By Our Reporters 

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of the spokesperson for the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin. According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari condoled with the family, friends and acquaintances of the spokesman of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere.

The President described Odumakin as a dutiful person of conviction, expressing sadness that his demise occurred at a time when he had a lot more to contribute to the society and the nation at large. President Buhari prayed God to comfort the family he left behind.

In the same vein, former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has equally expressed sadness over the passing of the late Odumakin, describing his demise as a rude shock.

In his condolence message titled a “Great voice for equity gone,” Jonathan described the late activist as a courageous patriot and rights crusader who contributed so much to the development of the nation. He said Odumakin “played active roles in the years of activism that birthed and stabilised civil rule in our country.”

In a related development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also described the death of Odumakin as shocking and saddening.

In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President commiserated with his wife, Joe Odumakin, family and associates.

 Also in a similar own reaction, former vice president Atiku Abubakar described Odumakin as a patriot and advocate of good governance

“I sympathise with all Nigerians who share these same values with Odumakin, especially the Afenifere group of which Yinka was the publicity secretary – a role he played with so much commitment and admiration,” he said.

In his own tribute, the Chief Whip of the Senate and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, while expressing sadness over the incident, described Odumakin as a strong advocate of democracy, adding that he would be remembered for his worthy legacies.

The former governor, in his condolence to the wife of the deceased, Dr. Josephine Odumakin, and the Afenifere group, called on the Odumakin family to take solace in the fact that the deceased lived a life dedicated to the service of mankind.

“I received with shock, the painful news of the demise of spokesperson of Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere and renowned activist, Dr. Yinka Odumakin,” he said.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement issued yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the late human rights and pro-democracy activist as a great nationalist, passionate leader and champion of a true Nigeria that would work for every citizen.

He said the Afenifere spokesman lived a selfless life, adding that Yinka Odumakin would not be forgotten in a hurry.

“Odumakin was undoubtedly a great nationalist, passionate leader and champion of a true Nigeria that would work for every citizen. Odumakin stood firmly behind the attainment of constitutional democracy and fiscal federalism as the basis for sustainable development and lifting the masses out of poverty,” the statement read.

His counterpart in Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, also condoled with the family of the deceased, describing the sad incident as a great loss to the Yoruba nation and Nigeria at large.

His words: “On behalf of the Government and good people of the State of Osun, I commiserate with the Afenifere group over the demise of Mr.

Yinka Odumakin. I also condole his wife, Dr. Joe, his children and the

entire Odumakin family over this tragic occurrence.

Also Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, declared that the South West had lost a courageous human rights activist and fearless public commentator.

The governor noted that Odumakin, while alive, championed the cause of the South West and promoted the ideals of the late sage and premier of the defunct Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, which were held dear by the Afenifere.

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, while also expressing shock over the tragic incident, described Odumakin as a patriot.

He said: “Odumakin was a voice of reason and a respected human rights activist whose contributions during the days of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), leading to the country’s return to civil rule in 1999 will always be remembered.

Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, described the news of the passing of Odumakin as tragic and devastating.

Fayemi, in a statement on Saturday, said the Yoruba and indeed Nigeria had lost a truly patriotic citizen, a fearless activist who consistently spoke truth to power, and a man of the people who championed the cause of his people till he breathed his last.

Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, mourning the sudden demise of Odumakin, described his death as the end of an era.

The governor in a statement released by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Donald Ojogo said: “It saddens us as government and people of Ondo State to be faced with the reality of the demise of Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin. It is heart aching; it’s one death with many losses to our people.

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in a released statement, yesterday, described Odumakin as a great warrior who feared nothing and who stood for truth and justice right to the end.

“The South West and indeed Nigeria have lost one of its greatest sons and brightest stars,” he said. Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Adams, lamented that the death of the Odumakin had dealt a big blow to the Yoruba nation.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, Adam described the late Odumakin as a phenomenon that spoke truth to power, adding “his exit had left a big vacuum in the social and political milieu.”

Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in its condolence to Afenifere, said Odumakin died at a time both ACF and Afenifere used to disagree and agree over the need to ensure one united Nigeria.

A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, expressed regret that Odumakin did not live to see a new day when ACF and Afenifere would agree on a common issue of national unity.  “We had hoped that Odumakin would live long enough to work for and see the new day. His death today has robbed us of that opportunity,” ACF said.

The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) in a message signed by its chairman, Chief Bukazi Etete, noted that Odumakin stood tall in his consistent condemnation of the ills of the society. “We will surely miss his advocacy for a just and egalitarian society. A great advocate for true federalism and restructuring, the group stated. 

A foremost Civil Rights Advocacy Group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has described the sudden demise of Odumakin as a dreadful political earthquake whose negative impacts would be far reaching and unfortunate. 

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Mr Peter Obi, also reacting yesterday, described the late Odumakin as a positive change agent.

Former governor Peter Obi of Anambra said Odumakin was one Nigeria who would always discuss the solutions to the problems of Nigerian each time he met with him.

Former Delta State governor, James Onanefe Ibori, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Tony Eluemunor, described Odumakin as a committed advocate of true federalism. “Recently, he had given a visible urgency to his pro-True-Federalism and State Police calls, taking openly on all-comers who are opposed to restructuring, Ibori added.

Former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, in a condolence letter to the family, described the death of Odumakin as a dark moment that eclipsed one of the vocal voices of the Yoruba nation and of social, cultural and political activism in our country Nigeria.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described  Odumakin’s death  as a huge loss to the country.

The party prayed God to grant the country the fortitude to bear the loss.

According to the opposition party, “Odumakin was consistently focused on fighting for a nation in which the principles of equity, fairness and justice will thrive in every sphere of our national life.

“Our party commiserates with his dear wife, Joe, who has also remained steadfast in fighting for human right, good governance, credible elections as well as justice, especially for the downtrodden,” the statement said.