Also, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has mourned Ajayi as a forthright leader with a very rare generous spirit.
Also, the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, described Ajayi as a democrat of repute and an elder statesman who dedicated his life to the service of his people and the country.
Fayemi said the death of Ajayi came to him as a surprise, because the late Afenifere leader was full of life during their recent meeting, in spite of his old age.
The minister, in a condolence message signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, described the late Ajayi as a distinguished leader, nationalist, foremost Awoist and a thorough bred professional who brought a unique touch of excellence to whatever he did.
Recalling his relationship with the late leader, whom he described as a man of wisdom and leader with a huge sense of history, Fayemi said every encounter with the late Ajayi revealed his good nature as well as passion for the unity of the Yoruba in particular and Nigeria’s greatness in general.
“Papa was a man of distinction, a compassionate and courageous leader, who contributed immensely to the enthronement of democracy, by working assiduously with other patriots in Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba Socio-political organisation and the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).
The minister urged the children of the late elder statesman to be consoled by the good name and legacy of service he left behind. “His was a life well spent”, he added.
“There is no doubt, Papa Ajayi’s death has robbed the Yoruba race, indeed Nigeria of a distinguished citizen, patriot and leader.
“We shall surely miss his wise counsel and generous spirit at this critical stage of our national life.” The statement added.
Daniel in a condolence message on the passing of the elder statesman, expressed his shock on the death of one of the few remaining titans which ended another glorious chapter and created a deep void in Nigeria’s politics.
According to the former governor, Ajayi was “a very strong force in Nigerian polity and well respected in the political landscape over the years as he improved on the democratic ideals of the founding fathers and played his roles in the service to the nation in various capacities.
“He was a courageous personality noted for his frank disposition to issues and policies. He remained principled when it mattered most and never compromised his stance even in the midst of challenges. His invaluable contributions to national development will be greatly missed”.
In the words of ex-governor Daniel, Sir Ajayi’s death was “a great loss to the country and particularly, Ogun State having served across borders during his distinguished career but we take solace in the solid legacies he left which will continue to inspire coming generations.”
Daniel then offered his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family, relatives and those who share in the grief of the loss of the great politician and ask God to grant him a peaceful rest and fortitude for his bereaved family to bear the loss.