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It’s most unusual to find two persons so physically different, socially at variance, culturally diverse, and politically at odds. Yet they have left behind all these differences to helm together one of the most iconic, sustainable, respectable, responsible, pragmatic, enduring and perhaps the greatest brand in the history of political culture and social integration in Nigeria.

For me, the story of Betty and Aketi is a love story made in heaven with its script and various plots fashioned on a canvas of a cross-thematic space of conflict and resolutions where the producer and the director agreed to make a success of the delicate and difficult drama. On whose shoulder should the success and the heavy grossing of this highly successful Nollywood film be placed. If you ask me, your guess is as good as mine. Let’s examine the story and the plots together.

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This is the story of two young folks from two extremely different socio-cultural backgrounds. One, a thespian, merry-go guy, likable person with a volcanic predilection for courage and Sango -attitude. That’s Rotimi Akeredolu. Betty Anyanwu on the other side is reserved, conservative but purposively radically inclined and idealistic. They are complete strangers who met by happenstance and Gbam! Their chemistry became aligned. They ignored a most unnecessary political difference between their tribal stocks arising from historical factors, sidestepped a most putrid sentiment in a cultural milieu where any man who is younger than the woman cannot openly propose a marriage. It is almost like a taboo. This is a most antagonistic social valve at the period of this relationship.

They both scaled the hurdle of being career-based persons conquering poverty and want, ignoring snide talks by family and friends, defending their union and holding their grounds thereby successfully making a family that has proved to be an A+ Rating.

One more special edge this union has is that nature on its own is an interested party. Nature has brought together this confluence of souls so much to place them just some hours apart from each other. Both the Anyanwus and the Akeredolus must have had a psychic or mystic meeting as to when to or how to deliver this solemn message to the world by making both Betty and Aketi “Twins” born apart in July. They have the added honour of being “ Omo July 20/21”. This is special and I guess this is a first of its kind relative to people who have roles to play in the shaping of their society.

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Talk about shaping society and other talks, one can say that it may seem unimportant at a point in time. But during the period, Betty and Aketi pushed aside the prejudices of their births to agree to become one. It was a big deal to find an Ibo girl to agree to marry an “ Omo n’gbati n’gbati”. Equally, on the part of Aketi, it is only a social outcast and a non conformist that would venture to marry a girl that is in arguably and without doubt his elder sister. In this scenario, kudos must be given to these two Nigerians for giving practical meaning to how to destroy our differences and make a greater nation. One can expect the level of sacrifice they must have made and the social rejection they must have suffered to sustain the union.


As at today, to have a Betty survive in an Owo cultural enclave built on a proud aristocratic background that cares so much about its history and that of its neighbors is a great sacrifice for a woman of steel and stellar resolve. Also, to have an Aketi, survive and sustain the chance given to him by his Igbo in-laws as to how he will take care or deal with their daughter and he distinguished himself so credibly is a testament to Akeredolu as a man of honour. No minion survives in any duel with the culture from where Betty came from or was grown. You must be a man of ability and capacity. You must display a special capability to be reckoned with. Aketi proved himself admirably.

This union started from not too sure backgrounds but the brute resolve of two principled youngsters determined to fashion a role for themselves and chart their own life causes by making themselves guinea pigs for the destruction of adverse societal maladies. Heaven smiled on them. They were blessed with the fruits of the womb who have been nursed into dependable partners along the way.


During the 2012 Election Tribunal, Yejide one of their daughters was a Counsel in the matter. Also, during the 2016 election campaigns, Babajide moved from not only acting as a photographer, but he was also as a content developer, supporter, mobiliser, and many more. He played a more frontal role in the 2019 struggle for a second term and in the governance of the people of the State today.

On the part of the parents, they led the struggle of life to which the children were partakers. Betty retired from the Federal Civil Service as a Deputy Director while Aketi reached the apogee of his professional career.

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Betty like an Amazon led the charge into the political terrain and she became the first real “ politician in the house”. Despite Aketi’s many years of involvement in the NBA politics, by every standard Aketi should consider Betty as his leader in party politics. Before Aketi was “tricked” into politics by his friend Kola Olawoye, SAN and some other fellow “coupists”( so I heard), Betty already had many years before them being prevented from going to the House of Representatives. No thanks to Obasanjo and his wicked politics.

In politics, Betty has always been the first and best person in the Akeredolu family setting. I don’t have to be told that she must have vehemently refused to be the everyday housewife. She has a cause and a dream and she followed it. No doubt she is better than Aketi in many ways. She has honed her skill and understands the language and nuances of politics quite better.

