowed never to participate in politics again. However, he soon found himself at the barricade, joining other patriots in the vanguard of opposition to military rule and emerging as the Osun State leader of Afenifere, the mainstream Yoruba cultural and political movement and of the opposition National Democratic Coalition, NADECO. When the military departed in 1999, he became the second elected Governor of Osun State.
President Buhari who is in Lagos on a one-day working visit, will also commission some projects before returning to Abuja.