Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo State, has made an interesting revelation about himself.
The governor, yesterday, in Abuja, disclosed that he once saw himself as the alternate President of Nigeria.
Akeredolu, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, spoke at the commissioning ceremony of two institutes the NBA opened in Abuja.
Whereas a wing of the building accommodating the NBA Human Rights Institute, NBA-HRI, was named after Akeredolu, who served as president of the legal body from 2008 to 2010, the second wing, housing the NBA Continuing Legal Education, NBA- ICLE, was named after the first female SAN in the country, Folake Solanke.
Speaking, Akeredolu said he had, while in office as NBA president, ensured that he tackled the government over any policy that would adversely affect the citizens.
He said the NBA, under his leadership, made sure that it was always at the forefront on the issue of protecting human rights and promoting the rule of law, while the late former president Umaru Yar’Adua was in charge of affairs of the country.
“We kept the fire on and continued mounting pressure, even till the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan. In fact, as president of the Bar, I saw myself as the alternate President of the country. Presidency of the Bar is not what you joke with. You are the voice of the people and when you speak, you do so with authority,” he said.
He recalled that when he emerged as NBA President, unopposed, the association had no office structure in Abuja, hence his decision to purchase the building where the two institutes are sited.
According to him, “I must however give credit to my predecessor, J. B. Daudu, SAN, because after I left office in 2010, he ensured that this building was commissioned in 2012.
“Since then, I never knew that the structure was later abandoned until the incumbent NBA President, Akpata, came to me and even presented pictures”.
In his own remarks, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who commissioned the two Institutes, said there was need for the NBA to sustain the capacity of the legal profession to play active role in the socio-economic development of the country.
“Our nation requires a well informed legal profession that will help to proffer solutions to myriads of problems confronting the nation”.
Meanwhile, earlier in her remarks, Solanke who is the first female lawyer in the country to attain the rank of an SAN, as well as the first female Commissioner of the Western Region, said she was perturbed by current happenings in the nation.