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Olaniwun Ajayi: A true Awoist who taught many of us, says Tinubu

All Progressives Congress stalwart, Asiwaju Tinubu, has mourned the death of Afenifere Leader, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, describing him a true Awoist who taught many of the younger generations of politicians including Tinubu the doctrines of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

In a statement on Friday night by Tinubu Media Office, the former Lagos governor said the late legal luminary left behind his enduring legacies.

“The news of the passage of one of our foremost leaders in Yorubaland and a national icon, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, on Friday, November 4, 2016 left me distraught. He was one of the very few we had left to guide our path with wisdom.

“Though Sir Olaniwun Ajayi passed on at 91, which can be said to be a ripe age, but we never ever want our elders to leave us. He was a highly referred leader, a democrat irrevocably committed to constitutional democracy and who worked tirelessly for what he believed in.

He made tremendous contributions to true federalism and restructuring of Nigeria’s over-centralised federal system.

olanihun-ajayi-memory6“Chief Ajayi was a true Awoist who truly believed in the doctrines of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and taught these doctrines to many of us new generation of politicians. A great mentor, teacher, leader, he was a man who believed in his Christian values, such that he was honoured with the knighthood of Methodist Church.

“His commitment to the unity of the Yoruba race is perhaps unparalleled. Chief Olaniwun Ajayi was part of the entire leadership of Afenifere who honoured me with a visit recently in Lagos, where they renewed their call for unity and understanding among the Yoruba race and the entrenchment of progressive ideology in the country.

“During that visit, we joked about Sir Olaniwun Ajayi aging gracefully and he and Papa Fasoranti said they would not want to die without continuing to push for unity and progress of Nigeria based on true federalism. They enjoined us to continue to work for the attainment of the two ideals.

“He lived an exemplary life. He partly founded his education, paying for his college while teaching, until he proceeded to the United Kingdom to study Law. He attended the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“His’ was a life of service to his family, his people and the nation at large.  As a legal practitioner, he used the instrument of the law in pursuit of what he believed in. His reputable law firm, Olaniwun Ajayi and Co., had a track record of handling and winning laudable cases in politics and economy. It was a pan-African law firm with offices in key African cities and lawyers versed in multiple jurisdictions. Over the years, the firm provided legal services to some of the biggest corporations in Africa and across the globe.

“I extend my condolences to the entire Afenifere family; to Baba Ayo Adebanjo, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, and others. May God Almighty spare their lives for us. I mourn the passing of Chief Ajayi, but I’m happy that he left us with his enduring legacies. He remains our hero both in life and in death.

“A great father and family man, my heart goes out to his family, particularly his four children. I console them and urge them to continue to uphold the legacies of the late Chief Olaniwun Ajayi”.