By Daud Olatunji & Adeola Badru
Ijebu-Ogbo— PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Governors of Ogun, Oyo and Osun States, Ibikunle Amosun, Abiola Ajimobi and Rauf Aregbesola and other eminent Nigerians, yesterday, eulogised Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who turned 90 years old yesterday.
Venue of the event was agog as past and serving top political office holders, friends and associates were among scores of people that converged on Isanya -Ijebu-Ogbo to honour Adebanjo.
Notable Nigerians present at the event include former governors of Ogun and Ondo States, Messrs Gbenga Daniel, Olusegun. Mimiko; Afenifere chieftains, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Olu Falae; Oba Adadapo Tejuosho, Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark; former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa; Senator Femi Okurounmu; General Alani Akinrinade; Senator Adegbenga Kaka. the Chairman of African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Ambassador Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosumu; the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams and former Minister of Industries, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande,
Others are a former deputy of Lagos State, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; the founder, Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare and wife, Olayide and wife of the former chairman, Punch Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Iyabo Ogunshola.
He’s committed to nation building — Buhari
President Buhari, in a message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in Abuja, thanked God for the grace that had taken Adebanjo to this landmark age.
The president, who noted with delight that Adebanjo had clocked 90 years, believed the politician and lawyer had contributed to national development through his profession and commitment to nation building.
He’s a true nationalist— Osinbajo
Commending Adebanjo, the Vice President described him as a true nationalist and icon that is committed to national unity.
Osinbajo said this during the thanksgiving service held in commemoration of Adebanjo’s 90th birthday celebration at St. Philips Anglican Parish Church, Isanya Ogbo- Ijebu, Ogun State.
The Vice President said: “Baba Ayo Adebanjo is a true Nigerian, a nationalist and an icon. He has shown that there is value in consistency.
“He suffered with Baba Awolowo during the Action Group days. He was as the preacher said ‘accused number 30’ in the treasonable felony trial. He was with the National Democratic Coalition and now in the Afenifere.
“He believes in a true and just Nigeria, those are the ideals he has stuck to. He believes in a true federalism where everyone would have equal rights. We salute you for your commitment to national unity and the nation.
“Many of you know that he is a consistent fellow. He was one of the founding fathers of Afenifere. He believes in true and just Nigeria.
“He is one of the strong voice advocating for true federalism, that our federation should be fairer and just. He has continued to show commitment to national unity. No one can deny the fact that he is a true nationalist.
He’s a true believer—Amosun
In his remarks, Governor Ibikunle Amosun said: “Pa Adebanjo’s life captures the essence of service to humanity. He is a true believer in an egalitarian society, where there is social equality.”
Aregbesola, Ajimobi, Gani Adams laud Adebanjo
Also speaking, Gov. Ajimobi described Adebanjo as a quintessential and loyal man, who had lived his life for the service of humanity.
He noted that Chief Adebanjo, despite not holding any political office, remains an influential man who holds sway in the socio-political development of the country.
Similarly, Governor Aregbesola described the Afenifere chieftain as “a fearless, courageous and incorruptible man”, noting that “we were proud of his Spartan lifestyle and discipline.”
On his part, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams said: “Baba’s life cut a picture of a true disciple of the late sage, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. As an Awoist, Pa Adebanjo has been a strong advocate of restructuring and true federalism. At 90, he is still a bastion of hope to young Nigerians, who believe in his ideology of true federalism.”