Thursday, April 22, 2021 6:32 pm
By Adeyemi Adeleye/Oluwatope Lawanson
The leader of the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, says getting a replacement for the late Yinka Odumakin, former Spokesman of the group, will be difficult.
Adebanjo made this remark on Thursday at the Service of Songs and Tributes for the late activist, at Police College, Ikeja, Lagos.
Odumakin, 54, died on April 2 in Lagos.
The Yourba leader urged all to emulate Odumakin’s consistent life of selflessness and commitment to struggle for justice all his life.
Adebanjo said that late Odumakin’s quality was rare because he strongly believed in good cause and fought for it till his death.
He said: “As human, it is difficult to replace Yinka, but l pray God replace him for Nigeria.
“He was not a fake activist, but a true activist who believed in a good cause and true democracy. We are not gathered to mourn his age, but to celebrate what Yinka stood for.”
He urged other Nigerian activists to emulate the selflessness of late Odumakin.
The Afenifere leader, who said that he had long been standing for a united Nigeria and stood for it, called for a restructured Nigeria so that there could be unity.
According to him, those calling for restructuring are not calling for secession in the country.
“Those of us talking about restructuring truly want Nigeria to stay and be united.
“The suffering is much and if Nigeria is not restructured, we will continue to have more of Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu,”he said.
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, in his tribute, also described Odumakin as an irreplaceable great man, saying he had lost a friend in Odumakin.
Adams said: “Yinka has created a vacuum which I don’t think any other activist in Yorubaland can easily fill.
“We are talking of someone who has never been a governor, senator, even chairman of local government talkless of local government councillor but have a glorious exit.
“We have the number one citizen of Lagos State here (Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu), number four in Nigeria (Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila), elder statesmen, serving senators, former governors and others.’
The Aare prayed God to grant him the kind of befitting burial Odumakin was being given.
He urged Nigerians to follow whatever good cause they believed in as Odumakin did and died for.
“When you are talking about true federalism, Yinka Odumakin was a great apostle. We have always been on the same page on ideology,”he added.
NAN reports that the event was graced by a host of civil society and ethnic groups, political stalwarts, lawmakers and many friends and acquaintances of late Odumakin.
Among the dignataries were Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, former Govs. Peter Obi of Anambra, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Sen. Opeyemi Bamiidele, Sen. Basir Ajibola, Afenifere leaders and many others.