Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan,Victor Ogunje in Ekiti and James Sowole in Akure
President Muhammadu Buhari; Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu; former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; Deputy National Chairman (South), of the APC, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, and a host of others have sent condolences to the family of former Ondo State governor, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, over his death.
The 83-year-old elder statesman, who served as governor in the old Ondo State from January 1992 to November 1993 during Third Republic, died in the early hours of yesterday in his Ikere-Ekiti country home after brief illness.
The president, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, also condoles with the government and people of the state.
He recalled that the late Olumilua played a notable role in the process of returning Nigeria back to democracy, adding that he worked hard to improve public infrastructure in Ondo State.
“President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with government and indigenes of Ondo State over the death of Evangelist Bamidele Isola Olumilua, who was a governor of the state from 1992-1993.
“The President sympathises with family members, friends and associates of the former governor, who worked very hard to improve infrastructure and livelihood of people in the state.
“President Buhari affirms that Olumilua played an active role in the return of democracy in the country, and served creditably as Chairman, Nigeria Pilgrims Board,” the state said.
In a message issued by the Head of his Media Office, Mr. Tunde Rahman, the APC National Leader described “Olumilua as an elder-statesman and an unrelenting patriot. He was irrevocably committed to the unity and indivisibility of this country. A servant-leader, Evangelist Olumilua provided leadership and mentoring to many of us during the aborted Third Republic and even after.
“”He believed in democratic principles and worked assiduously to advance them. I knew this about him because we were together in the defunct Social Democratic Party and could attest to all he did to advance the course of democracy in the land and ensure the will of the people triumphed,” Tinubu explained.
In Ajimobi’s message issued his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, the APC National Vice Chairman disclosed that Olumilua lived a life of service to the people he served diligently
The immediate past governor of Oyo State described Olumilua as an elder statesman, who though had a short tenure as governor due to military intervention, left indelible imprints in the sands of time.
According to him, “as a progressive – minded elder, he was one of the founding members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2006, which later metamorphosed into our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“By his death, a vacuum has been created in the progressives’ fold while the people of Ekiti have also lost an illustrious and distinguished Son. Our dear Country has equally lost the sage counsel of this elder statesman”.
Ajimobi described Olumilua as an upright man who was ever ready to speak to his conviction.
Fayemi, in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode described Olumilua’s death as a monumental loss to Ekiti State, which the deceased served in different capacities.
In his own condolence message, former Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose condoled with the State Government and immediate family of the late Olumilua.
Obi in his message, described the death of Olumilua, as a loss of a great elder statesman.
In a condolence message made available to journalists, Obi expressed deep sorrow over the death of the former governor, describing his demise as ‘passing unto glory of a fulfilled leader’.