We will consult South West govs, military before picking burial date —Niyi Adebayo
More prominent Nigerians have continued to throng the residence of the late former military governor of the old Western Region, General Adeyinka Adebayo, to pay their condolences.
This came, as the son of the deceased and former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo, noted that the family was not in a hurry to make any pronouncement about burial arrangements, saying consultations would be made with all the South-West governors and the military.
“I have been called by many governors in the South-West, who informed me that we need to sit and discuss. So, all these cannot be done in a week and besides, this is the month of Lent, and we cannot bury during this period. Therefore, everything will be done after the Lenten season,” he said.
Some of such visitors, as captured by Nigerian Tribune, included former governors, ministers, military officers, as well as serving governors and lawmakers, among others.
The visitors, who wrote diverse messages in the condolence register, all admitted that the Yoruba race and, indeed, the nation as a whole, had lost a great unifier in the person of the ex-military governor.
He was a true patriot —Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has described the late former governor of the defunct Western Region, retired Major-General Adeyinka Adebayo, as a true patriot.
A statement issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja, said Buhari stated this in a telephone call from London to the son of the late General and former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo.
Adesina said the president lamented that “Nigeria will surely miss the uncommon patriotism and nationalism which General Adebayo typified.”
The president also commiserated with the people of Ekiti State and the entire Yoruba race.
He noted that the late octogenarian, while standing firmly for the unity of the country, also fought for the interest of his people as the president of the Yoruba Council of Elders.
President Buhari prayed that Almighty God would console the Adebayo family and grant the soul of the departed elder statesman eternal rest.
According to the statement, while thanking President Buhari for the call and commiserations, Niyi Adebayo also wished the president good health.
He was a cosmopolitan leader —IBB
Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, described the late General Adebayo as one of the finest military officers and leaders.
He said the deceased former governor of the old Western Region was a unique leader with listening ears and uncommon intellect, while his leadership as a commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) was remarkable especially coming at a time when the civil war had just ended.
Babangida stated this in a condolence message personally signed by him at his home in Minna, the Niger State capital, a copy of which was obtained by the Nigerian Tribune, on Thursday.
He said: “At 89, one would think age was well spent by the deceased General and it was time for him to go and have a deserved rest, but losing a dear one no matter the age, comes with grief, pains, sorrow and nostalgia.”
He fought for Nigeria’s unity —Tinubu
Former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, said “he was a true father to us all. He was a nationalist who fought for the unity and total commitment of the nation and he has left behind a legacy for his children and us all.
“He ensured that the Yoruba race and the entire nation did not break as a result of the June 12 presidential election annulment. We will continue on his works, achievements and legacy,” he stated.
He lived a fulfilled life —Ambode
The Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, said “today is a day of celebration. Baba lived a fulfilled life and we will strive to continue to uphold everything he would have loved us to uphold.
“He would have loved us continue to create a united Nigeria and this is what we will strive to uphold. This will always remain our message and it is one of the reasons we are here,” he further stated.
He was an outstanding officer, patriot —Anyaoku
Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, described General Adebayo as one of Nigeria’s most accomplished military officers who served his country with distinction as an exemplary military governor.
In a condolence letter to the eldest child of the deceased, Chief Niyi Adebayo, he said “General Adebayo will long be remembered as both an outstanding officer in the Nigerian military and a great patriot who sought through his presidency of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) to promote harmony and nationalism among Nigeria’s ethnic groups.
“My wife joins me in sending our deepest condolence to you and entire Adebayo family and our prayer is that his soul will rest in perfect peace.”
His integrity turned the country around —Ukiwe
Former Chief of General Staff to former head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd), said: “We are celebrating a man whose integrity and consistency turned the country around for good. Now, many people from different parts of the country can contest elections as a result of the legacy he laid, which was not so before.
“Indeed, he created a link between the East and the West. He moved with a blazing trail like a comet. We respect and honour him and the shoe he left behind cannot be easily filled,” he added.
Other prominent leaders who also paid condolence visit to the Adebayo residence included former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon; former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; his Ogun State counterpart, Chief Olusegun Osoba; former governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan; former Minister of State for Defence, Ademola Seriki; General Alani Akinrinade (retd); business tycoon, Rasak Okoya and renown advertising mogul, Mr Biodun Shobanjo, among others.
While showing his appreciation to every visitor, son of the deceased, Niyi Adebayo, commended the efforts of Ademola Seriki, who he said used his influence as a minister a few years ago to name a street in Ikeja GRA after his father, thus ensuring the immortalisation of his father even before his death.
His death, end of an era —Segun Oni
Former Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State described the death of Major General Adebayo as the end of an era in the annals of Nigeria and the end of a significant chapter in the history of the Nigerian Army in particular.
The deputy national chairman (South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made this known in a condolence message issued by his media office and signed by Mr Ayo Akinyemi.
The former governor recalled that the late elder statesman was the oldest military officer in Nigeria and the last of the first nine officers appointed when British Imperial government began the process of Africanisation and Nigerianisation of the officers cadre.