Niyi Akande, Osogbo.
They are men of means, men of power and connections. One of them ex governor, the other an academic of no mean standing and the last of the trio, a retired Lieutenant General in the Nigerian Army.
The three of them are in their 80’s and they wield enormous power that they often use to assist Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, in managing complicated, at times turbulent affairs of the state.
They are the powers behind the throne. They are the strongest among the elders backing Governor Oyetola and many times, the helmsman consult them before taking critical decisions.
Oyetola, seen as a perfect gentlemen, these godfathers, most time serve as eyes and ears of the governor and they had at several times helped and still helping the governor to solve some difficult problems.
Apart from these three, there are few others that are also power brokers, who are not in politics, but weld huge political powers through the governor in the state.
Powers behind the throne in ‘Abere White House.’
Chief Bisi Akande
The Octogenarian ex governor of Osun is a good example of how living long can rewards sufferings of growing years.
In Nigerian politics, Chief Akande has seen it all. He was the pioneer Chairman of the All Progressives Congress and moulded the party into a formidable force before handing it over to Chief Odigie Oyegun.
Death of many of his contemporaries like Chief Lamidi Adesina, ex Oyo State governor and Prince Ade Adefarati, who ruled Ondo state between 1999 and 2003, had placed immense responsibilities on Akande.
Akande, in his simple and stern nature had however demonstrated capacity in handling wicked problems and solve them without fuss for many big political office holders.
While serving as buffer for the younger generation of rulers across South West region and beyond, in his home state, Chief Akande, has also been offering support to his Governor.
Baba Akande, as he is fondly called, is said to be cool with Oyetola because the two of them are similar in many ways.
Chief Akande, it was also gathered, likes Oyetola’s noiseless, but firm approach to issues of state.
More importantly, ‘Baba omo ke ke ke’ is believed to be at home with Oyetola’s capacity at setting people to work and check constantly to ensure work is done in accordance to specifications.
To further underline their closeness, Akande’s only son, Femi is currently serving in Oyetola’s administration as Attorney General.
Prof. Olu Aina.
The Pioneer Registrar of National Board For Technical Education Board was born in Otan Ayegbaju, a few miles away from Ila home town of Akande.
An octogenarian like Akande, Prof Olu Aina, has been handling tough issues for Oyetola since he assumed mantle of leadership.
For instance, Prof. Aina, led the committee that recommended reversal of some education policies introduced by the administration of ex governor Rauf Aregbesola.
He is also leading the state team negotiating with Oyo state on the knotty issue of joint ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.
Aina, it was gathered, grew up with Akande in the same area, and the duo were said to be best of friends.
The ex NABTEB boss’s involvement in Oyetola’s administration was said to be hinged on the respect the governor gives to him and constant request for advise from the state helmsman.
Lt. Gen. Alani Akinriande (retd).
The Yakoyo-born, ex Chief of Defence Staff is the final leg of the tripod. The last leg of the three wisemen serving as neck holding straight the head governing Osun presently, is also an octogenarian like the other two.
Akinrinade, a retired military officer is known across the land for his simplicity and frankness. Governor Oyetola is said to have deep thrust for, and treats the ‘old soja’ with uttermost respect.
Gen. Akinrinade also served in the strategic committee that recommended reversal of some education policies of Aregbesola’s administration recently.
Beyond that, Akinrinade is said to be keeping ears on ground, especially in Ife area, for Oyetola and often advise the governor based on his findings.
Sources in government also said Governor Oyetola constantly seeks audience either privately with the ex Army boss, or in company of the other two wisemen.
Owing to their enormous influence, people seeking one favour or the other often use these men to get to the governor.