Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has commiserated with the family of the late Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin.
Mr Odumakin died on Saturday at the intensive care unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital where he was being managed for respiratory issues due to complications from COVID-19.
Many Nigerians including President Muhammadu Buhari had described Mr Odumakin as a man of conviction and a strong defender of human rights and dignity.
Mr Osinbajo in a post on Twitter by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said he was shocked by the news of Mr Odumakin’s passing.
“VP Osinbajo is shocked at the sad news of the death of Mr Yinka Odumakin and commiserates with his wife, family and associates. He prays that the Lord will comfort the family, and bless his memory always,” the post read.
The national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in a statement described Mr Odumakin as a sincere Nigerian.
The ex-Lagos governor, who disagreed with Mr Odumakin on several issues while the latter was alive, said the incident was “premature departure of a bright star.”
“Odumakin never held public office. But he has been a constant feature and part of our public consciousness over the last two decades of this unbroken democratic dispensation. He epitomized the true definition of the citizen; a patriot who was ever conscious of the fact that his life could not be complete or his humanity meaningful if he did not take an active interest in and join likeminded fellow citizens in seeking always to promote the common good of his community and country.
“In the course of the last two and a half decades, Odumakin and I had cause to collaborate in various organizations and in pursuit of different political causes at different times and I can testify to his capacity for hard work, his brilliance, his tenacity in his loyalty to his cherished principles. Even if we differed politically, I had no cause to doubt his sincerity in charting his chosen path. He will forever remain a model of what a citizen who places the good of his country above his personal interest could be. For, given his talents and abilities, Odumakin could easily have opted to focus on his personal welfare and that of his family rather than embroil himself in the several struggles he dedicated his life to.
“It is certainly not fortuitous that his wife, the indefatigable Amazon, Dr Joe Odumakin, was Yinka’s comrade in struggle and active collaborator in fighting for justice, liberty and the dignity of the underprivileged. They were iconic soul mates in the ceaseless battle for a better and greater Nigeria.”
Mr Tinubu also commiserated with the leadership of Afenifere and members of the group.
“Odumakin is gone. But he lives on in the memory of millions of his compatriots. May his soul rest in peace,” Mr Tinubu said.
The bishop of the archdiocese of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, said Mr Odumakin chose a good day to depart the world.
“I knew Yinka well. A passionate patriot of deep convictions about what an egalitarian society should look like through the prism of Democracy. He worked passionately and sacrificed for a great country, he said.
“He chose a good day to depart the world: He chose a good day to die. May He rise with the Lord. My consolation to Joe and the children who must be very proud of him.”
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