ABEOKUTA â€“ FOREMOST trade unionist and prominent politician, Dr. Tunji Otegbeye is dead. He died in the early hours of yesterday at his home in Ilaro at the age of 84.
Ogun state government, led by the Deputy Governor, Alhaja Salmot Badru was seen afternoon making moves to deposit the corpse at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta morgue.
Governor Olugbenga Daniel of the state in his tribute described late Otegbeye as an icon of democracy, a true nationalist and one of the pillars of theÂ nation.
Daniel in the statement signed byÂ Secretary to State Government, Mr. Adegbemi Onakoya said the elder statesman was a great and outstanding politician, who contributed immensely to the making of modern Nigeria â€œand was a worthy example of a detribalized Nigerian whom the present and coming generation should emulate.
â€œThroughout his sojourn on earth Dr. Otegbeye stayed with the masses and worked for a just and egalitarian society. From his days as a youth activist who led the fight against colonialism to his medical practice and participation in trade unionism and partisan politics.
â€œDr. Otegbeye never jettisoned his welfarist philosophy, a way of life which he espoused in words and deeds. I recalled that when Dr. Otegbeye contested the 1979 gubernatorial primaries of the Unity Party of Nigeria UPN along with Chief Bisi Onabanjo with equanimity and sportsmanship and remained loyal to the party and government that emergedâ€
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole has commiserated with the family of Dr. Otegbeye and the people of Ogun State on his death in the early hours of yesterday.
The Speaker in a statementÂ signed by his Special Adviser on Communication, Chief Kayode Odunaro said that the late Dr. Otegbeye spent the last few years of his life in service of Ogun State in advisory and meditative capacity adding that his wealth of experience and wisdom played a role in the management and resolution of disputes in the state.
The Speaker prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul and fortitude for the immediate family to bear the irreparable loss.