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South West govs to honour Gen. Adebayo Thursday

From: Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Former military governor of the Old Western State, the late  (rtd), who breathed his last on March 8, 2017, would be honoured by the six governors in the South West, on Thursday, with a befitting lying-in-state in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as part of activities, marking his final journey home.

Adebayo was an army Major General, who served as governor of the now defunct Western State of Nigeria, from  1966 to 1971.  He was the governor during the infamous farmers’ “Agbekoya” revolt over taxation, which was eventually resolved peacefully and harmoniously.

Adebayo, who retired from the Nigeria Army in 1975, was also a former president of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE).

The coordinating chairman for the inter-state planning committee set up by the six south western states for the lying-in-state, Alhaji Olalekan Alli, who is also the Secretary to Oyo State Government, told newsmen during a press conference, in Ibadan, on Monday, that the lying-in-state would be held at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building Secretariat, Ibadan, on Thursday May 18, 2017.

The six governors, Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), are expected to personally receive the corpse of the deceased at the Government House Arcade, Agodi, Ibadan and later pay tribute to Adebayo at the House of Chiefs.

Members of the interstate committee included a Director in the Cabinet Office, Lagos State, Mrs. Morenikeji Sobajo; Secretary to Ondo State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde;  and two members of Adebayo’s family, Are Femi Adebayo, and Ayo Ogundele; and Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy to Oyo State governor, Mr. Yomi Layinka.

According to Alli, “The intention is to celebrate the departed elder statesman, who was in charge of the Western State, with exception of Lagos, particularly when he was appointed the military governor. So, it is only therefore befitting of the six states to come together to celebrate the elder statesman.”

He stated further that the lying-in-state would be preceded by a Service of Songs in Lagos State on Wednesday, adding that Adebayo’s corpse would leave Lagos for Ibadan on Thursday morning. The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division of Nigerian Army, Ibadan, is expected to receive the corpse at Ibadan Toll Gate of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Thursday morning.

“The corpse will be received by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division of Nigerian Army at the Ibadan Toll Gate of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Thursday, from where the corpse would be moved to the Government House Arcade, Agodi, Ibadan, where the corpse will be received by the six state governors in person. We have every indication that the governors will be there in person, not by proxy.

“The corpse will move from there to the venue of lying-in-state at the House of Chiefs at 2p.m. Each state will not only be represented by the governors, and governments, we will also have 100 guests to represent each state to actually pay tribute in respect of the hero of Nigeria , hero of the South West, and in deed, our hero. He was a collective predecessor of the six state governors. So, we have found it very befitting to celebrate him and to ensure that we have a successful event on Thursday,” Alli stated.

The Yoruba Council of Elders, the Christ School Old Students’ Association, Ado-Ekiti, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, University of Ibadan and other stakeholders, according to Alli, would be at the House of Chiefs to pay tributes.

“This is our culture, celebrating our elders alive and in deed in death. So, doing this would not be an exception. This is why it is desirable of us to come together on Thursday and celebrate our hero,” he said.

After the lying-in-state, the corpse will be taken to Ekiti State, where a commendation service and another  lying-in-state will hold at Olukayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti. The remains of Adebayo will be buried at his country home, Iyin-Ekiti, on Saturday.

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