By Lukman Olabiyi
Rights activists, politicians and others, yesterday, eulogied the late spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, as his funeral rites commenced in Lagos.
The event: “Day of tributes and service of songs” held at the Police College, Ikeja, was also used to reecho the need to restructure Nigeria.
Those who called for restructuring and immortalisation of Odumakin included Speaker of House for Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, national leader of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, former Ogun governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams.
Obi, in his tribute, said the greatest problem of Nigeria is the politicians because only few of them fulfill their promises to the masses.
The former Anambra governor held that the best way to immortalise Odumakin was to continue fighting for all that he believed in, which restructuring of the country was part of.
Pa Adebanjo, who broke down in tears, said Odumakin would be difficult to replace because of his nature and what he stood for.
He described him as selfless, patriotic, non-tribalistic and courageous person who fought for the commonman through out is lifetime.
The Afenifere leader charged all rights activists not to let what he fought for be in vain.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also applauded him for his doggedness in fighting for the masses and democracy. He urged all rights activists to continue the good work of fighting for the masses and democracy where Odumakin stopped.
Adams also shared the same view on the need to continue fighting for restructuring in order to immortalise Odumakin.
The widow and President, Women Arise Initiative, Joe-Okei Odumakin, said she would love to go through her life with the deceased activist if there is reincarnation.
He described him as an encyclopedia of positive activism while noting that it was difficult to speak about him having known him for three decades.
She, however, stated that the encomiums showered on him would serve as a soothing balm, assuring that his ideals will live forever.
“We spent 24 years together. Comrade was very selfless. The week before he left before going to the hospital, he told me his itinerary but the physiotherapist said his oxygen was low. But, he still went ahead with his itinerary for the Nigerian course.
“All that had been said about him would always remain as soothing balm. One thing that is assuring is that his ideals will live forever,” Joe stated.