…late Dep Gov was a statesman par excellence
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji on Wednesday led former governors of the state, former deputy governors and prominent citizens to pay glowing tributes to the immediate past Deputy Governor of the state, the late Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, at a special commendation service organised by the state government in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The late Egbeyemi who passed on March 18, was deputy governor of the state between October 16, 208 to October 15, 2022.
On hand to bid farewell to the late deputy governor at the Commendation Service /Evening of Tribute were former Governor Segun Oni, incumbent deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye; Wife of the Governor, Dr Olayemi Oyebanji, former First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, former deputy Governors, Biodun Aluko and Prof Modupe Adelabu; Chief Judge of the State, Justice John Oyewole Adeyeye; Speaker of the state Assembly, Rt. Hon Bunmi Adelugba and other prominent citizens of the state.
Governor Oyebanji described the late Egbeyemi as a statesman of repute, respected community leader and a great lover of his people, who made significant contributions to the growth and development of the state in different capacities he served.
He said Egbeyemi’s patriotic zeal, discipline and unassailable integrity were largely responsible for the respect he commanded as a community leader, politician and public servant.
Governor Oyebanji, who recalled that the late Deputy Governor had being a mentor, leader and father-figure to him right form his days as a lecturer in the state owned university, and when he joined the Otunba Niyi Adebayo –led government, said the people Ado-Ekiti in particular and Ekiti State in general would miss the late deputy Governor.
The Governor regaled the audience with stories of instances where he had benefitted from the late Deputy Governor’s generosity, guidance and rebuke, urged the children to sustain Otunba Egbeyemi’s legacies of service, integrity and honour.
Saying that the burial of the late deputy governor was a celebration of life well spent in the service of God, the people and humanity, Governor Oyebanji urged the people of the state to support and show love to the children and the family of the late deputy Governor beyond the burial period.
“We are here to celebrate the life and times of our dear leader. Baba lived well and served well and we all have one good thing or the other to say about Baba. I want to appeal to all our people to support and show love to the children and the family beyond this burial ceremony. Yes, we are all here now, but how many of us can the children reach when they need a father-figure, how many of us will be there for them. He retorted.
Extoling the sterling qualities of the late deputy Governor, Oyebanji said: “Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi was a man of strong character, he was straightforward, honest, reliable, firm and amiable. He was however impatient with liars and people of unstable character. There is no doubt that he is one of the most successful politicians to have come out of Ado Ekiti and Ekiti State in general. His life is a multiple colour of successes.
As a teacher, he was well known, as a lawyer, he was the people’s advocate, as an industrialist, he used his investment to serve the community and create employment for many, and as a politician, he was thoroughbred grassroots politician who used every opportunity he had to lift others.”
Former Governor Fayemi, under whom the late Egbeyemi served as deputy Governor between 2018 and 2022, described the late politician as a stabilising force in his political journey since their first meeting through former Governor Niyi Adebayo in 2006.
Dr Fayemi who spoke through his wife, Erelu Fayemi at the commendation service, said Otunba Egbeyemi was always one of the go to persons by anyone aspiring to important political positions in the state.
“ He was in charge of one of the most sensitive issues in our state, that of chieftaincy, and he handled it with dexterity and capacity, mindful of the place of tradition in our society.”
He said with Otunba Egbeyemi’s hard work, integrity and maturity, he could not have asked for a better deputy governor.
Other speakers at the evening of tributes include Prof Modupe Adelabu, who spoke on behalf of former deputy governors; Mrs Ronke Okusanya who spoke on behalf of the state executive council member( 1999-2003) set; Chief Bayo Idowu, who spoke in behalf of Afenifere; Engr Tunde Odetola, who spoke on behalf of the APC Elders’ Forum, Prof Mobolaji Aluko who spoke on behalf of the immediate past and the current state executive council members and the state chairman of the APC, Barrister Paul Omotoso, who described then late Egbeyemi as a loyal party member and a trusted party leader.
Last modified: June 1, 2023