By Lawani Mikairu & Daniel Eteghe
LAGOS — The remains of the former Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos yesterday in a South Africa Airways Airbus 340-600 with Registration Nos: ZS-SNC at about 4:30pm.
The body was released to the family after airport formalities and clearance that lasted about two hours.
Accompanying the body were the widow of the late envoy, children and his younger brother, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, who is Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Ogun State.
On hand to receive the body of the late Foreign Affairs Minister were the representative of the Ashiru family, Prof. Toyin Ashiru; some of his close friends and associates among whom are Mr. Kehinde Smith, who is widely regarded as his best friend; Mr. Niyi Alonge and Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, a renowned journalist and former Managing Director of Daily Times.
Also present at the airport were former and current ambassadors who endured the long wait for the arrival and clearance of the body of the late renowned diplomat.
In a brief and emotional interview with newsmen, the younger brother of the late diplomat, Mr. Bimbo Ashiru, said the family had lost a pillar of support, a father and mentor.
He said: “He was a confidant of all but who are we to question God. We hope and pray the good Lord will receive him into His bossom.”
Ambassador Ashiru died last Saturday in a South African hospital after a long battle with brain tumour. He was 66 years old.