Akinrinade, one of Nigeria’s illustrious ambassadors ― Afenifere
.felicitates with him on his 80th birthday celebration
Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has felicitated with former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Lt. General Alani Akinrinade, on his 80th birthday celebration, describing him as ‘a military-democrat’ as well as ‘soldier of democracy and civil liberties,’ who the group was proud of as one of Nigeria’s illustrious ambassadors.
Akinrinade, who once served as Chief of Army Staff (CoS) and Minister of Transport, among others, was born on October 3, 1939, in Yakoyo near Ile-Ife and schooled in Offa Grammar School, now in Kwara State before enlisting in the Nigerian Army in 1960.
ARG said this on Wednesday in a release made available to newsmen in Lagos by its national chairman, Chief Wale Oshun, just as it further described the NADECO chieftain as an ambassador of democracy in the military, foremost patriot and a nation-builder.
According to Oshun, the height of this came when Akinrinade was entrusted with midwifing and securing the Second Republic as the Chief of Defence Staff in the democratic government of the then President Shehu Shagari, saying he was never tempted to overthrow the regime as was done by some military chiefs working under a purely civilian administration.
Oshun recalled how the fire of democracy burning in Akinrinade propelled him to put his life on the line even as a retired soldier by joining the formation of NADECO to fight for the restoration of democracy and the June 1993 Presidential Election won by late Chief M. K. O Abiola.
Oshun said Akinrinade had right from his youth been fighting for the unity, stability and transformation of Nigeria, adding it was the same course he had kept championing even as he turned 80 years.
“As a Yoruba, Afenifere is proud of having Akinrinade as one of our illustrious ambassadors to the Nigeria Project both as a serving soldier and as a front line statesman he is today,” he said.
“Akinrinade is a beacon of integrity, an embodiment of the whole and ever shinning Yoruba culture and values which have continued to stand him out as first among equals, an achiever that both his juniors, peers and even seniors keep seeing as a mentor and as a model provoking them to higher heights.
“Everywhere he goes, everything he does and everything he says, he radiates and emits the salient, inherent and innate Yoruba Omoluwabi which appears to have made him almost faultless in everything,” he added.
Oshun further commended the Osun State-born gentle and fine officer for what he described as his un-waiving commitment to the emancipation of the Yoruba nation and cultural values especially his support to the Yoruba Academy and the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN).