Governor of the State of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Monday led some eminent Nigerians and government functionaries to pay last respect to the late elder statesman and leader of the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Fasanmi.
Oyetola, in a glowing tribute delivered at the commendation service held at the Cathedral of All Saints, Osogbo, described the late Yoruba leader as an undiluted progressive whose “life, times and legacy typify the Omoluabi ethos that the State of Osun holds dear”.
He said the deceased lived his entire life to love and serve Nigeria with passion without expecting any benefits in return for doing so, adding that late Pa Fasanmi was one of God’s generous donations to humanity.
The governor said late Pa Fasanmi was one of the few patriarchs who stood to be counted in a nation in search of politics of ideology and principle, describing him as “a great leader of monumental significance”.
“Pa Ayo Fasanmi conscientiously promoted, projected and lived for the principles and legacies of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo till he breathed his last. Throughout his foray into politics, he was consistent as a progressive.
“Despite losing to a colleague, Pa Adekunle Ajasin, in the Unity Party of Nigeria’s gubernatorial primary election in 1978, he remained a committed party man and worked for the success of the party’s candidate.
“Pa Fasanmi was a distinguished son of Ekiti who found home in the State of Osun and worked tirelessly for the progress of the Yoruba race as an Afenifere leader. Every 30 minutes at Pa Fasanmi’s feet was worth more than reading scores of books on politics.
“Pa Fasanmi was a passionate believer in a better Nigeria. He was ever seeking to enrich and expand the frontiers of socio-political knowledge, encourage mass political participation, offer selfless service to build a successor generation.
“Pa Fasanmi was a beacon of hope for a new Nigeria and an encouragement to the younger generation of politicians and public administrators,” Governor Oyetola added.
The Governor was joined by his wife, Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola; a former Governor of the State, Chief Bisi Akande; the former Lagos Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented by Chief Mutiu Are; the incumbent Deputy Governor, Benedict Alabi; his Chief of Staff, Dr. Charles ‘Diji Akinola; and the Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Dr. Ajibola Basiru.
Others are: Senator Biyi Durojaiye, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd.), Prof. Olu Aina and the state party Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun, among others.