#RIP: How Hon Yinka Mafe’s 46th birthday celebration turned mournful
Former majority leader of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), Asiwaju Adeyinka Mafe, woke up amid pomp and pageantry on Tuesday, February 4, to celebrate his 46th birthday celebration.
The two-time lawmaker had earlier mapped out plans to celebrate the birthday anniversary. Some of the plans included a prayer session with the widows and aged at his country home in Emuren, visit to the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Sagamu, Ogun State before the proper birthday celebration which took place at Tenth Planet and Suites in Sagamu.
People from all walks of life including party faithful, well-wishers, associates and his MafeLafe political team joined him to celebrate his birth anniversary until evening time.
Having carried out some of these plans, Hon. Mafe, however, did not leave to see the end of the day. He reportedly died around 11:00 p.m. after he complained of chest pain which may have contributed to his death.
Tribune Online learnt that the lawmaker slumped and died inside his bathroom. His remains have since been deposited at the morgue.
His death threw a mournful look on well-wishers who had thronged his residence to celebrate with him.
Tribune Online noted that earlier in the day, Mafe took to his Facebook page (a popular social media platform) to tell his followers that he was grateful to have witnessed the day.
The message which was posted at about 04:52 am reads: “Thank You Jesus for another 365 days. Happy Birthday to me.”
Many well-wishers, who visited the platform, dropped numerous messages to wish him well on his birth anniversary.
Mafe’s colleague at the 8th Assembly, Victor Oludotun Fasanya, said: “Happy Birthday, dear colleague and Majority Leader of the OGHA 8th Assembly. Wishing you many happy returns of this day. Age with abundant grace.”
Otunba Dare Odufowokan said: “To a wonderful friend and committed community builder cum dynamic politician, a happy birthday I say. Congratulations Asiwaju Ashiwaju Yinka Mafe.”
Bola Solate: “Happy birthday sir, may your days be long in good health and prosperity.”
Sakirudeen Pedro said: “Congratulations, I wish you many more years with good health of life.”
Olufunke Olufunsho Jibowu said: “Happy Birthday! Wishing you more fruitful years ahead in good health.”
Odumosu Gbenga Adeboye: “Happy birthday wishing you multiple blessings as you celebrate another God’s graceful year on earth.”
The tone of comments on the post took another turn around 12:06 am Wednesday morning when Dewunmi Lagos asked about the veracity of news flying around that Mafe was dead. Dewunmi asked: “Could someone confirm this please? Some people are spreading the rumour that Yinka Mafe is dead.”
The said post has since generated over 200 comments, 264 reactions and 22 shares as at the last check by Tribune Online. Some of the comments expressed shock over the new.
Lawal Ayoola said: “May the good Lord grant your soul eternal rest Hon Asiwaju Yinka Mafe and give the family and friends you left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Idowu Adeyemi Kabir said: “You posted this yesterday by yourself and now you are no more. So painful!! Rest in peace!”
Adeniran Ayeni: “Somebody that celebrated his birthday yesterday. This is unbelievable. Death is a price that all of us will pay. So painful and sad. May your soul rest in perfect peace.”
Away from the social media, encomiums have continued to pour in for the Emuren-born lawmaker.
The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon (Prince) Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo, described Mafe’s death as shocking and painful.
The speaker in a statement issued by his media aide, Bukola Adeyinka, described as a “vibrant and courageous lawmaker,” adding that “the state has lost a rare gem and a politician par excellence.”
While commiserating with the families he left behind, the speaker noted that Mafe would forever be remembered for his service to his people and humanity.
The state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Chief Wole Elegbede, described Mafe as a loyal and dedicated party leader who was committed to ideals, unity and growth of APC.
The party said: “As a lawmaker, he was vibrant, terrific and electrifying. He was a symbol of knowledgeable and quality representation which earned him a post as the majority leader of the House of Assembly. We lost a gem. Oh death, where is thy sting?”
Meanwhile, a delegation of the state chapter of the party, on Wednesday, paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former majority leader in Emuren, Sagamu Local Government. The delegation was led by the chairman of the party, Chief Derin Adebiyi.
