Late Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka
* Sultan, Tinubu, Saraki, others condole with Fayemi
By Toba Suleiman
The Ekiti State Government has dissociated itself from the activities of those it described as unscrupulous individuals who were raising funds illegally for the burial of the late Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka.
Raising the alarm, the government in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Ganiyu Owolabi, also warned individuals within and outside the state involved in the illegal and unauthorised solicitation of funds to desist from it.
While further dissociating the administration from the activities of such individuals, the statement urged members of the public to report anybody trying to obtain money or other items for the purpose of the late deputy governor's funeral to the appropriate security agencies.
The statement noted that Olayinka died in office as the deputy governor of the state and deserved the full benefits of the office.
Government, according to the statement, had put in place plans to give the late deputy governor a befitting state burial and would bear all expenses of the burial.
The statement read in part: "The state government frowns at and does not encourage attempt by any group or individuals to raise funds for the state burial under any guise whatsoever.
"Members of the public are advised to discountenance and report to appropriate security agencies attempts by any individual to obtain money or other items from them for the purpose of the burial.”
The state government said the full time-table for the state burial would be made public soon.
Meanwhile, as the seven-day mourning period declared by the state government over the death of the deputy governor, ended on Sunday, eminent Nigerians Monday continued to pay condolence visits to the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Among the eminent Nigerians that visited the governor in his office were the representatives of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad Mohammed III, Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Gbenga Obadara, former governors of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki and Alhaji Shaaba Lafiaji; wife of Osun State Governor, Alhaja Serifat Aregbesola and immediate past President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), and Managing Director, Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye.
The Sultan’s condolence message was relayed through Alhaji Mohammed Tambari, who also delivered a letter to Fayemi on behalf of the sultanate.
Mohammed, who described Olayinka as a hard working deputy governor, said he also shared in the grief of the government and people of Ekiti State over her death.
He prayed that God would continue to guide the Fayemi administration so that the state would continue to witness more development.
Tinubu, representing Lagos Central senatorial district, in her remarks, described the late deputy governor as one of her most respected female politicians, especially for her roles in women empowerment and her excellent performance in office.
The senator, who said Olayinka’s death was “a deep and painful one,” added that the deceased was more than just a deputy governor but a family member to the Fayemis.
She noted that both the governor and the late Olayinka had laboured to bring about the transformation that the state was witnessing now, just the deceased and the wife of the governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi have worked together to uplift Ekiti women.
“She was a lovely soul and beautiful woman, in every perspective. What can we say about her? Can we argue with death? We can’t. We can only take solace in that she lived well. In her short life, her achievements are innumerable. We all will not live forever but we should know that whatever life God gives us on earth, we should make best use of it so that if we leave one day, people can remember us well as we do for Mrs Olayinka today,” Tinubu said.
On his part, Saraki who was accompanied by the former governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Shaaba Lafiaji, said Olayinka was a “loyal and a great ambassador for all of us in the public service” and had known the deceased beyond the government relationship.
Saraki added that his condolence visit to the governor was not based on official governmental relationship but that of brotherhood which had necessitated the visit to feel the pains felt by the government and people of Ekiti State.
“We have come to show that ours in Kwara is not just that of government to government but brother and family, to feel the pains that you are feeling. We share the same ties and we cannot leave you because you are a great man who has shown maturity and statesmanship in everything. The least we could do is to be with you to console you,” Saraki said.
Signing the condolence register, Alhaja Aregbesola wrote: “My dearest sister as I usually called you. You are so humble, gentle, hardworking and tolerant. I will miss you but I know God almighty loves you best.”
Adefaye in the condolence register wrote : “Good woman, great fighter. Rest in Peace”
Others who paid visits included the Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeal Ado Ekiti, Justice Olujimi Bada and Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Ayo Daramola who led other gudges of the state High Court and some officials of the state judiciary among others.