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What Odumakin did to democracy — Tinubu



By Oluwatope Lawansonn

The ruling National Congress of All Progressives (APC) leader Senator Bola Tinubu expressed shock at the death of Afenifere Renewal spokesperson Yinka Odumakin.

Tinubu, in a condolence message on Saturday in Lagos, described the deceased as a committed fighter for democracy.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that the late Odumakin, 54, died in the early hours of Saturday after a brief illness.

The APC leader said the late Odumakin was also a staunch activist, an outspoken defender of all the ideals and principles he believed in and a patriotic citizen in every sense of the word.

The former Governor of Lagos recalled that Odumakin had been fearless and relentless in championing the cause of justice and what he considered to be the best interest of the citizens of Nigeria since his student years.

He said the deceased never allowed himself to succumb to tyranny or to be forced into submissive and docile silence.

He also added that Odumakin was at the forefront of the battle against the annulment of the presidential election of June 12, 1993.

Tinubu noted that it was impossible to credibly tell the story of the emergence of democracy enjoyed by the current regime without inscribing Odumakin’s name in gold.

According to him, Odumakin was solid as a rock in his commitment to Afenifere, the Yoruba people and several other civil society groups in which he played an active role.

“Odumakin never held a public office, but he has been a constant feature and part of our public consciousness during the last two decades of this unbroken democratic regime.

According to him, the late activist has always sought to promote the common good of his community and his country.

Recounting his times with the late Odumakin over the past two and a half decades, Tinubu said he can testify to Odumakin’s ability to work hard, to his brilliance, to his tenacity in his loyalty to his cherished principles.

“Even though we diverged politically, I had no reason to doubt his sincerity in plotting the path he had chosen.

“He will forever remain a model of what a citizen could be who places the good of his country above his personal interests.

“Because, given his talents and abilities, Odumakin could easily have chosen to focus on his personal well-being and that of his family rather than immersing himself in the many struggles to which he has devoted his life.

“It is certainly no accident that his wife, the indefatigable Amazon, Dr Joe Odumakin, was Yinka’s comrade in struggle and active collaborator in the struggle for justice, freedom and the dignity of the underprivileged.

“They were iconic soul mates in the relentless battle for a better and greater Nigeria,” said the leader of the APC.

Tinubu offered his condolences to the deceased wife and her family.

He prayed to God to comfort and strengthen them even as they comforted each other in the massive outpouring of grief across the land at Odumakin crossing.

“I also express my sincere condolences to Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader Afenifere, and all other leaders and members of Afenifere as well as all Yinka associates in the civil society movement.

“His life once again vividly demonstrates, in the immortal words of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, that ‘it is not life that counts but the courage that you bring to it’ and that it is not the duration of our life, but the quality and productivity that matter.

“Odumakin is gone, but he lives in the memory of millions of his compatriots. May his soul rest in peace, ”said Tinubu (NAN)


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