Immediate-past President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has commiserated with the people of Kwara of State over the passing of Chief Joel Ogundeji, who served as Deputy Governor of Kwara State, between 2003 and 2011.
Saraki, in whose administration as Governor of Kwara State, Ogundeji served, described the death of the late politician, civil servant and educationist as a great loss to the state, particularly at this time, when the wisdom and experience of senior stakeholders are needed to steer the ship of the state.
“I am extremely sad and heartbroken to learn about the passing of Chief Joel Ogundeji, who served as Deputy Governor, in the eight years of my tenure as the Governor of Kwara State.
“Throughout his life, which was dedicated to the service of his community, our state and the country, Chief Ogundeji was a steadfast, reliable and experienced leader and educator, whose commitment to the development of our state and its people was undeniable in both his words and action.
“During our time in the Governor’s Office, Chief Ogundeji’s advice, particularly in dealing with issues concerning the bureaucracy, education sector, and traditional institutions were invaluable. He was also a diligent and loyal deputy, who despite his age, kept up with the fast-pace with which the administration moved in tackling the challenges of the time.
“As we mourn the passing of this great Kwaran, I pray that Almighty God comforts his wife, Mrs. Comfort Ogundeji, and his children; the people of Iwo in Isin LGA; and the entire government and people of Kwara State. He will be dearly missed,” Saraki said.
Following Saraki’s election as the candidate of the PDP in the 2003 Gubernatorial Election, Chief Ogundeji was nominated to run alongside Saraki as his Deputy. Ogundeji, who was a devout Christian and a party leader from Iwo, in Isin Local Government Area, was also a Senior Education Officer in four post primary educational institutions between 1970 and 1995.
The late Deputy Governor was also a career officer in the Kwara State Civil Service from which he voluntarily retired in May 1993 as the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Local Government Service Commission.
He was the Chairman/Administrator of Irepodun Local Government, Omu-Aran between June 1986 and December 1987. He also served at Edu LGA in Lafiaji as the Secretary of the council between January 1988 and June 1990.