By Adeola Badru
A former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has narrated how providence miraculously found him a path to the top from the tragic death of his father in
1952, which he said, threatened his life aspirations.
The former governor recalled this, at the weekend, during launch of his autobiography titled: “Amazing Grace,” held at the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan.
According to him, his grandmother, popularly called ‘Iya Alaro,’ who he knew as his mother while he was growing up, was the divine grace who piloted him through what her termed as ‘hopeless years’ after his father’s unfortunate demise.
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He noted that ‘Iya Alaro’ single-handedly reconstructed his fractured childhood.
Akala stressed: “It fulfils my desire to bookmark the landmark narratives of my life, how the tragic death of my father in a road accident in 1952 single-handedly threatened to swamp my dream of getting to the cusp of my life aspirations but how providence miraculously found for me a path to the top.”
“My grandmother, Iya Alaro who I knew as my mother while growing up, was that that divine grace in action, my guiding angel, who manifested as an old woman.”
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“She piloted me through those hopeless years after my father’s unfortunate demise. As I said in my book, Mama Alaro singlehandedly reconstructed my fractured childhood.”
“The title of the book, “Amazing Grace, is not a happenstance. It is the audacity of providence to bring me out of the dungeon of a hopeless tomorrow into the fulfilment of a life that I today celebrate at seventy years on earth.”
“I am a product of grace. I was the pencil in the hands of the Creator who drew the picture of who I am today. God brought me from the junctures where many who had great and greater hope of tomorrow, fell. He lifted me, without an iota of hope, to my feet and brought me to this juncture,” Alao-Akala said.
Dignitaries from all walks of life converged on the venue to celebrate the former governor, among whom were former Nigeria’s President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Rauf Olaniyan; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, former Chief of Staff under the administration of the former governor, Dr. Saka Balogun, who reviewed the book and others.