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Sikiru Shitta-Bey goes home

By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The body of late Senator Sikiru Shitta Bey was yesterday buried at Okesuna Cemetery, Lagos Island , after a prayer was offered for him at the central Mosque, Lagos Island .

Shitta-Bey, 79, a Second Republic Senator died on Tuesday at his Victoria Island residence.

His body was taken from his residence at Victoria Island by 2pm to the family mosque on the Island and later brought to the Lagos central Mosque by 3.22 pm , with pall bearers from MIC carrying the corpse which was initially put in a brown colour coffin , it was later taken to Okesuna Cemetery by 3.32pm.

Muslim clerics led by Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Garuba Akinola at the interment said that death was inevitable for every human being and as such, urged that the people should endeavour to live a worthy life because whatever anybody lived for will remain a reference point when the person had passed on.

Speaking on behalf of other clerics, head of Muslim clerics in Lsgos Island, Shehu Gbajabiamila recounted that Senator Shitta-Bey spent his life to impart on others , and he was a honest leader

Among Lagosians present at his burial were Chief Femi Okunnu, Chief Molade Okoya –Thomas , Chief Rasheed Alaba Williams, Mr Wale Edun, a former Lagos Commissioner for Finance, Rasak Balogun, Lateef  Shitta-Bey, Rasheed Shitta-Bey, the deceased younger brother and  Hakeem Gbajabiamila.

Rasheed Shitta-Bey extolled the virtues of his late brother, saying that he was a dependable person whose exit would indeed create a great vacuum in the family

“We will miss him a lot, he was the head of the family, his death was a great loss , he was a forthright leader , and he did a lot to strengthen the family , I am finished without him .” He said

Speaking about his good virtues Hon Balogun , who described him as his mentor and confidant said he was the vanguard of democratic principles , a fighter for justice and human dignity , and he would be missed dearly by all those close to him .

Others present at his burial were the state deputy chairman of Action Congress Alhaji Sabitiu Sunmola , former Director General of NTA, Vincent Maduka, Mr Taju Folami, Mr. Wahab Ishola Adamson among others .

Before his death, Shitta-Bey, was a chieftain of the Action Congress (AC), a lawyer by profession. The late political Icon and a well respected Lagos indigene represented Lagos State in the National Assembly in the second republic..

In 2000, he was involved in a legal case challenging the legality of an amendment to the constitution of the Lagos Central mosque by a Wahab Folawiyo led Jamaatul Muslimeen Council of Lagos

Shitta Bey was born in Lagos on June 26, 1931. He is a great grand son of Mohammed Shitta Bey. He married his wife, Raheenat Braimoh Igbo in 1957. He attended Olowogbowo Methodist School and King’s College, Lagos before proceeding to study law at the University of London .

He was called to the bar in 1960. However, he became more known for his participation in the country’s first and second republics and his role in Lagos state politics. He married his second wife Tayibat Adunni Seriki in 1963. In 1965, he was an elected member of the Nigerian Parliament and later in 1979, he won a seat to represent Lagos in the Senate. While serving as a senator, he was a member of the Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

In the latest democratic republic, he pitched his tent with the Alliance for Democracy and later the Action Congress.

During the early stages of the republic, he was a member of the Justice forum along with Mumini badmus, Olatunji Hamzat and Adeyiga Ajayi. The forum was a political group within the AD and Afenifere.


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