Tribute to My Love, Aketi

By Betty Akeredolu


It’s me, your adorable Betty. 

You just left me. 

Just like that! 

It hurts. 

Badly it hurts. 

Now alone 

To face all manners of mockery. 

From the so-called friends and adversaries alike. 

Not a few lashed out that you were a weakling because you loved me.

“A beg o! Can an Amotekun generalssimo be a weakling? Mbanuu! It doesn’t add up nau. Haba! 

By the way, do they know what love is?

“I don’t think so. 

In their homes, while growing up they saw their mothers trampled upon as doormats.

“Beaten up like punch bags. 

They copied the template and treated their wives as pieces of furniture that could be easily discarded as 

trash. And in many instances, the subjugation was garnished with beatings 

while the community looked the other way and remained unperturbed as gender-based violence 

reigned supreme nationwide. 

In civilised climes, if you beat your wife, jail awaits you even if you are a Governor.

They marvel that a Nigerian man can love his wife.

“To them na only Oyibo man dey love. 

They are infuriated that a Yoruba man can love his wife, who is Igbo. 

How can? Igbo lasan, lasan!

“To them na only Oyibo man dey love. 

Na love at first sight brought us together, biko. No be juju!

“Na love make me cross the Niger. 

That love at first sight turned out to be true and pure. 

And you were proud to say it. 

You were proud to show it.

“You were even prouder to tell the people of Ondo State and beyond that, we were a team. You were 

audacious to tell your people that “you voted for one but got two”.

“A testimony of My positive contribution to your life and career, emotionally and intellectually.

We differed on one aspect, though. Religion. You were religious and wore your faith on your 

sleeves. I’m not. With no apologies. You were frustrated. Yet, we managed to work it out by 

harnessing our communication skills. You came to terms with my position on religion and respected 

my choice of pragmatism. And a peaceful home we built by respecting each other’s idiosyncrasies, 

supporting each other’s career pathways and loving each other at the same time. That you were 

courageous and fearless is now like a radio jingle on the lips of all and sundry.

“As a partner, you were kind and playful but annoying sometimes with your jokes which became 

normal over the years given that trying to change you from cracking expensive jokes was an exercise 

in futility.

“During our early years of marriage when we started from scratch, you made sure we didn’t lack. 

You took care of me and the children. With time, you became the best husband, dad and grandpa any 

wife, child or grandchild would wish for.”

The text of a poetic tribute by Betty Akeredolu, the widow of the late former governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

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