REMEMBRANCE: Akintola – Akala: 15 similarities and coincidences in their lives

Image caption: Akintola (left) and Akala

REMEMBRANCE: Akintola – Akala: 15 similarities and coincidences in their lives


Two great historical figures who have come out of Ogbomoso are late Chiefs Samuel Ladoke Akintola GCON and Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala. They were indisputably two of the greatest personalities ever produced by the community in the last 100 years. Each dominated his time and reigned supreme in the firmament of power. Why Akintola hugged national limelight as Premier of the defunct Western Region between 1959 and 1966 when he died Akala did so as Oyo State Governor in 2006 and between 2007 and 2011. As two days separated the remembrances of their deaths – January 15 and 12 respectively, looks at 15 similarities and coincidences in their lives.


1. They belonged to “J” birth months – While Akala was born on June 3 (1950), Akintola graced the earth for the first time on July 10 (1910).

2. They were both polyglots – Akintola spoke Yoruba, English, Nupe and Hausa languages fluently just as Akala spoke Yoruba, English, and several Ghanaian languages eloquently.

3. Their formative years were forged partly outside Ogbomoso – Akintola lived in Minna, in today’s Niger state while Akala lived in the then Gold Coast (Ghana), a situation responsible for their ability to speak several languages.

4. They both led governments in executive capacity under democracy – Akintola was Premier of the Western Region, Akala was elected governor of the present Oyo state. They were the only Ogbomoso persons who ever did so under democratic setting.

5. Both while in government were not supported by their immediate predecessors – Akintola was preceded in office by Chief Obafemi Awolowo while Akala came on board after the administration of Senator Rashidi Ladoja. Ironically, neither enjoyed the support of his boss.

6. Even their names bore similarities – The first two words of their surnames began with AK i.e. AKintola, AKala. Each had a prominent English/Bible name i.e. Samuel and Christopher and middle Yoruba names – Ladoke and Adebayo. Also, “LA” rounded off the last two words of their names.

7. Each died in January almost on the same date – While Akala passed away January 12 (2022), Akintola transited on January 15 (1966) though under different circumstances.

8. Each had monuments named after him in Ogbomoso – While the consistently best ranked state university in Nigeria Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) is named after Akintola the new road Ogbomoso – Iseyin road is named after Akala.

9. They both hailed from prominent houses in Ogbomoso – Akintola from Akinbola House at Laka; Akala from Akala House, Taraa.


10. They were both title holders of Soun Chieftaincy – Akintola was Asipa Ogbomoso while Akala was Bobagunwa Ogbomoso.

11. They both enjoyed cult-following – Each of the icons enjoyed tremendous cult following among the people of Ogbomoso and beyond. They were indeed idolized.

12. The death of each of them was sudden and shocking – While Akintola died in a coup d’etat, Akala died without any public knowledge of suffering from any sickness. Both deaths sparked shock and lamentations as they were sudden.

13. Death of each created a big vacuum in the political space of Ogbomoso – The death of Akintola was a great loss as was that of Akala. Ogbomoso indeed waited 40 years (January 15, 1966 to January 12, 2006) after the death of Akintola before a politician of his mould (Akala) emerged.

14. Both had their children emerging as federal legislators after their death – The scion of Akintola’s lineage, Yomi, was elected to represent Ogbomoso Federal Constituency in 1979 before being appointed Minister while the scion of Akala family, Lamiju, also got elected to represent the constituency at the federal level in 2023. Each of the children rode on the goodwill and popularity of their fathers to attain victory.

15. Both allocated enduring developmental projects in Ogbomoso – Akintola’s legacies included State Hospital (General Hospital), numerous intra-city roads, construction of water works for provision of pipe borne water etc while Akala was responsible for the construction of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Complex and College of Health Sciences, and numerous intra-city roads rehabilitation.

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