As a mother of the State, occupying Alagbaka, Betty came with a prepared agenda to librate the women from the scourge of the killer disease of Breast cancer by setting up BRECAN in Ondo State. She decided to give the girl child an opportunity with her iconic BEMORE initiative. She encouraged wives of political officeholders to be mindful of their own role as stakeholders in politics like their husbands with her creation tagged FOWOSO. She gave voices to women aspirants and ensured they are not used as “choir or clappers”. We can trace the story of many women appointees and elected officers to her encouraging activities. Betty through her programmes attacked societal scourges like rape, brutality towards women, child molestation and other social vices. Her efforts were not only home-based in Ondo State, she was present nationally and internationally. She deployed her efforts towards many positive affirmative actions and efforts. It is to her credit that no First Lady in Nigeria ( except Mariam Babangida) has achieved more or has been in the news than Arabirin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.

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Aketi on his part with little effort has always had the better fortune among the two. Whether as a Fela person or as an “ Omo Elemu” Kegite, Aketi has always had good fortune follow him. See how he became the Attorney General of Ondo State at just 38 years, at a most critical period. How he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the way he became the President of the NBA without any contest ( according to him his most valued and cherished personal accomplishment) so far. In 2012, he was made the Gubernatorial candidate of the ACN in Ondo State without any contest despite the outcome of the election he came back to pick the ticket in a most controversial way in 2016 and went on to defeat two of his equally very qualified brother Silks. None of them approached the Tribunal to contest the outcome of the election. In 2019, Aketi came back to repeat the feat and he has displayed ample class act in the way he has led the State.


In their roles as the occupants of Alagbaka government house, both Betty and Aketi did not leave anyone in doubt about the fact that they know what they are doing. Both jointly but separately set about their roles as both given in the law and by convention. While Aketi faced the business of governance by a singularity of purpose by the way he stealthily and with maniacal penchant attacked with force and brutality the infrastructural deficit of the State by turning it into a construction yard, he was frank, unassuming, courageous and unsparing in his views and actions. Both at the national level whether in the party or any forum, Aketi displayed a lionized mode of dealing with issues. Whether on issue of Federalism, governance model, power relation or equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, Aketi is always in his best elements. He is not only idealistic he is realistic but not tribalistic. Whether in his protection of his people in Ondo State, he was direct and positive. This was made manifest by the way he led the South West to set up the Amotekun Corps, the ban on the presence of killer herders in our forests and the progressive push for the Presidency to come to the Southern part of Nigeria. These are vintage Aketi ways.

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Betty has not been found wanting. She is a model of action and pride in womanhood. If there is a need to show empathy, you will find her there. If it is to be empathic and downright serious Betty is your person. Her views are not colored in sophistry and prevarications neither is her mood bounded by unnecessary sycophancy. She could be as mild as she is brutally frank. No First Lady in Nigeria, either dead or alive, has such familiarity with information technology than Betty. No wonder she so much appreciates the epithet “ Digital Mama”. She is a social media influencer and combatant. More than any of her weaknesses she is a real Mother-in-Israel.

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No society can survive without crisis and challenges. Both Betty and Aketi have had their individual challenges and triumphs. There have been times of “wonderment”of saying “
Why Me?”. There have been moments of acidic wonders of saying “ What a sweet and wonderful world”. The Akeredolus have tasted the bitter
and the sweet. They have enjoyed the low and the high that life had thrown at them. With stoic resolve, they have built a
name and a brand.

This brand has been such that it has become as differing and problematic as it has become compulsively positive, provocatively unbeatable, progressively unassailable, permanently progressing and expanding and constantly gaining momentum, strength and traction. This brand has remained novel and always selling beating its competitors at every turn of sale.

Lennox Mall

The Betty and Aketi brand is a colossal success evidently attracting severe opposition at every bend by improving day in and day out by the sheer force of positive energy it radiates and the vibe that oozes out of it.

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The moment of low is always part of human existence but out of a cloudy firmament always come the shinning morrow. By every strand of understanding the Betty and Aketi brand is a socio cultural and socio political
philosophy that deserves intellectual attention and distillation.


As “Digital Mama” clocks the Biblical three scores and ten ( 70 years) while our “ Talk and Do” Governor clocks 67 years today, all we can wish both our Arakunrin and our dear Arabinrin is the best life can offer in good health long life and posterity.



Sola Ajisafe Esq
(Fundamental Ajiology)

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