Nigeria’s late elder-statesman, General Adeyinka Adebayo has been described as a man who worked tirelessly for the progress of the Yoruba race and unity of the country.
Late General Adebayo was also eulogised as an individual who dedicated a major part of his life and career to serve the people.
Those were the words of the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode at a Commendation Service in honour of the late former Military Governor of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria, held at Archbishop Vinning Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja.
Governor Ambode described the deceased as ‘a father who bequeathed inestimable virtues and legacies behind for the succeeding generations.’
“He was more or less like a family dad to me because I feel that pain in all the things that we had actually envisioned through him which are more or less the kind of baton we in this generation should take.
“For somebody to have died at the age Baba Adebayo died, there is so much he has taken away which we the younger Governors would not be able to assimilate enough but the major thing is that apart from being a fine gentle man, elderly man and perfect person, the bottom line is that Baba Adebayo had the love of the Yoruba race in his heart,” Governor Ambode said.
While urging Nigerians to unite to place the country on a sound footing for economic growth and prosperity, the Governor said that the late Adebayo, in his lifetime, pursued the good cause of unifying the country.
“The (late Adebayo) was an elder statesman who was also in love with the unity of Nigeria. He had a mission that is yet to be fulfilled by all of us and I think the time of his death has brought to the fore that main mission that we want to use to unite this country and that is why I believe strongly that wherever we are, Baba Adebayo had made his own difference, the remaining left for all of us is that whether we are in leadership position or any place we find ourselves, we should carry out that mission that he had always exemplified that we must come up strongly in unity and at the same time make Nigeria a very strong nation,” he stated.
The Governor commiserated with the widow and the entire family of the late Adebayo, saying that it is gratifying to note that Adebayo’s works had resulted in the blessings of God upon the family.
Bishop Diocese of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rev. James Olusola Odedeji said in the history of Nigeria, the late Adebayo would be remembered for hard work, integrity, family virtues, generosity and selflessness in the discharge of duties, among other virtues.
Rev. Odedeji, who picked his text from the book of I Corinthians 15: 58, admonished Nigerians to engage in fruit bearing lifestyle and eschew selfish dispositions to issues and the people.
“As Christians and Nigerians, we must make a difference in this corrupt and perverse generation by touching lives and leaving good legacy that is everlasting, politicians especially should live a life to touch others positively,” Odedeji said.
The late Adebayo, who died on March 8, 2017 in Lagos at the age 89, served as Governor of the region between 1966 and 1971; the defunct Western Region today has been broken into six South West States namely Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti. He will begin his final journey home this weekend.
The Lagos state Governor later led a motorcade to the boundary of Oyo State where Governor Abiola Ajimobi would take-over from him to continue with the parade until his Osun State counterpart, Mr Rauf Aregbesola leads the convoy to the next point of call where the late General’s home-state Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose finally receives the remains before burial in Iyin-Ekiti on Saturday.
Already, Governor Fayose has named the new Government House in Ekiti State after the former governor of the old Western Region.
According to Governor Fayose, “the Government House will henceforth be known as General Adeyinka Adebayo House, Oke Ayoba, Ado-Ekiti.”
He then urged the people of the state to turn out end masse to pay their last respect to the deceased during the lying-in-state in Ado Ekiti on Friday and funeral service in Iyin-Ekiti on Saturday.