BY ADEWALE AJAYI, Lagos |
Prominent Nigerians have said that the better way to immortalise the memory of the late publicity secretary of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Comrade Yinka Odumakin, was to continue the struggle for a better Nigeria which he stood for while alive.
Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana; former president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, and former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, among others, separately made the call on Thursday.
They spoke at the lying-in-state and service of songs organised in honour of the deceased activist held at the Police College, Ikeja in Lagos, which was attended by members of the civil society groups, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the leader of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo.
Others present were immediate past governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosu; former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Obi and members of the National Assembly, which included Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Senator Ajibola Bashiru, Senator Ajetunmobi and Hon James Faleke, among other.
In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Odumakin in his lifetime wanted the best for Nigeria and Yoruba nation and he used his voice to advance the cause of Nigerians.
“We are all short of words, but hold on to the legacy he believes in, Comrade of like minds should ensure what Yinka fought for, stood for does not end at his death.”
Speaking in the same vein, Mr Falana (SAN) said Odumakin was a reliable comrade, who stood by whatever he believed in and was committed to the ideals of a better Nigeria.
He said in order to immortalise him, there was the need for Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the ideals he stood for when he was alive.
“To honour him is to rededicate ourselves to make this nation a better one, to be more committed to the struggle Yinka Odumakin fought for,” Falana added.
Sharing his view, former Anambra State governor, Obi, said he had known the late Odumakin for several years and that he was committed to building a better society.
“We all know what Yinka stood for, what he has been doing is fighting for what is important, what is important to us is to continue the fight,” Obi said.
For his part, a former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said Odumakin was a man of conviction, and if he believed in a cause, he won’t mind traveling the length and breadth of Nigeria to get it.
“He was an activist who stood by what he believed in, and remained committed to it till he get it. What Yinka stood for is restructuring of Nigeria and that will be realised, it cannot be wished away,” Mimiko said.