Sunday, April 4, 2021 12:21 am
He did not hold a public office, yet Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumaki’s death attracts much tributes in torrents from different public figures.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Governors Rotimi Akeredolu, Seyi Makinde, Dapo Abiodun, former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, and others commiserated with Odumakin’s family.
Buhari condoles with the family, friends and acquaintances of Yinka Odumakin, spokesman of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere.
Odumakin was also spokesman to the then Gen Buhari in 2011, when he ran for President on the platform of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), now defunct.
The President recalls Odumakin as dutiful, and a person of conviction, expressing sorrow at his demise, when he had a lot more to contribute to society and the nation at large.
President Buhari prays God to grant repose to the soul of the departed activist, and comfort all those who mourn him.
Also, Akeredolu said it saddens “us as Government and people of Ondo State to be faced with the reality of the demise of Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin. It is heart-aching; it’s one death with many losses to our people. In a statement signed by Donald Ojogo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Ondo State, Akeredolu said Odumakin “was a true Nationalist who placed Yoruba Race on a pedestal of honour and high regards and quite fearlessly, gave all in his passion-filled struggle for a virile and peaceful Nigeria with fairness, justice, equity and freedom as his beacons.
His roles in the enthronement of popular democracy as well as his fiery advocacy for the Rule of Law remain undoubtedly legendary. We recall his fiery beginning in the struggle as the Publicity Secretary of Obafemi Awolowo University Student Union where he discharged his duties creditably.
He represented a memorable era having participated actively in the passion and action for a better Nigeria in his lifetime. Those left behind will find great inspiration in Yinka’s legacies to continue with the struggle.
To his immediate family, Yinka created an irreplaceable vacuum; he indeed left an open wound of scary spots for his colleagues with whom shared moments were always with eyes on a United Nigeria of Justice for all. Even those who had reasons to disagree with Yinka on issues will feel the absence of intellectual engagements. Countless losses, indeed.
Along the trajectory of the path to service, Yinka defied his age, incurably in quest for knowledge and more wisdom from older generations to enrich and equip himself. The entire Yoruba race has lost an enigma in pursuit of a just society.
The Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN on behalf of his family, Government and the good people of Ondo State, expresses his deep and heartfelt condolences to Yinka’s wife, Joe, family, friends, associates and acquaintances over this untimely death. This is a personal loss.
Our collective strength remains the unshakable faith in God to Whom we are all indebted. He giveth and taketh; His actions, inactions only confirm and give credence to His infallibility. He is the Unquestionable.
Thus, notwithstanding the pains, ours is to pray that our departed brother, colleague and associate finds comfort in the bosom of his creator until the resurrection day.
Former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has commiserated with the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere and the Odumakin family over the demise of Odumakin.
Mimiko, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, John Paul Akinduro, said Nigeria has lost a prominent voice in the fight for true federalism and unity of the nation.
According to him “Yinka was a quintessential Nigerian who epitomised noble and progressive activist ethos. His undying passion for the Nigerian project was palpable right from his days as a student union activist.”
Mimiko also described the late Afenifere spokesperson as “a progressive activist and democrat whose struggle for Nigeria’s return to democracy cannot be quantified.
He was one of the leading voices that fought successive military regimes to enthrone democratic governance.
“Though his death is a painful and personal loss, I urge all to seek solace in the fact that Yinka lived a remarkable life. He was a true patriot, selfless leader and a lover of the masses.” Mimiko said.
The former Governor prayed for strength for his darling wife, Joe and the family to bear the irreplaceable loss.
Not left out either was Abiodun, who in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, declared that the southwest has lost a courageous human rights activist and fearless public commentator.
The governor noted that Odumakin, while alive, championed the cause of the southwest and promote the ideals of the late sage and Premier of the defunct Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, which were held dear by the Afenifere.
Abiodun, who said the late journalist would be remembered for his timely response to national issues, particularly, ones that affected the southwest, added that Odumakin lived a good life and fought a good fight.
“For those of us who have followed Odumakin’s trajectory in journalism and activism, he lived a good life and fought doggedly to defend the defenceless. He and his wife were always at the forefront to protest against oppressive government policies.
“As the spokesperson of the Afenifere, he discharged his duties diligently and defended the cause of the southwest passionately. He never hid his passion for the Yoruba people and was never timid to speak against any policy that would affect the generality of the nation.
“Though, the activist has gone to the join his Maker, his humane and altruistic activities while on Earth will remain indelible in our hearts.
“I commiserate with his immediate family, especially his wife and ‘Siamese twins’, Joey Odumakin, the Afenifere and indeed, the southwest. I pray that his soul finds comfort in the bosom of the Almighty God. We shall all miss Odumakin. Goodnight, Yinka!”, the statement concluded.
Moreover, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State described Odumakin’s death as a personal loss of a good brother and a great loss to the Yoruba race.
Makinde, who stated that the news of Odumakin’s passage came as a rude shock and leaves him in a sad mood, commiserated with Dr. Joe-Okei Odumakin, wife of the late Afenifere chieftain, members of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group and the entire Yoruba nation.
He described the late Afenifere spokesman as a true Yoruba son, who embodied the ethos of Omoluabi, a dogged and true fighter of the Yoruba cause and an advocate of good governance.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as adding that Odumakin’s death has created a huge vacuum in Yorubaland and Nigeria.
The governor said: “Words failed me as I accept the news of the death of a wonderful brother and friend, a true Yoruba son and a true fighter of the cause of our nation, Yinka Odumakin.
“This is a personal loss to me, a huge loss to the Yoruba nation and Nigeria, because Odumakin, apart from being a true Yoruba son and an embodiment of the Omoluabi ethos, is an advocate of good governance and true federalism.
“I commiserate with his dear wife, Dr. Joe-Okei Odumakin, the Afenifere family and the entire Yoruba nation on the death of a true son and friend of the Yoruba nation and I pray to God to grant everyone of us the fortitude to bear this loss.
“While we submit to the will of God Almighty, who retains the right to spare or to kill any mortal, we are convinced that values and ideals that Odumakin fought for in his lifetime have not died with him.”