April 21, 2021

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Odumakin’s wife pens emotional tribute about husband, love life

4 min read


In her tribute to her late husband, Joe Okei-Odumakin relived the tales of the love she had with Yinka Odumakin.

Mr Odumakin, ex-spokesman of Afenifere, lost his life to complications from COVID-19 last weekend.

Ms Odumakin said although her late husband died on Friday, the doctors attending to her could not tell her until Saturday morning.

He died at the intensive care unit of LASUTH where he was being managed for respiratory issues due to complications from COVID-19.

President Muhammadu Buhari and other Nigerians had commiserated with the family of the deceased. Others have also paid condolence visit to his wife.


Ms Odumakin in her piece titled: Yinka: Basking in the shadow that you cast”, gave account of the last days of Mr Odumakin on earth.

“If breath was the currency of life and its legal tender…then, Yinka spent his breath on causes. The medics said his oxygen level was running low but my husband was reaching out for his tab to type out his column.

“He was never frugal in spending that oxygen on his Yoruba earth – his beloved and his Nigeria – his truly beloved. My memories are rousing through chains of pains. A sea surge of a romance which sprouted in Gen. Sani Abacha’s detention.”

Ms Odumakin also shared their story of their love in detention and how the late right activist, Gani Fawehinmi, introduced them to each other during the military days.

“My husband was not a criminal, neither was I. Our crime was standing strong for others as we always have been. We will return to the dingy detention cell in our reminiscences later!

“Who meets and marries from detention at Alagbon? Only Yinka would ask! And only I would say YES! We were introduced to each other by the most qualified, the most preeminent, and the most decorated of inmate – Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAM, SAN).

“Chief said: “Yinka, she’s a man!”. Yinka married both the man & the woman in me!

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“It was our truest solemnization of activist matrimony by a revered High Priest of the struggle…with the trench as our altar and the good of our people as our ultimate goal. Yinka, it cannot be goodbye, It is goodnight and see you later on the other side with God.

“I will bask with reckless abandon in the shadow of your cast. Since no one is permitted in the Critical Care Unit, we had committed you to the care of the best qualified medics at LASUTH and the hand of God hoping to see you next morning.

“The medics said they could not fathom how to immediately relay the message of your passage to me directly.

“Now that I am in possession of your death certificate, I can see you passed at exactly 10.40 p.m. on Good Friday (April 2nd, 2021) and not in the morning of Saturday, April 3rd, 2021) as initially communicated.

READ ALSO: How my husband, Yinka Odumakin, died – Wife

“Due to the principles of the truth and saying it as it is, which Yinka and I hold dear – and which Yinka lived all his adult life for – it is important to immediately put this very important record straight.

“You came! you saw!! and you conquered!!! We will carry forward the baton in the eternal word of our leader, Nigeria will be saved, Nigeria will be changed and Nigeria will become a great nation. Nigeria will work in my lifetime and even in yours as you live on in me, our children and generation yet unborn,” she wrote.

Leading activist

Mr Odumakin was a core activist who started his activism at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where he served as the Public Relations Officer of the university’s Students’ Union.

He was one of Nigeria’s leading democratic activists, an intellectual, and political strategist with an unwavering commitment to freedom, equity, rule of law, and justice.

Till he died, the late Odumakin and his wife were known to call themselves “comrade”.

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