By Hammed Shittu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), alongside his Ondo and Ogun States counterparts, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and Senator Ibikunle Amosun respectively, yesterday described the late former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina, as a loyal disciple of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and a consummate administrator, who was thoroughly grounded in the dialectics of the Yoruba.
The commendation, however, came as former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, and the governorship candidate of the ACN in the 2011 general election in Kwara State, Mr. Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), said Adesina’s death was a huge loss to the nation.
But, Fashola in a condolence message said the former Oyo State governor was an honest but shrewd politician who took time to make up his mind on any issue.
“Alhaji Adesina held his political beliefs firmly. He recognised the need to groom the younger generation and was never found wanting in promoting the interest of the youths,” he said.
While commiserating with his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the family of the departed and the people of the South-west in general, Fashola said once Adesina was convinced about the rightness of his decision, it then became difficult to dissuade him.
“As the Governor of Oyo State, he left indelible marks in various facets, most especially in the education sector where he brought his professional acumen to bear. He would be remembered for his doggedness and steadfastness in ensuring that a progressive party runs the affairs of the South-west,” he said.
Fashola prayed that Almighty Allah would grant the departed’s soul Al-Janah Firdaus.
On his part, Mimiko said Adesina, who was active in the fight against military dictatorship, played a significant role in bringing about the democratic experience being witnessed in the country at the moment.
“He was not known to be flippant, arrogant with power or inordinately ambitious. When his people called upon him for leadership, he never abused the privilege and did not amass wealth to the detriment of the people. He led by example,” Mimiko said.
Corroborating Mimiko’s stance, Amosun described Adesina as one of the heroes of the democratic struggles in Nigeria.
The governor noted that “his death came to us all as a rude shock.”
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, Amosun said: “The reserve of democracy crusaders in the country has once again been depleted.”
Equally, Kalu in a statement said Adesina would be missed for his noble contributions to the socio-economic and political development of Oyo State and Nigeria.
The statement signed by Oyekunle Oyewumi, described Adesina as a visionary leader who saw beyond his leadership of Oyo State when he was the governor.
Oyewumi quoted Kalu as saying: “When Lam, as we fondly called him, was the governor in Oyo State, the projects he undertook were not only geared towards developing a state he was passionate about, but situated within the context of developing the country as a whole.”
“In choosing the projects he undertook, especially roads, he looked at it from the context of its benefit to Oyo State and Nigeria at large, especially for itinerant traders who make use of the network of roads within his state and connecting roads to other parts of the country in moving around their goods.
“There is no doubt that his intellectual capacity stood him out when he was in government.”
Meanwhile, Belgore, yesterday said: “Pa Adesina’s ‘glittering sense of modesty’ stood him out in an era and society dotted with corrupt and arrogant politicians.”
“We commiserate with the government and people of Oyo State on the death of the former Governor Lamidi Adesina. Pa Adesina’s death, no doubt, is a great loss to the people of Oyo, our party ACN and of course the entire country as it marked the exit of one of the last men standing in the history of this young democracy and our people’s pursuit of good governance.”