Tributes pour in for Odumakin at lying-in-state

Tributes continue to pour in for the late spokesperson of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin as family and friends attended the service of songs and tributes for the late activist, at Police College, Ikeja, Lagos State on Thursday. 

Wife of the deceased and president, Women Arise Initiative, Joe-Okei Odumakin said on the occasion that she would love to go through her life again with her late husband if there was reincarnation. 

The woman activist described her late husband as an encyclopedia of positive activism while noting that it is difficult to speak about him having known him for more than three decades. 

She, however, stated that the encomiums showered on the deceased would serve as a soothing balm, assuring that his ideals will live forever. 

“If there is reincarnation, I want to go through my life with you again. 

“He is an encyclopedia of positive activism. He was a great live wire. 

“We spent 24 years together. Comrade was very selfless. The week before he left for the hospital, he told me his itinerary but the physiotherapist said his oxygen was low. But, he still went ahead with his itinerary for the Nigerian course,” she said. 

Meanwhile, the leader of the Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has disclosed that getting a replacement for Yinka Odumakin, would be difficult. Adebanjo made this remark on Thursday at the Service of Songs and tributes for the late activist, at Police College, Ikeja, Lagos. 

The Yourba leader urged all to emulate Odumakin’s consistent life of selflessness and commitment to struggle for justice all his life. 

He said that the late Odumakin’s quality was rare because he strongly believed in good cause and fought for it till his death. Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila also said that his knowledge of Yinka Odumakin was more of distance but admiration of his qualities. 

Gbajabiamila, stated that Odumakin stood firm to his values and ideals having gone through twists and turns. He described him as a true democrat, honest, courageous and truthful to whatever course he believes in. 

“We had our good encounters. My knowledge of him was more of a distance, based on admiration of his qualities, what he stood for, represent and what he was. 

“I was out of the country when he died. And that was why I said to myself today that I must come to pay my last respects.” 

The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu while paying tribute to the deceased said Odumakin wanted the best for Nigeria, using his voice to advance for the cause of a united Nigeria. The governor said people described the deceased differently ranging from being a radical student leader, fearless journalist to a courageous spokesman. 

“Yinka Odumakin is an household name in Nigeria and different people know him along in life. 

“He was known to some people as a radical student union leader. He was known to some too as fearless upright journalist. 

“He was a courageous spokesperson for Afenifere. Yinka stood as a leader in the conversation of true federalism. Yinka was one half of one of most formidable couple we have seen in our history,” Sanwo-Olu said. 

Similarly, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, in his tribute, also described Odumakin as an irreplaceable great man, saying he had lost a friend in Odumakin. 

Adams said, “Yinka has created a vacuum which I don’t think any other activist in Yorubaland can easily fill.” 

The Aare prayed God to grant him the kind of befitting burial Odumakin was being given. He urged Nigerians to follow whatever good cause they believed in as Odumakin did. 

Also, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has said Yinka’s dream was that Nigeria be rebuilt and reclaimed from the hands of political buccaneers because it is going down the drain, failing and collapsing as a state. 

Femi noted that the best tribute to be given to Yinka Odumakin is to ensure that his dream of a united nation is actualised. 

Falana, who said that Yinka died in the midst of struggle, described Yinka as a courageous, honest, relevant and humble man. While advising the widow, Falana noted that she should not allow people to miss Yinka Odumakin by keeping up the struggle. 

Dignitaries at the lying-instate include, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo; Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Senator Basir Ajibola, Afenifere leaders and many others.

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