We Shall Sustain Olayinka’s Dreams, Says Fayemi

April 25, 2013

L-R: State Chief Judge, Ekiti, Justice Ayodeji Daramola; Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin; Governor Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji (Dr) Ganiyu Owolabi; and State Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria, High Chief Jide Awe, during a Special State Executive Council Session, in Ado-Ekiti.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has promised to work harder to sustain the dream he shared with his late deputy, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, to banish poverty from the state.

The governor made the pledge on Thursday during the lying-in-state of  the late Mrs. Olayinka at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti where a mammoth crowd witnessed the Afternoon of Tributes held in honour of the deceased.

Fayemi charged the people of the state to learn the lessons of dedication, courage, commitment, integrity and compassion exhibited by the late deputy governor in her lifetime.

The stadium had been filled to capacity as early as 9.00 am for an event that was scheduled to start at 12 noon.

Security was tight in and around the stadium as thousands of mourners defied the scorching sun to pay their last respect to the banker-turned politician.

Ace gospel musician, Tope Alabi, was on band stand dishing out philosophical tunes.

The body of the late Mrs. Olayinka arrived the stadium at about 11.45 am and was placed under a huge canopy erected at the centre of the stadium’s football pitch.

Mourners who came from all the 16 local government areas of the state and beyond included politicians, artisans, youths, students,, trade unions, market women, ethnic communities of Igbo, Hausa and Ebira resident in the state.

The husband of the deceased, Arc. Lanre Olayinka and the children-Yeside, Ololade and Olamide-joined the dignitaries at the state box.

Fayemi in his tribute described his late deputy as an icon, a class act, a dependable ally, epitome of beauty, a woman of excellence, a virtuous wife and loving mother.

The governor started his speech by singing the favorable song of his late deputy : “What shall we say, unto the Lord, all we have to say is thank you Lord, thank you Lord, thank you Lord, all we have to say is thank you Lord”.

Fayemi said the tributes session at the stadium was staged to celebrate an icon, a loyal partner in the struggle for the emancipation of Ekiti people who set a blazing example of patience in distress.

He said, “You set for us a blazing example of patience in distress. You are a true icon, a class act, in good and bad times you never lost your capacity to be happy.

“Your word was your bond and you never tolerate any action that remotely smack of sabotage. You were a superstar to the end you will ever be the amazing amazon of Ekiti land.

“A deputy governor who change the face of Ekiti politics with grace, panache and elegance. To me, you will always be a dependable ally.

“You lit positive candles in Ekiti State, you are a true icon of democracy. Your family will be our family till the end of time.

“We shall not relent until we make poverty history in Ekiti State”.

The wife of the governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, in her tribute promised to keep the memory of the late deputy governor alive.

She described the late Mrs. Olayinka as a partner in women emancipation who contributed immensely to the empowerment of women in Ekiti State.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, the home state of the deceased husband, said a chapter of a glorious life has been closed with the death of Mrs. Olayinka.

Amosun who was represented by his deputy, Prince Segun Adesegun, urged the crowd to learn from the Book of Ecclesiastes in which King Solomon emphasized on the vanity of life.

“There is period to be born and period to die, this is the reality of life we must all come to terms with. Although this is very painful but in everything, we must give thanks to God.

“In Ogun State, we will miss her sorely because she was a wife to us. we thank Ekiti State Government for this wonderful right of passage.

“Thus is one of those uncommon occasions I which we, as a government, must take the bull by the horn by putting more money into our health sector, our universities and research activities to check the spread of cancer”, he said.

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State in his tribute read on his behalf by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, said the news of the death of Mrs. Olayinka was received with shock.

“She was our friend, our colleague, our compatriot and comrade in the struggle. She was a fighter with a cool, calm demeanour and as a deputy governor, she was a loyal, humble but a firm subordinate”, he said.

Daughter of the deceased, Olamide, in a tribute on behalf of her siblings described their mother as God-fearing, brilliant in many ways and amazingly intelligent.

“She knew that even if cancer won, God would be there to take her to heaven. She would ask me to recite Philippians Chapter Four Verse Three which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

“She was an epitome of beauty, her sense of style was exceptional. though fun-loving, she was a disciplinarian. You know you are in trouble if she called you by your first name”, Olamide said.

Others who gave tributes were the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, on behalf of the State Executive Council, the Personal Assistant to the late Mrs. Olayinka, Princess Teju Okuyiga, representatives of the Action Congress of Nigeria, labour unions, Igbo and Hausa communities.

Governor Fayemi later led other dignitaries to file past the corpse to pay their last respect.

Earlier, the state executive council and the state house of assembly had organised special sittings for the departed deputy governor. Family members of the late deputy governor, including her husband and children attended the two sittings which held at the executive chambers of the Governor’s office and the legislative chamber of the state assembly in Ado-Ekiti.

At the Special legislative sitting, members of the state assembly unanimously  passed a motion for a call on the State Government to immortalise the late Deputy Governor so that her input to the transformation of Ekiti State will spur the coming generation.

Responding to the call, Governor Fayemi assured that the State Government would do everything possible to immortalise the late Deputy Governor; saying that the State will invest in efforts at early diagnosis of cancer, the dreaded disease that claimed the life of Olayinka.

He added that his administration will not relent in delivering its promises to Ekiti people through the eight point agenda which Mrs Olayinka passionately commitment herself to even at the last minute of her life.

At the  special Exco session, which took place much earlier, Mrs Olayinka’s colleagues at the executive council also took turns to read out their tributes to the late vice chairman of the council.

In attendance at the special sitting were the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, the Deputy Speaker of the Guateng Provincial Legislature, South Africa, Hon Uhuru Moiloa, Senators Babafemi Ojudu, Tony Adeniyi, Hon. Bimbo Daramola while the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Prince Segun Adesegun were among the dignitaries at the lying-in-state and tribute programme.



Last modified: April 25, 2013

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