ENCOMIUMS were showered on the former Military Governor of Western Region, Retired Major General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo by eminent Nigerians who gathered yesterday at his lying in state in Ibadan , the Oyo State capital to pay their last respect to the highly revered leader who died on 8th March, 2017 at the age of 89, a day before his 90th birthday.
Dignitaries, politicians across the parties including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, sitting governors and their deputies, former civilian and military governors, Yoruba leaders among others gathered at the House of Chiefs, Agodi Government Secretariat paying tributes to the former Military Governor of Western Region, General Adebayo.
The corpse, which was received around 2pm at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, was accompanied to the venue around 2.48pm by some governors in the Southwestern states, comprising of Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rauf Aregebsola (Osun), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo).
The scion of Adebayo family and erstwhile Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo accompanied by the widow of the deceased, Mrs. Modupe Adebayo led the family to pay their last respect.
The Senate President, Saraki in his remarks urged the gathering not to mourn but to celebrate a life well spent. “I stand here not to mourn but celebrate General Adebayo, it is not common for six state governors to celebrate an individual, let me commend the efforts of the organizers.
“I think Baba Adebayo deserves more than this, on behalf of entire Senate, General Adebayo is more than South-West.
“That is why the entire Nigeria is here to honour General Adebayo.
“The only tribute we can have for them is to sustain the labour of our past heroes not to die in vain”, he stressed.
The host governor, Abiola Ajimobi, speaking on behalf of his colleagues described late General Adebayo as an illustrious son of Africa whom dignitaries are being giving final farewell.
He said, “Papa fought a good fight, and we take solace, I congratulate us all for the good works of the late General Adeyinka Adebayo.
“Papa has carved his name on our heart, his legacy will always remain in our heart. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the Planning Committee, who is also the Secretary to Oyo State Government, Alhaji Olalekan Alli said that the demise of Adebayo though heartbreaking but a thing of joy for a life well spent.
Alli added that the choice of Ibadan for the day of tribute is in recognition of contributions.
Similarly, the Yoruba Council of Elders who spoke through Chief Sofola described the demise, Adebayo as a huge loss.
“He was an embodiment of what has been said here. As Military Governor, he contributed to the betterment of his people and as Chairman of YCE he worked diligently for the betterment of people”.
Also, the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka represented by DVC (Admin), Professor Emilolorun Ayelari emphasized that tremendous achievements by the former Pro Chancellor of the University will continue to be remembered by the University.
The lying in state also had in attendance, Deputy Governors of Ogun State, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, Osun State, Chief Grace Laoye Tomori, former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, Former Military Governors of old Oyo State, General David Jemibewon, Col. Oladayo Popoola and Real Admirer Akin Aduwo and former Civilian Governor of old Oyo State, Dr. Victor Olunloyo, former Deputy Governor of Oyo State Chief Iyiola Oladokun.
Others include the Olubadan of Ibadanland who was represented by his chief led by High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin (Balogun of Ibadanland), Secretary to Ogun State Governor, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa and Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr. Abiodun Odude.
In the list of senators is the Senators representing Oyo Central and North, Alhaja Monsurat Sunmonu and Dr. Abdulfatai Buhari, members of Executive Councils in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti.
The Provost of the Cathedral, St. Peters Anglican Church, Ibadan, Venerable Wale Adebiyi and representatives of Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheik Abubakri Abdulganiy Agbotomokekere prayed for soul of the departed octongarian.
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