Saturday, April 22, 2017 9:40 am
• Aregbesola, Amosun, Ojudu, others mourn him
Late Dipo Famakinwa, the Director General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, DAWN, Commission, who died on 20 April 2017 in a Lagos hospital (on the eve of his planned treatment overseas), could have been affected by overwork. In fact, he posted the following on his Facebook wall on 9th March, 2017. This was probably his last post. He was so hardworking that his family members conspired to force him to go on vacation.
His post: “The year started for my colleagues and I on a high. Everything was running at a frenzy. Then close people started telling me that I was working too hard and needed to slow down. In my opinion, it’s early in the year and not a good time for vacation.
I kept running at high steam, and then the conspiracy started. My wife managed to recruit my friend, who is also a colleague, and my Executive Assistant into the plot. Even my daughter!
They started making arrangements to send me away, without my knowledge. When my wife finally told me, I resisted. She put me under a lot of pressure, but I refused. My colleagues also did the same, I ignored them.
Then my wife reported the matter to my dad. My dad called me, and in his usual manner, calmly persuaded me to yield to the pressure. I honestly didn’t have too much choice after the discussion with him. I relented. And everyone was happy.
Earlier today, I had to do the trip. Now I’m all by myself, ensconced in one bush, also called a resort, and the design is that I’d be here, just eating, sleeping and looking into the sky. For the first time in a long time, I watched a football match without any distractions at all, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The truth is we all really do need these occasional get-aways.
May we all live long enough to enjoy the fruits of our labour”.
Meanwhile, Southwest governors will miss him! This is because, his office (DAWN) is responsible for “designing and implementing the blueprint for better integration and governance of the six south-western states.”
Thus, Governor of Osun Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Friday expressed shock over the death of Famakinwa. Aregbesola said Famakinwa’s sudden exit has left a sour taste in the mouths of all stakeholders in the development agenda for the South-West.
In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola has played a pivotal role in the efforts to integrate the South-west and use the platform to engender a new growth for the people of the region.
“We are left speechless with this sudden loss,” Aregbesola was quoted as stating.
The statement went further, “Famakinwa has been very dogged in the pursuit of that assignment given to him. He was committed wholeheartedly to the progress of the Yoruba. Through the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, we have moved to accelerate regional revolutionary growth to rediscover our strength as a people of common heritage through agriculture, culture, education, and even sports development.
“Since the birth of that organization, Famakinwa has left no one in doubt on his comprehensive understanding of what we set out to do and the zeal with which he pursued the assignment has been commendable.”
The Governor said it is painful that the late Director General of DAWN did not live long enough to see the objectives of the organization come into full fruition before his untimely exit.
“We are however consoled by the fact that Famakinwa did his best to raise the consciousness of this region. We are also consoled by the fact that death is a necessary end and must come when it is its time. On behalf of the good people of the State of Osun, I commiserate with his immediate and extended families, members of the DAWN Commission family, my colleague governors and other stakeholders in the development agenda of our region. May the soul of Famakinwa rest with his Lord perfectly.”
Also, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described as “shocking, sudden and sad,” the death of Famakinwa. The governor, said, “it is a great loss to the Southwest geo-political zone and indeed the entire nation.”
He added that, “the death of Famakinwa is a blow to the regional integration efforts of the States of Western Nigeria where he had effectively created a template for regional competitiveness and optimization.”
The Ogun State governor commiserated with the wife and children left behind by the late DG of DAWN Commission and prayed that the Almighty God grants them the fortitude to bear the loss.
Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Political Adviser in the Presidency, too paid tribute to the late DAWN DG. According to him:
“It’s a sad day. We lost Dipo, a friend and brother with whom I have collaborated in the last one decade. Dipo Famakinwa, DG ,Development Agenda for Western Nigeria ( DAWN ) was reported to have died today in Lagos. I am crying here and alone in my hotel room in Paris.
You were a highly resourceful and clear eyed visionary.Dipo you worked and sweated tirelessly for the Yoruba race and humanity. You spoke the language of development. You were passionate about your people. You walked the talk. Now I can see why you were always in a hurry and impatient with people playing politics with developmental issues. ARG will miss you and so will your numerous compatriots in the community, particularly the young men and women you were mentoring.
Two weeks ago I called you and gave you the details of an official of ADB who informed me of fund available for regional integration. I never knew that was the last time I was going to talk to you. Dipo you did your best and posterity will remember you for it. May God grant you eternal rest.”