…Pay condolence visit to Odumakins
…As widow relives last moments with late husband
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged Nigerians, especially members of the Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, to cherish, preserve and push forward the struggle for a better Nigeria and black race, which the late Yinka Odumakin, former National Publicity Secretary of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, fought and died for.
Odumakin, a renowned human rights activist, died on Friday, April 2 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) at the age of 54 years.
Sanwo-Olu, who gave the charge during a condolence visit to the wife and family at the deceased’s residence in Omole, Ikeja, said Odumakin during his lifetime, did his best through several struggles and interventions to make Nigeria a better country and therefore urged people to stand firm and ensure that the legacy of the late Afenifere spokesman is built upon.
Sanwo-Olu, who described the late Afenifere spokesman as “one of the strongest, detribalised, action-packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time,” assured the widow, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin that Lagos State will not leave her alone.
He d said, “We will not leave you alone. We will ensure that even when the crowd disappears, we will be there for you.
“I am here to pay my condolences on behalf of my government and the entire people of Lagos State for the painful loss of one of the strongest, detribalised, action-packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time, late Comrade Yinka Odumakin.
“Our friend and brother lived a good life. He lived a fighter; he died a fighter. The civil society stakeholders in Lagos and Nigeria have indeed lost a big member of that community and indeed the entire nation because of what he stood for and fought for. If we begin to take him as a Yoruba man, we will be reducing him and what he stood for in this country.
“Wherever Yinka is right now, his wish would be that we will make this country better than how he left it and that is a commitment we are going to leave with you that we will do it to ensure that what he stood for, the legacy he worked for does not go into waste.”
Responding, Dr Okei-Odumakin, said several tributes and comments about the deceased would energise her to do more in pursuing what Yinka Odumakin stood for, adding that the ideals of her husband would continue to live forever.
According to her, “Yinka was selfless. Before he went to the hospital, he still told me about four programmes that he would have.
“He told me how he would leave for Ilorin the next day and later to Ekiti, the third day he would be back to Ibadan for his programme. He said he would be at Ife on Friday, he would be at Ikenne and Sunday, he would return to Lagos. He was so selfless and he had faced all sorts of medical problems and still came out strong. One did not know that this would be goodnight.
“One consolation is that Yinka is not dead; he lives because he will continue to live in the consciousness of the people. And to live in the consciousness of the people is to live forever.
“What Yinka will want to see is for us to remain focused and committed. Some of the things he could not achieve like restructuring of Nigeria and a lot of things that he could not do will be happy if he sees us doing a lot more better. Yinka lives on.”