• Why he couldn’t be flown abroad
From YINKA FABOWALE and GBENGA ADESUYI and TOYESE OLADEJO, Ibadan
Former Oyo State Governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, who died yesterday morning, made spirited efforts to reconcile with his estranged political associates, even on his hospital bed.
His cousin, Dr. Isiaka Kolawole, told Daily Sun yesterday that Adesina was in a top form last Saturday and was busy exchanging pleasantries with his political associates and friends.
Kolawole, who was by his hospital bed when he died, said Adesina called Mogaji Soji Akanbi and Alhaji Isamotu Oke-Ado, two of such associates, who parted ways with him following the picking of Senator Abiola Ajimobi in the last Action Congress of Nigeria governorship primaries.
Akanbi, also a governorship aspirant, was said to have heartily funded the party for the duration the party was out of power in the state.
Oke-Ado was another strong supporter of Adesina and a major party financier.
Adesina was said to have prayed for members of his family, associates friends and followers.
He specifically implored Kolawole to ensure that members of his political family remained united, urging them to forget the past.
This was corroborated by Akanbi, who told Daily Sun that Adesina did call him twice last Saturday, requesting him to visit him in the hospital, which he declined because he was not in town.
Akanbi said he would have loved to visit the former governor but he could not before he learnt he gave up the ghost early in the morning yesterday.
Adesina was to undergo a major surgery on his leg before being flown abroad for further treatment.
He had battled with diabetes for nearly three decades before his death and ought to have gone abroad much earlier.
Daily Sun learnt that for his alleged phobia for flight, he could not make use of any of the arrangements made for him to travel abroad for treatment.
The state government moved Adesina to St. Nicolas Hospital, Lagos, six weeks ago where he was said to have had one of his legs amputated.
Efforts made by the state government to fly him abroad, for treatment, were said to have been rejected by the former governor.
A source said his phobia for flight might have been responsible for his very few overseas trips while he was governor.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi visited Adesina last week and was said to be responding to treatments.
Dr. Deolu Akande, Ajimobi’s Chief of Staff, was said to have accompanied the governor when he visited Adesina on his hospital bed.
The former governor, Daily Sun learnt, succumbed to a protracted illness of diabetes.
Lam, as he was affectionately called, had earlier been admitted into the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, but was transferred to St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos when his health deteriorated some weeks ago.
He would have been 74 next January.
His remains were buried at his Felele residence in Ibadan at exactly 4:20pm according to Muslim rites.
A large crowd, made up of relations, politicians, his supporters and people of the state witnessed the interment.
News of Adesina’s death, which filtered into town around mid-day yesterday, caught many people unaware with residents, especially his ACN supporters, rushing to his Felele residence to confirm the report.
Brought in from Lagos at exactly 3.20pm in a Lagos ambulance marked LA 156 A08, Adesina’s party supporters and admirers were in tears and a sorrowful mood.
Felele, his home, played host to a huge crowd, including the House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal; National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande; National leader of the ACN, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; his wife, Oluremi; Senator Ayoade Adeseun; all governors elected on the platform of the ACN, except governor Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State.
Others included former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Omololu Olunloyo; former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Hazeem Gbolarunmi; Alhaji Yekeen Adeojo; Are Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Arisekola Alao; and many others.
The burial rites were conducted by the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Haruna Suara, supported by other Islamic clerics.
Adesina was lowered into the mother earth at exactly 4.20pm
In his remarks, the ACN National Chairman, Akande, described Adesina as “one of the most courageous leaders Nigeria has ever produced.
“He died too early and his contributions in the circuit of the progressives will be greatly missed.”
Former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, said: “What you cannot take away from him is his forthrightness and outspokenness.
“He tells it as it is even in the face of intimidation and threat to his personal safety.”
Alhaji Suara admonished the people to be of good cheer because the deceased lived a good life.
The clergy reminded the people of a day that must be of necessity come in the life of every mortal, when all earthly activities would be dropped irrespective of one’s position, achievements or attainments in life and one would be left to face his or her creator.