A former Peoples Democratic Party acting National Secretary, Dr. Akinremi Akintoye, relaxes by listening to classical music, writes Shola Oyeyipo
Shortly after the embattled National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola was relieved of his job, Dr. Akinremi Akintoye, attained another national recognition when he was appointed the acting national secretary of the party. He was appointed alongside 15 others in June following the resignation of some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, whose election in the March 2012 National Convention of the party, was faulted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Aside from coming in at a time that the ruling party was enmeshed in crisis, Akintoye’s popularity soared after becoming a member of the National Working Committee of Africa's supposed largest party, though on interim basis. And holding onto such position for not less than three months was a daunting task.
Recounting his work schedule during his short stint at the Wadata Plaza secretariat of the PDP, he recalled that "I woke up every morning and I was the first person to see the chairman (Alhaji Bamanga Tukur) and I'm always with him till the close of the day to make sure that everything was well organised and that the secretariat ran smoothly."
Akintoye, no doubt, agreed that playing politics is a Harculean task that requires time and a lot of strength, but he was also be quick to add that to relax, "I don't smoke, I don't drink and I don't womanise."
Instead, he said he was fanatical about music, and not just any kind of music; it is strictly classical music. Not just any classical music but that of German composer and pianist, Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic era in Western musical art. He was one of the most famous and influential of all composers with compositions that included nine symphonies, five concertos for piano, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets.
"If I want to relax, I play a very classical music, especially Beethoven series. He is one of the best classical musicians of all time. Then I seclude myself. I pick up an autograph and just get a real sleep," Akintoye said explaining how best he relieves himself of stress.
Looking back, however, the appointment of Akintoye, a former commissioner in Lagos State, though on the recommendation of the party's bigwig and former national vice chairman, South-west, Chief Olabode George, attracted stiff opposition as a section of the party kicked against his continued stay in the office, especially after new NWC members had been elected.
The likes of Wale Olaifa, South-west zone; Okey Nwachukwu, South-east zone; Brown Otomi, South-south zone; Tijanni Ahmed, North-west zone; Francis Ako, North-central zone; and Abubakar Bello, North-east zone led the protest to demand Akintoye's immediate removal from office.
This was part of the views expressed by former acting national secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Akinremi Akintoye yesterday when fielding questions from newsmen during activities put together by the Ato-Ona Collectives to mark the birthday celebration of the former PDP Deputy National Chairman, South-west, Chief Olabode George who clocked 68 yesterday.
But even after his removal from the PDP NWC, he has remained a staunch member of the party in the South-west – with an unflinching loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan and George.
Recently reacting to attempts to stop the president from seeking a second term in 2015, Akintoye said: "Nigerians will eventually miss him (President Jonathan) because he is one of the leaders that has progressed this nation within a very short time. Though leaders are not recognised when they are still in office, President Jonathan's achievements will be seen when he leaves office."
He therefore maintained that the president deserved the encouragement of Nigerians to accomplish his good works: "He deserves our support in the epic battle of transforming Nigeria into a developed, respectable, thriving, peaceful, democratic nation."
Still active in South-west politics, Akintoye recently took up the challenge of leading a newly formed Ato-Ona Collectives, a socio – political group created by Bode George's political protégés, to document his contributions, achievements and commitment to the well-being of others, rather than himself.
Speaking during the activities that marked the 68 birthday celebration of George penultimate week, he described George as "a selfless politician" he was ready to follow even "blindly."