The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described the late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo as a detribalised Nigerian, who contributed immensely to the peace and unity of the country.
The minister said this in Lagos on Saturday during a condolence visit to the late Adebayo’s family compound.
He noted that the former military governor of the defunct Western Region played a huge role in the stability of the country at a historic moment in the country’s history.
Mohammed, who was received by the deceased’s widow, Modupeola, and daughter, Mrs Nike Makinde as well as other family members, said Adebayo was a passionate and astute administrator, who put the interest of the country first in all he did.
He said the life of late Adebayo could serve as a great leadership lesson with especial focus on tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
“Late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo was an astute administrator, who did his best to promote the peace and progress of Nigeria, particularly the old Western region when he was governor.”
“I think what we need to learn from the great leadership achievements of the late Adebayo, is that we must understand the various sensibilities; we might be a country but we are a country of many nations.”
“So anybody, who is entrusted with the mantle of leadership, must look at Nigeria from that perspective; he must be very understanding, accommodating and tolerant.”
“And we can say about the late Adebayo that he was tolerant, understanding and accommodating and was able to achieve quietly what others would achieve with so much noise,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to celebrate the life lived by the late Adebayo rather than mourn him, adding that history would be kind to him for his role in keeping the country together.
Speaking, Makinde, the late Adebayo’s daughter, said the patriarch of the family was humble and an icon of selfless service.
She said her father was not materialistic as he dedicated all he had to the benefit of the under-privileged.
“Our father was a good example of humility and generosity; he always told us to humble ourselves before people and never feel that we were important. He was not materialistic; he did not live for himself alone, but also for the needy. He was always helping people and would not say it. He was such a wonderful father; we will sorely miss him. He really did his best for humanity,” she said.
She thanked Nigerians for standing by the family following the death of her father, saying the condolence messages family members received were a reflection of the achievements and the goodwill of the late military administrator.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Adebayo, father of former Ekiti Governor, Niyi Adebayo, died in Lagos on March 8, a day to his 89th birthday.