Real Gem’s Lost: Nigerians Pay Tribute To Odumakin

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Late Yinka Odumakin

The death in the early hours of Saturday of Yinka Odumakin, the national publicity secretary of Afenifere has opened a flood gate of tributes to the deceased.

Odumakin died of COVID-19 complications at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).

Joe Okei-Odumakin, his wife, said her husband recovered from COVID-19 a week ago before his death.

The deceased was a human rights activist who played a vital role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the Sani Abacha regime after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.

He was once a spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari but he later turned to a critic of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, described Odumakin as a true Yoruba son who embodied the ethos of Omoluabi, a dogged and true fighter of the Yoruba cause and an advocate of good governance.

The governor, in a press statement signed by Bayo Adisa, his chief press secretary, said Odumakin’s death had created a huge vacuum in Yorubaland and Nigeria.

Said he: “This is a personal loss to me, a huge loss to the Yoruba nation and Nigeria, because Odumakin, apart from being a true Yoruba son and an embodiment of the Omoluabi ethos, is an advocate of good governance and true federalism”.

Gani Adams, Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, described his death as a big loss to the Yoruba nation.

Kehinde Aderemi, special assistant on media to Adams, said the vacuum created would be difficult to fill.

Lamented he: “We’ll all miss his voice. We’ll miss his commitment, we’ll miss his bravery because the late Yinka Odumakin’s fearless image loomed larger than what we can easily forget in a hurry.

“The death of the late Afenifere publicity scribe is a big loss to the Yoruba nation. The death has dealt the Yoruba nation a big blow, leaving in its wake, sad memories of the loss of a brother, a friend and dependable ally.

“He was a phenomenon that spoke truth to power. He cut a picture of an all-rounder, a media personage, an analyst and public commentator that had warmed himself to the hearts of many people”.

The Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) referred to Odumakin as an “outspoken leader in the struggle for the masses”.

Said Alex Omotehinse, CHSR president: “The human rights society will miss him (Yinka Odumakin). We just lost a gem, so sad. Yinka has been on the side of the people from day one, right from his school days, during the June 12 struggles up to his death.

“Yinka remained steadfast in advocating for the right of the masses and the press. Human rights society will miss him, the political gatherings and Afenifere will miss him. Everybody will miss Yinka. Yinka was a very nice, outspoken leader in the struggle for the masses”.

Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti, said Odumakin was constantly fighting for justice and equity for all.

Tweeted he: “He was a man in total defense of justice and fairness for all. He had a life well spent, not how far, but how well”.

Shehu Sani, a former senator, said Odumakin was a “dogged fighter” and a distinguished journalist.

Added he: “We lost an indomitable & irrepressible voice for justice”

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