By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Stakeholders in Ekiti State on Friday poured encomiums on the former military governor of the old Western Region, Major General Adeyinka Adebayo at a night of tributes preparatory to the Â State burial.
The high point of the Lying â€“in â€“State and Day of Tributes held at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti, was how Governor Ayodele Fayose, who initiated the event had commanded the local hunters to give the departed general 21-gun salute.
Former governor of Ekiti State and son of the late general, Otunba Niyi Adebayo led the family membersÂ to the venue of the funeral .
Stakeholders, including Â Governor Fayose, Secretary, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr. Kunle Olajide, former Registrar of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Chief Olu Ajayi, President of Ekitiparapo in Lagos, Chief Esan Ogunleye, showered praises on General Adebayo for exposing Ekiti to modernity while in the saddle in the old Western Region.
The venue of the event was full to the brim, as people clad in Ankara (Aso Ebi) adorned withÂ the portrait of General AdebayoÂ and danced to all sorts ofÂ music being produced by local musicians .
The long convoy of vehicles that escorted the motorcade of LTJ Undertakers Limited that conveyed Adebayoâ€™s body sauntered into the burial arena at about 2.08pm and was were received by mammoth crowd that had seated since 11am.
Â Other dignitaries at the ceremony included: former governor of the old Ondo State, BamideleÂ Olumilua, former military governors of Ogun and Ekiti states, Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin and Atanda Yusuf, Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaye, Founder of Afe Babalola University, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), former Deputy Governs of Ekiti and Lagos , Chief Paul Alabi , Dr. Sikiru Lawal and Mrs. Sinatu Ojikutu, among others.
Fayose described general Adebayo as a true face of Yoruba nation and Nigeria, who genuinely fought for the unity of the country during the civil war that nearly ripped the country apart between 1967 and 1970.
Fayose said: â€œWe are celebrating General Adebayo today because he had paid his dues. He had done Ekiti and Nigeria proud as a disciplined military man.
â€œBaba in his lifetime did his best. He was a symbol of hope for the present generation, the coming one and the one yet unborn.Â My person in particular, I benefited from his counsels which had helped in the governance of this state. He was a dedicated and hardworking man, who sees Ekiti as a project that must succeed.
â€œThe works of a man speak for him after death. General Adebayo truly never wanted civil war and he fought on the side of the country for Nigeria to sustain the unity of our dear nationâ€.
Fayose called on Ekiti populace to pray to grant the family the needed unity that would sustain the legacies he left behind.
The YCE Scribe, Dr. Olajide added that â€œGeneral Adebayo didnâ€™t make it so easily because he was not born great. He acquired greatness through hard work and divine guidance, so we must salute his courageâ€.
In his brief sermon, the Special Assistant on Religious Matters to Governor Fayose, Pastor Seyi Olusola, urged the people to learn from Adebayoâ€™s death, saying â€œeverybody will die at an appointed time no matter how great, connected or influential you are, so you must be good to humanityâ€.
Quoting from the Books of Hebrew and Ecclesiastes Chapter 6 Verse 3, Pastor Olusola added:Â â€œYou should change that bad attitude because if you die today what will the people say about you, good or bad? And immediately you die, you will face judgment. If you have problem in court, you can hire good lawyers and wriggle your way out, but in heaven, such is impossibleâ€, he said.