In his brief remarks, Chief Adebiyi expressed sympathy with the father of the deceased, Chief Timothy Mafe and other members of the family. He said they were on condolence visit on behalf the leader, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and the entire members of APC in Ogun State while stating that the heart of Senator Amosun is with the family in their moment of grief.
“There is nothing that we can do. God giveth and taketh. Papa, we urge you to take heart and God shall be the strength of the family,” Chief Adebiyi said.
In the same vein, candidate of the Allied People’s Movement (APM) in the 2019 governorship election in the state, Adekunle Akinlade, described Mafe’s loss as a great loss to Remo and the APC family in the state.
A statement by his media aide, Azeez Alao, reads: “Words failed me in expressing the shock I felt when the news broke that Asiwaju Yinka Mafe was dead. He was our friend, our brother and a very loyal ally in our political sojourn.
“K’átó r’érin ó digbó, k’átó r’ẹ́fọ̀n ó dọ̀dàn. This is really an irreparable loss and it breaks my heart that we’re mourning this great leader, friend and brother at his prime. Rest in Peace Asiwaju Yinka Mafe, you’re forever in our hearts,” Akinlade stated.
Publicity Secretary of Ogun APC Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, said circumstances surrounding Mafe’s death are sketchy while noting that the party has lost a vibrant lawmaker, legal practitioner and consummate entrepreneur known for his outspokenness no matter where he finds himself.
Oladunjoye said, “the party recalled that even when others remained in the deflated and defunct Allied People’s Movement (APM), Yinka Mafe took a very bold and courageous step to return to APC.
“While the other defected and defeated members of defunct APM were still shadow-chasing and preoccupied with empty boasts, Mafe, less than a month after the election of Prince Dapo Abiodun, specifically on April 2, 2019, announced his return to APC on the floor of Ogun State House of Assembly.
“While commiserating with the wife, children and the entire members of the family of the deceased, and indeed the people of Sagamu 1 State Constituency, the APC prays that God will give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
In a related development, former member, House of Representatives, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, in a condolence message released by his media consultant, Afolabi Orekoya, described the death of Yinka Mafe as tragic and an irreparable loss.
Adebutu said, “I received with a shocking grief, the death news of a political field marshall and a great humanist, Asiwaju Yinka Mafe. I am still in awe of how the soul of such a young, proactive, kind and intelligent individual would be taken away. This is indeed a sad news for myself, his family, political associates, the good people of Sagamu whom he diligently served during his stint at the State Assembly. We have lost a brave captain who has now passed to the status of a legend. His death in many ways can be said to be truly irreparable.”
“It is the Almighty who grants and takes life. Though Mafe lived a brief life but he was accomplished. May God grant his family the fortitude to bear this loss and grant him eternal rest.”
A former special assistant on students matters to the former Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Olusegun Clement, described Mafe’s loss as an irreparable loss to the youth constituency in the state, adding that Mafe “lived well and has gone to rest but will forever remain in our heart.”
Clement said: “We would miss Hon. Yinka Mafe so much. Indeed, we have lost a useful youth unto who many look for diverse assistance. For all of us in Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s fold, we are taking this in good faith but not until we ascertain the cause of his death.
“Hon. Mafe is one in a million, many people refer to him as many different good things depending on what perspective they see him from. We would greatly miss him and I, on behalf of the entire youths in the SIA movement we pray God to grant his family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
“We would immortalise him in due time, very soon the SIA youth family will sit and chart way forward in doing that and it will be widely publicised to our large and divert group members across the 20 local government and 37 Local government Development areas of the state.”
Asiwaju Yinka Made was born on February 4th, 1974. He was elected Councillor of Ward three in Sagamu Local Government Legislative Council in December 1998, a term which ended in 2002.
He also represented Sagamu Constituency I (Ofin) at the State House of Assembly between 2011 and 2019. He was caucus leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the house between 2015 and 2019.
He contested to represent Remo Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives in 2019 on the platform of the APM but lost at the polls. He subsequently returned to the APC.
He is survived by wife and children.