Buhari, Gbajabiamila, Sanwo-Olu mourn as Afenifere leader, Fasanmi dies at 94

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Former Nigerian lawmaker and Afenifere leader, late Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi
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President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the passing of the leader of Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi, describing his death as a big loss to the nation.

Fasanmi, 94, a pharmacist turned politician,vwho was also the leader of Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba died on Wednesday night after brief illness in Osogbo according to his son, Afolabi.

The President condoled with people and government of Osun and Ekiti states, family members, friends and associates of the elder statesman, who served as a legislator in both House of Representatives and Senate, and distinguished himself politically by always standing for the truth, especially on issues related to the uplifting of the downtrodden.

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Buhari affirmed that Fasanmi’s “wise counsels borne out of humility, deep reflection, diligent studies and experience will be sorely missed by governments at different levels, as he regularly and willingly listened to leaders, and always had a good advice on going forward.”

“As an ardent follower and prodigy of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo,” the President believed “the fearless and consistent leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation lived to serve his people and the nation, and the progressive ideals that he projected impacted greatly and provided a road map on development at state and federal levels.”

Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, noted with commendation that the “efforts of Chief Fasanmi in the founding and sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy will be remembered, and posterity will be glad for his great sacrifices.”

The President prayed God to receive the soul of the departed leader, and comfort his family.

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Similarly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila expressed sadness over the demise of the leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Fasanmi.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said though the demise of the late patriot would be felt by the nation, the progressives and his family, solace would, however, be taken in the fact that his footprints have been firmly entrenched in the sand of time.

The Speaker noted that Pa Fasanmi’s passionate quest for democracy and good governance saw him leave pharmacy to join politics and later became the leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere.

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Gbajabiamila said: “As a federal lawmaker at the national level, first as a member of the House of Representatives and later a Senator, Pa Fasanmi came across as a symbol of humility, selflessness and integrity. These attributes have continued to inspire lawmakers across the country.

“It is my prayer that his soul rests in perfect peace, and may God give those he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss”, the Speaker said.

In the same vein, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his reaction to the death of the elder-statesman says Nigeria has lost a valuable nationalist.

Gpvernor Sanwo-Olu described the late Pa Fasanmi as a remarkable Afenifere leader who worked for the peace and progress of Nigeria and Yoruba people.

“Pa Fasanmi was indeed an icon who will never be forgotten in history.

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“On behalf of the people of Lagos, I commiserate with the government and people of Ekiti and Ondo States, his immediate family and the political associates of Baba. He will surely be missed”, he said.

Idowu Sowunmi

Tobiloba Kolawole