*S’West gov will decide his burial date – Son
By Dapo Akinrefon, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Shina Abubakar
OSOGBO – LEADER of the Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba, Senator Ayo Fasanmi died, yesterday, after brief illness in Osogbo at the age of 94. Fasanmi, a pharmacist, would have clocked 95 on September 27. His death was confirmed by his Personal Assistant, Tope Adebayo.
South-West gov will decide his burial date — Son
Also confirming the death of his father, Mr. Folabi Fasanmi, stated that the burial arrangement will be announced by “his immediate family in conjunction with his political associates and the South-West governors.”
Folabi said: “With great gratitude to the Almighty God for a life well spent, we wish to announce the demise of our father, Senator Ayo Fasanmi at the age of 94 years.
“The Second Republic Senator, who until his death, was a leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Egbe Afenifere (Ilosiwaju Yoruba) and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, passed on peacefully in Osogbo on Wednesday night.
“The burial arrangement will be announced by his immediate family in conjunction with his political associates and the South-West governors.”
He was an ardent follower Awolowo — Buhari
In his tribute, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed sadness over the death of Pa Fasanmi.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, described his death as a big loss to the nation.
The statement read: “President Buhari affirms that Chief Fasanmi’s wise counsel borne out of humility, deep reflection, diligent studies and experience will be sorely missed by governments at different levels, as he regularly and willingly listened to leaders, and always had good advice on going forward.
“As an ardent follower and prodigy of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the President believes the fearless and consistent leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation lived to serve his people and the nation, and the progressive ideals that he projected impacted greatly and provided a road map on development at state and federal levels.”
He left indelible footprints—Oyetola
Reacting to Fasanmi’s death, Osun State government described the late elder statesman as an icon who left indelible footprints on the sands of time.
The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode, said: “Baba Fasanmi was a leader who demonstrated his love for our great country in many laudable ways, but more heart-warming was how he showed optimal concern for the welfare of the poor and underprivileged, and how he held leaders accountable on their promises of good governance.
READ ALSO: Obaseki mourns death of Pa Ayo Fasanmi at 94
“The Osun State government appreciates all he accomplished in his lifetime, especially as a pivotal force in the socio-cultural and political bolstering of the Yoruba.”
He was a great nationalist, selfless leader — Sanwo-Olu
Similarly, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State described Fasanmi as “a great nationalist, passionate leader and humility personified.”
Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the death of the nonagenarian came at a critical period when his wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom was most needed in Nigeria.
The governor said: “Pa Fasanmi, was an exemplary leader who spent the greater part of his life in the service of humanity, particularly the Yoruba cause where he contributed to the development of the region.
“Pa Fasanmi was indeed an icon who will never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria and the Yoruba race. He will surely be missed.”
Yoruba has lost one of its strong voices — Aare Adams
Also, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, said with the death of Fasanmi, the Yoruba nation has lost one of its strong voices.
Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, said: “With the exit of the late Pa Ayo Fasanmi, we have lost one of our finest personalities. The death of the Yoruba leader was a great loss to Nigeria and the Yoruba race in particular.
“Baba was a great man with exemplary characters. He was so devoted to the cause of our race, and he stood firm during the dark era of the military. Pa Fasanmi, in his time, loomed larger than of his peers. He was an epitome of humility, selflessness and integrity.
“He was a strong voice of our race during the Second Republic, when he served as a Senator and House of Representatives at different times. There is no doubt that the Yoruba nation will sorely miss his radical approach to issues.
“Pa Fasanmi was an Awoist that impacted his generation. He was among the core loyalists of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo that was reputed to be a strong voice, and a symbol of courage.”
He was a firebrand Action Grouper — Fasoranti
On his part, leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti said Fasanmi will be remembered as a firebrand Action Grouper who distinguished himself as a principled fighter for the ideals of our Leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the days of siege.
Fasoranti, in a tribute, said: “On behalf of all members of Afenifere, I commiserate with the family of Senator Ayo Fasanmi and the government and people of Ekiti State on the passing away of the Second Republic Senator.
“Senator Fasanmi will be remembered as a firebrand Action Grouper who distinguished himself as a principled fighter for the ideals of our Leader, Chief Oba femi Awolowo in the days of siege.
“As a UPN Senator in the Second Republic, he was also very distinguished. His life was meritorious and would always be remembered.”