By Deji Elumoye
The demise of the spokesman of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, has continued to elicit messages of grief with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) expressing shock at his untimely death.
The Vice President in a release on Saturday by his Media Assistant, Laolu Akande, said he was shocked at the sad news of the death of Odumakin.
While commiserating with his wife, family and associates, Osinbajo prayed that the Lord will comfort the family, and bless his memory always.
On his part, Senator Ekweremadu, commiserated with the Afenifere, over the death of the its spokesperson describing it as a heavy loss, not only to the Yoruba nation but also to the country as a whole.
The ranking Senator who expressed sadness and shock over the death, said Odumakin was a courageous leader and federalist, who worked tirelessly for a peaceful, equitable, and prosperous Nigeria.
His words: “This is hard to believe and it is a very grave loss to not only the Yoruba ethnic nationality, but also Nigeria as a whole. Yinka was a federalist, patriot, pan-Nigerian and a courageous leader, who longed for a peaceful, secure, equitable, and prosperous Nigeria and worked hard and tirelessly towards achieving it. He was a gallant soldier for democracy and will be remembered for his dogged battles in regard.
“It is sad that we have lost him, but it is even sadder that Nigeria is far from the egalitarian and prosperous nation he had hoped and worked for.
My heartfelt condolences go to Joe and the family in particular as well as to the Afenifere family over the loss”.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, on its part, said it was with rude shock and pain that it received news of the death “of our National Secretary and Spokesman of Afenifere, Comrade Yinka Odumakin”.
The Forum, in a condolence message jointly signed by its National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark; President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor; President-General of Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Pogu Bitrus and National Chairman, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Senator Emmanuel Ibok-Essien, described Odumakin as a very versatile and cerebral journalist, a great patriot and nationalist.
“Although he was an Afenifere chieftain, his commitment to building a Nigerian State, where fairness, equity and justice reigns, was unparalleled.
“For Southern Nigerian and Middle Belt Forum, Yinka was a backbone who in the past few years worked tirelessly to give the organisation both national and international visibility and recognition. He also brought clarity and common understanding to the problems bedeviling our country, aimed at providing timely solutions to them.
Yinka has etched his name in steel in the anal of Nigerian history. He will, therefore, be remembered by all citizens as one of our greatest citizens ever”.