Baba Akande: A Nigerian Politician of Exemplary Qualities Guided by Accountability and Transparency

By Prof. Ojo Emmanuel Ademola

As Nigeria navigates the complexity of its political landscape, characterized by an overriding need for reform and an increasing clamour for leaders of integrity, the celebration of Baba Akande’s 85th birthday stands as a beacon of inspiration. Often referred to affectionately as Baba Akande, his life and career encapsulate the qualities so earnestly sought after in today’s public service arena: accountability, transparency, and an unwavering commitment to the common good.

Chief Abdul-Kareem Adebisi Akande, a name etched in the annals of Nigerian politics, has traversed the many waves of the nation’s political tides with the finesse of a skilled mariner. His political odyssey, coloured by the roles of governor, party leader, and elder statesman, offers a unique template for contemporary Nigerian politicians to emulate.

In a time where politics is often marred by self-interest and ephemeral gains, Baba Akande’s tenure in public service reflects a stark contrast. As the governor of Osun State from 1999 to 2003, and through his various national roles, he demonstrated an exceptional ability to match words with action. His ethos of accountability was not just a political slogan, but a palpable practice evidenced by open declarations of state resources, meticulous adherence to due process, and an incorruptible stance that withstood the test of time.

Transparency, often just a buzzword in the political sphere, was for Baba Akande a foundational principle. He championed policies and initiatives that reinforced open governance, ensuring that the mechanics of government were not shrouded in mystery but were accessible to the very people they served. His leadership illustrated that to build trust in a democracy, leaders must first be trustworthy themselves.

As we commemorate Baba Akande’s 85th milestone, it is befitting to highlight the virtues that have distinguished him as a paragon among his peers. His unwavering dedication to principled politics sets a remarkable standard. Current Nigerian politicians have much to learn from the way he combined shrewd political acumen with an ethical code uncompromised by the pull of partisanship or personal ambition.

Moreover, Baba Akande has consistently put the Nigerian people first, remembering that politics, in its truest form, is about service and sacrifice. His brand of leadership also reminds us that to navigate the socio-political tides of Nigeria effectively, politicians must be guided by an inner compass aligned with national interest and public welfare.

As Baba Akande turns another year older, his life’s work serves as an illuminating legacy that can galvanize the current generation of Nigerian politicians. May they draw from his well of wisdom, may they adopt his stance on accountability, and may they practice the transparency that he not only preached but also personified.

As we celebrate this icon, it is our collective hope that his values will continue to resonate within the corridors of power and beyond. In a country fervently searching for models of integrity and conscientious leadership, Baba Akande stands tall—a towering figure whose qualities are not mere wishes for the future but accessible standards for the present.

Happy Birthday, Baba Akande. May your legacy inspire an era of Nigerian politics that is rooted in the tenacity of your principles and the transformative power of your vision for an accountable and transparent Nigeria.

*Prof Ojo Emmanuel Ademola is the first Nigerian Professor of Cyber Security and Information Technology Management, and the first Professor of African Descent to be awarded a Chartered Manager Status

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