April 12, 2021

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The National Publicity Secretary for the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, is dead.

Mr Odumakin, a public analyst, activist and politician, died of complications from coronavirus disease at the intensive care unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, on Saturday morning.

A statement issued by his wife, Joe Okei-Odumakin, noted that the late journalist-turned politician, “was managed for respiratory issues due to complications from COVID-19 which he had recovered from about a week ago.”

Mrs Okei-Odumakin, who noted that the burial arrangement would be announced later, gave Mr Odumakin’s age as 54.

According to one of the deceased’s associates, Mr Odumakin had in the last two weeks told journalists he would not be able to pick calls due to his failing health. He reportedly introduced an associate to be in charge of his official communications.

Also, about a month ago, Mr Odumakin fell critically ill during a visit to the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola. The government promptly responded by offering him emergency medical care.

He immediately returned to Lagos after he was stabilised by medical personnel.

His life and times

Born on December 10, 1966, Mr Odumakin hails from Moro, Ife North Local Government Area of Osun State. It is the same town where the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, hails from.

The deceased, who studied English Language from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, graduated in 1989.

While at the university, the deceased served as the public relations officer of the university’s students union.

He was employed by The Punch Newspaper as a reporter, and later joined The Guardian Newspapers.

Mr Odumakin resigned from the Guardian in 1993 and established Effective Company Limited, a media and publishing company in partnership with fellow journalist and a former schoolmate, Femi Ige.

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ALSO READ: Afenifere leader Fasoranti steps down

Mr Ige, who also resigned from The Guardian in 1994, later returned to the mainstream media and was the chief operating officer at the now rested Newswatch Dailies.

Speaking exclusively with our reporter on the phone, Mr Ige said he had lost a buddy. He said their company was responsible for the publication of some books.

He was part of the National Democratic Coalition that fought the regime of late military head of state, Sani Abacha, after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.

He also took part, alongside his wife, in the National Conference which held in Abuja in 2014.

Mr Odumakin, who was appointed the spokesman for the presidential campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011, later turned his back on Mr Buhari in 2015 when he supported the then outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan.

In 1997, Mr. Odumakin married his wife, and they are blessed with children.

Until his death, Mr Odumakin was spokesman for Afenifere and had been vocal about Nigeria’s development.


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