By Gbenga Ariyibi
Fuji exponent Alhaji Sikiru Ololade Ayinde Balogun (Ayinde Barrister) is dead. He died this morning at the age of 62 years in a London hospital.
The late musician is one of the founders of the popular Yoruba music Fuji and had a large folllowership in his days.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has mourned the demise of the musical meastro and Fuji Music superstar,saying his death was a great loss to the nation and the entertainment industry.
He also described Ayinde Barrister’s transition as “one death too many” coming at a time Nigerians are still mourning the deaths of many of its prominent citizens saying the present moment in the nation’s history seriously calls for a sober reflection.
According to the statement by the Senoir Special Adviser (SSA) to the governor on Media,Mr Mojee Jamiu, the late music maestro used his music to reform the society and counseled government on key government policies and
Fayemi said the vacuum left behind by the artiste will be difficult to fill noting that the deceased turned Fuji music from a local Yoruba genre to an international brand enjoyed all over the world.
While regretting that the musician did not live to ripe old age, Fayemi said he derived consolation from the fact that the deceased touched many lives positively while taking his music to many parts of the world.
According to him, Ayinde Barrister used his talent to bring joy and hope to the depressed, warned against wickedness, promoted locally-made goods, enlighten Nigerians on their legal and constitutional rights, put dictators and bad leaders on their toes, among others.
He said Barrister’s demise came to him as a shock at a time the nation was yet to recover from the deaths of prominent Nigerians like the late Edo State first lady, Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole and nationalist and politician, Chief Anthony Enahoro.
Fayemi noted that the industry of the late musician earned him a national honour of the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), the Musical Legend of the Commonwealth (MLC), Africa International Music Ambassador (AIMA), honorary doctorate degrees and many chieftaincy titles.
He added: “Sikiru Ayinde Barrister’s transition is one death too many, I am shocked by the news of his death which came at a time we are yet to recover from the best of Nigerian citizens who had contributed immensely to our collective development in key areas of our national life.
“The vacuum he is leaving behind will be very difficult to fill as his contributions to national development as a soldier, patriot, musician, entertainer, philosopher, reformer, businessman, employer of labour, cultural ambassador and devout Muslim are there for all to see.
“On behalf of my family, government and the good people of Ekiti State, I send our condolence to the family of our departed Fuji creator, his family, his kinsmen in Ibadan and the government and good people of Oyo State who are mourning this great and irreparable loss.