From CHARLES ADEGBITE, Ado-Ekiti
•Jonathan, Fayemi, Mimiko, Oni, others mourn
Former deputy governor of the old Ondo State, Chief Akinwole Michael Omoboriowo is dead. He bade the world goodbye on Tuesday at age 80 in the home of his first son, Mr. Akinwole Omoboriowo (Jnr.) on Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja, Lagos .
He died barely six weeks after attending the burial ceremony of the late foremost Economist, Professor Sam Aluko at Ode-Ekiti in Ekiti State.
Omoboriowo, a lawyer and native of Ijero-Ekiti in Ekiti State,was born on January 10, 1932.He was the deputy governor to the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin during the Second Republic between 1979 and 1983.
His defection from Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) to the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and parting of ways with his boss, Chief Ajasin prior to 1983 general elections, led to his serious involvement in a political crisis, when he contested against Ajasin in the 1983 general election and was declared the winner by the then Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) .
His declaration as leader of the gubernatorial election sparked violence in some notable towns in the Old Ondo State before the Supreme Court, sitting in Lagos upturned his victory and declared Ajasin, the candidate of UPN as the authentic winner . He was appointed the pro-chancellor and chairman of the Governing Council of the then University of Ado Ekiti (now Ekiti State University) in 2003 by the then governor of Ekiti State, Dr Ayodele Fayose in appreciation of his role in Ekiti politics.
Meanwhile, condolence messages have started flowing in from the President Ggovernors and many prominent Ekiti natives, mourning the late politician and commiserating with the family. President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday described as sad and shocking the death of the Second Republic deputy governor of old Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo.
The President, in a statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, described Chief Omoboriowo as a politician, who was not afraid to stand for his political beliefs, expressed his deepest condolences to his widow, family and the government and people of Ekiti State. President Jonathan enjoined the Omoboriowo family members to take solace in the fact that the late politician lived a fulfilled and God-fearing life to a good old age, while praying God to grant them the fortitude to bear the unfortunate loss.
The state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi , described Omoboriowo as a consummate and respected politician, who was a great defender of Ekiti interest during his time as a politician. The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funminiyi Afuye, who reacted on behalf of the government, said, “the governor, government and the good people of Ekiti State received with shock, the passing away of Chief Akin Omoboriowo. “Papa was a consummate and respected statesman and a great defender of Ekiti interest during his lifetime. In fact, he will be sorely missed.”
He described the late Omoboriowo as a nationalist, a political leader and a community leader in Ijero Local Government Area, whose contributions to the political development of the nation would remain indelible
He also recalled the roles played by the late Omoboriowo in the creation of Ekiti State, which resulted in the birth of a new state on October 1, 1996.
Fayemi also lauded the contributions of the late former deputy governor to the development of the then University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) now known as the Ekiti State University (EKSU), where casino he served meritoriously as chancellor. He added that the government had sent heart felt condolences to the family of Chief Akin Omoboriowo, saying, “may the good Lord give the family the fortitude to bear the great loss.”
Also Ondo State Governor,Dr.Olusegun Mimiko has condoled with the people of Ekiti State and family of Chief Akin Omoboriowo, over the death of the veteran politician and elder statesman, describing the death as shocking.
Mimiko, reacting to Omoboriowo’s death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Eni Akinsola, said the death was a huge loss to his home state in particular and Nigeria in general.
He noted that the death was especially shocking because the deceased was not reported to be sick. The governor saluted the late politician’s contributions to the development of the old Ondo State when, in the second republic, he served as deputy governor to the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin.“The contributions he made at that time to the development of Ondo State are still green in our minds,” Mimiko added.
“Chief Omoboriowo is dead but we are comforted that he lived a fulfilled life and wrote his name in the sands of time.I pray God to grant the family and the people of Ekiti the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
The National Vice Chairman (South-west) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Segun Oni has commiserated with the people of the state and family of the late Chief Akin Omoboriowo, over the death of the foremost politician, describing the death as painful.
Reacting to Omoboriowo’s death through his media aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, Oni said the death was a huge loss to Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria in general. He said: “I received the death with shock because baba was not particularly sick. I saw him a little while ago and we always see him regularly. However, I know that baba departed this world at the time appointed by God. “And all we can do is to first celebrate him as our leader, father and foremost patriot, who never shifted his attention away from the development of Ekiti.
He urged his party members and others to come around when the time comes to give him a deserving burial, saying “I also implore the family, to take solace in the fact that baba lived a fulfilled life and pray that God will console them.”
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