Friday, May 19, 2017 8:34 am
Eminent Nigerians including Southwest Governors and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Thursday at House of Chief, Parliament Building, Agodi Ibadan, capital of Oyo State to witness the lying-in-state of the former Governor of the old Western State, Major General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo.
The lying-in-state marked the kick off funeral ceremony of the nationalist and political icon who will be buried in his home town, Iyin Ekiti on Friday.
Among the serving and former governors and the deputy governors in attendance were: Governor Abiola Ajimobi, his counterparts from Lagos, Ondo, and Osun, Akinwunmi Ambode, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola respectively, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, and Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose were represented by their deputies: Mrs Yetunde Onanuga and Dr Kolapo Olusola, State of Osun Deputy Governor, Chief Grace Laoye Tomori, and former Deputy Governors of Oyo, Osun States, Chief Bisi Akande of Osun State, Dr Omololu Olunloyo, Gen. Oluwole Rotimi, Gen. David Jemibewon, Gen Oladayo Popoola, Admiral Akin Aduwo, Sen. Cornelius Adebayo and Chief Iyiola Oladokun.
Also in attendance were: the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka who was represented by DVC (Admin) Professor Emilolorun Ayelari, Olubadan of Ibadanland represented by his chiefs led by Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin, Secretary to Ogun State Governor, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, Commissioner of Police in Oyo State Mr. Abiodun Odude, Provost of the Cathedral, St. Peters Anglican Church, Ibadan, Venerable Wale Adebiyi and representatives of Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheik Abubakri Abdulganiu Agbotomokekere. Members of Executive Councils in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti were also in attendance.
Among the family members in attendance were: the son of the deceased who was the former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and widow of the deceased, Chief Modupe Adebayo. Also, the first Aide de Camp, ADC, to the deceased, Gen. J. Ola Oni and his wife, Senators Monsurat Sunmonu representing Oyo Central, Dr. Abdulfatai Buhari representing Oyo North and Senator Lanre Tejuoso representing Ogun Central were in attendance.
Earlier, the remains of Adebayo, led by Governor Ambode was received at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the governors of Oyo, Osun, Ondo and deputy governors of Ekiti and Ogun states.
The motorcade later departed the Toll Gate for Government House Arcade for a salute before being led to the House of Chiefs, where eminent personalities were seated for the lying in state. The body got to the Government House Arcade around 2:48pm.
In his speech, Senator Saraki who urged the gathering not to mourn but celebrate a life well spent condoned with family of the late elder statesman, urging younger generations in leadership position to sustain the legacy of peace and unity Adebayo left behind.
According to him, “I stand here not to mourn but celebrate General Adebayo, it is not common for six state governors to celebrate an individual, let me commend the efforts of the organizers. I think Baba Adebayo deserves more than this. General Adebayo is more than South-West and that is why the entire Nigeria is here to honour the deceased”.
For Governor Ajimobi who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, late Adebayo was an illustrious son of Africa whom dignitaries are being giving final farewell adding, “Papa fought a good fight, and we take solace, I congratulate us all for the good works of the late General Adeyinka Adebayo. Papa has carved his name on our heart; his legacy will always remain in our heart. May his gentle soul rest in peace”.
Secretary to the Oyo State Government who was the Chairman of the planning committee for the event, Alhaji Olalekan Alli earlier said that the demise of Adebayo though heartbreaking but a thing of joy for a life well spent.
He said the choice of Ibadan for the day of tribute is in recognition of the late governors contributions to the development of the region.
Members of the Yoruba Council of Elders who spoke through Chief Idowu Sofola described the demise of Adebayo as a huge loss saying, “He was an embodiment of what has been said here. As a Military Governor, he contributed to the betterment of his people and as Chairman of YCE he worked diligently for the betterment of people”.