The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mourned the passage of the National Publicity Secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Saturday and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, described the late human rights and pro-democracy activist, as a “great nationalist, passionate leader and champion of a true Nigeria that would work for every citizen.”
He said the Afenifere spokesman “lived a selfless life”, adding that Mr Odumakin will not be forgotten in a hurry.
“It is with deep sense of sorrow but with a heart full of gratitude to God for a good life spent by the late Yinka Odumakin that I write to commiserate with the family, friends and associates of the late Yinka Odumakin.
“Odumakin was undoubtedly a great nationalist, passionate leader and champion of a true Nigeria that would work for every citizen.
“Odumakin as civil rights activist was selfless. He spent the greater part of his life in the service of humanity, particularly the emancipation of the Yoruba people, the development of the South West region in particular and the nation in general.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also stated that Mr Odumakin “stood firmly behind the attainment of constitutional democracy and fiscal federalism as the basis for sustainable development and lifting the masses out of poverty.”
“As spokesman for the Afenifere, Odumakin made his mark and became a reference point as major voice for the development of the Yoruba race. He will surely be missed.
“I personally followed the late Odumakin and found his principled position and capacity to speak truth to power as crucial for Nigeria’s political and economic development.”
The Governor also condoled with wife of the deceased, Joe Okei-Odumakin, Afenifere and the entire Yoruba race over the death of the civil rights activist.
In his statement, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State described the late Afenifere spokesman “as a nationalist who gave his all to Nigeria”.
In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, the governor said Mr Odumakin was a true nationalist “who placed the Yoruba race on a pedestal of honour and high regards.”
“His roles in the enthronement of popular democracy, as well as his fiery advocacy for the rule of law, remain undoubtedly legendary.
“We recall his fiery beginning in the struggle as the Publicity Secretary of Obafemi Awolowo University Student Union where he discharged his duties creditably.
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“He represented a memorable era having participated actively in the passion and action for a better Nigeria in his lifetime. Those left behind will find great inspiration in Yinka’s legacies to continue with the struggle.
“To his immediate family, Yinka created an irreplaceable vacuum; he indeed left an open wound of scary spots for his colleagues with whom shared moments were always with eyes on a united Nigeria of justice for all.
“Even those who had reasons to disagree with Yinka on issues will feel the absence of intellectual engagements. Countless losses, indeed.
“Along the trajectory of the path to service, Yinka defied his age, incurably in quest for knowledge and more wisdom from older generations to enrich and equip himself. The entire Yoruba race has lost an enigma in pursuit of a just society.
“Notwithstanding the pains, ours is to pray that our departed brother, colleague and associate finds comfort in the bosom of his creator until the resurrection day,” Mr Akeredolu said.
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