Lagos – The members of Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency say they have lost a benevolent represent in Mr Olutayo Adewale, a member representing them at the Federal House of Representatives.
“He was a representative that has alleviated the masses poverty,’’ they told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) about Adewale who died in his Abuja residence on Wednesday.
According to many of them, his good deeds and selfless service stand him out among other politicians as his doors are open to all and sundry, especially the less privileged.
NAN learnt that he had procured several motorcycles, tricycles, grinding machines and other items to be distributed to the poor in his constituency at the weekend under his poverty alleviation programme.
A NAN correspondent, who visited the residence of the deceased at No. 14, Jagunmolu St., off Araromi, Iju-Ishaga, Lagos on Saturday, observed hundreds of symphathisers wearing gloomy faces.
The deceased’s son, Mr Yinka Adewale, told NAN that his father was found dead sitting on a sofa with a leg on the table and bottle water beside him in his living room.
He said that his late father was not sick.
The compound was filled to its capacity as relatives, neighbours, party leaders and members, religious leaders as well as beneficiaries of Adewale commiserated with the family.
Many of the early callers at his residence sat while some stood in groups lamenting the lawmaker’s sudden death after he had planned to meet with party members on Friday.
Speaking to NAN, Mr Akintunde Fadayomi, Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ifako-Ijaiye, described the death as bad, unexpected and a rude shock to everybody.
Fadayomi told NAN that a party leader, Mr Kayode Aremo, spoke with Adewale on telephone at about 11 p.m. of the same Wednesday.
He added that Adewale had requested of the leader to send a driver to Abuja to drive his car to Lagos.
“So, it was a rude shock to hear that he is no more when the driver was approaching Lokoja. Many people relied on him as he shouldered responsibilities of the indigents in this constituency.
“I have never seen a politician that will think about the people than himself. He is accessible to all here and in his Abuja home. He comes to the constituency every weekend.
“His last words to me was, Chairman, I am going to Abuja to work for my people and whatever I make from there I will come back and spend it on them.
“I can’t believe Adewale is dead yet. He told us on Tuesday (July 12) that when he returns this weekend, he has many surprises for the people. I never thought he would die.’’
The Acting Secretary, Mandate Caucus of APC in Ifako-Ijaiye, Alhaji Obafemi Kehinde, said the demise of Adewale was “a great loss to the party and people of Ifako-Ijaiye’’.
Kehinde said that the lawmaker left behind legacies of selflessness, benevolence, generosity, kind heartedness, simplicity, humanitarianism and service to the masses.
“He called me on Wednesday to say that my name was on the recruitment list of LASTMA, and asked me to go to Alausa Secretariat to confirm.
“I went and did not see my name, then I called him back but he failed to pick my call which was unusual of him.
“Little did I know that my benefactor was no more? It is a rude shock,’’ he said.
According to him, the lawmaker has promised N300, 000 to an indigent who needed a surgical operation when he would return to the constituency on Friday.
A close acquaintance, Mrs Oluwayemisi Obuseh, told NAN that the news of Adewale’s death came to her as a gunshot because the lawmaker had been generous to her family.
“It is very rare to see a politician like him in this state. He pays bills for many. He was a merciful politician that put smiles on the face of many.
“He has bought a lot of poverty alleviation items like motorcycles, tricycles, sewing machines, grinding machines and others to be shared to the people,’’ she said.
Also, Idris Lawal, the President, Lagos State Grinding Machine Owners’ Association, said: “If the death that killed Adewale had taken me away instead, it would have been good.
“Many people look up to him for their livelihood and survival. No one goes to him crying without laughing when coming out. He was very kind’’.
Another beneficiary of Adewale’s empowerment efforts, Mrs Imole Usman, said the lawmaker bailed her out of indebtedness.
“We were expecting him today to come fulfill his promise of surprise because he comes home every weekend to feed many and give hope to hopeless. We will miss him,’’ Usman said.
The deceased, born in 1951, was a former Executive Secretary of Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government and a former Special Adviser on Education to former Gov. Babatunde Fashola.