By Leke Adeseri, South West Regional Editor; Olasunkanmi Akoni & Bose Adelaja
The paramount ruler of Ikorodu, the Ayangburen, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi (Oguntade II), has died at the age of 83 after months of battling with ill-health.
He travelled abroad recently to seek medical attention to his failing health.
The Personal Assistant to the Oba, who preferred to be called Tunde, confirmed the death of the Oba, saying that he died on Saturday.
The late Oba was born on July 8, 1931 and ascended the throne of Ikorodu in 1971 and ruled the Ikorodu kingdom for 43 years.
It was gathered that the Oba had been sick since May and had not been performing his duty effectively as he had been troubled by ill-health.
There had been anxiety over the lingering health challenge of the monarch for a long time.
It was gathered that he had not been attending to visitors or perform outside functions due to his ill-health.
The late Oba was a first class monarch and a key leader in the council of traditional rulers in Lagos.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, while confirming the demise of the monarch, said, funeral arrangement would be announced later.
A statement by Kuye, said “On behalf of the state government With gratitude to God for a life well spent and in meritorious service to his people, Lagos State Government regrets to announce the passing on to glory of the Ayangburen of Ikorodu and Vice Chairman of the Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs, Oba Salaudeen Afolabi Oyefusi, OON, which sad event occurred 2nd August, 2014. He was aged 83. Funeral arrangement will be announced later.”
Fashola expresses shock
Reacting, Governor Babatunde Fashola, expressed shock over the passage of the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi .
Fashola, in his condolence message through his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, described the late Oba, as an epitome of discipline and integrity who loved his people and the state.
He said the state would miss the royal father and national merit award winner, who had contributed immensely to the development of the country, the state and indeed the Ikorodu community.
Fashola noted, “The death of the paramount ruler, coming at this particular time, would surely rob the state of the great contributions and wisdom of the very humane monarch, who carried the interest of the state above all other considerations till he breathed his last.”
He prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the paramount ruler and for the Almighty God to grant the family he left behind, as well as his subjects and indeed the entire Ikorodu Community, the fortitude to bear the loss.
Similarly, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, in a condolence message through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Adebayo, stated: “The news of the sudden demise of our most revered royal father, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, H.R.M. Oba Oyetade Oyefusi is like a thunder strike at a time like this. It is sad, most unfortunate and very hard to believe. How I wish it is a fallacy.
”For us in Lagos State, Oba Oyefusi was one Oba that effectively blended the ancient cultures of our people with modernity in order to positively impact on the lives of our people.
”A repertoire of superb wisdom, knowledge and understanding, our referred Oba Oyefusi’s contributions to the marvellous transformation that Lagos State has witnessed since his assumption of office some half a century ago, will forever stand his name in good stead, from generation to generation.”
Ikuforiji added: “It is on record for instance that but for the huge and proactive support and contributions of Oba Oyefusi for the Lagos State government since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, all the great achievements recorded by our state today would have been a mirage.
He was an Oba that stood for the good and joy of his people.
”His untimely demise at this time is therefore something that ought not to have happened now, when all and sundry still look up to such a forthright, credible, and fearless royal father for guidance in the journeys ahead.
”Since we as human being have no choice other than to see such a calamity like this as an act of our Creator, on behalf of myself, family, all my fellow legislators, the entire management, and staff of the Lagos State House of Assembly, commiserate with the government and people of Lagos State, particularly the good people of Ikorodu on this most painful and tragic occasion.
”I also commiserate with members of his immediate families both at home and abroad. May the Almighty God grant his soul Aljanah Fidaus, and grant his family members the fortitude to bear his irreparable and sad loss.”, Ikuforiji concluded.
Similarly, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East, in his condolence message described the royal father as; “A great man of repute and valour, love by his people and everyone because of his exceptional qualities.
“To me, this is a great personal loss, he was a father, a confidant and by all standard a great traditional ruler. He will be greatly missed by all.”
Reacting to the death of the monarch, traditional ruler of Egbin town, Alayeluwa Akeem Oba Ade-oriyomi Obateru described the death as a big loss to the tradition-in- council, saying ‘’Oba Oyefusi had taken the town to a greater height and we shall miss him a lot because he was always there as a father. We met about three months ago when Pastor Enoch Adeboye visited the town and he personally sent for me to attend the church programme.
”Also, he was in attendance in the month of May, during the divisional chieftaincy committee meeting held in Ikorodu local government.”
The leader of the local security group in Ikorodu, popularly called ‘’Onyabo” Chief Kamorudeed Bombata, said the demise of the monarch was a shock to his security team as he had been very supportive to the security team ‘’Onyabo”.
‘’Though he was aged but we are unhappy to lose him, he died at a time the community is achieving a developmental level. He had been an action man all his life.”