Gale of tributes and encomiums have been pouring in for leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Fasanmi.
First son of the deceased, Justice Obafemi, confirmed his death. Fasanmi was admitted at the Osun State hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo since last week, but died on Wednesday, two months before his 95th birthday.
A senator in the second republic and devout follower of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he was an indigene of Ekiti State, though he lived all his life in Osogbo, Osun State.
While condoling with the people, governments of Osun and Ekiti, family members, friends and associates of the elder statesman, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a message by Mr Femi Adesina, described his death as a big loss to the nation.
The president said the elder statesman always stood for the truth, especially on issues related to the uplifting of the downtrodden. He affirmed that Fasanmi’s wise counsels borne out of humility, deep reflection, diligent studies and experience, would be sorely missed by governments at different levels.
Leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), described his death as a huge loss to the progressives family in Nigeria.
The South West Zonal Publicity Secretary of APC, Chief Karounwi Oladapo, in statement, said Pa Fasanmi, was an honest and consistent politician, who never flirted from one political ideology to the other.
The South West APC Leaders urged the Federal Government to name a national monument after him, in recognition of his innumerable contributions to democracy, good governance and national development.
•He’s death turns me to political orphan –Akande
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, in his tribute said with the death of the late politician, he has lost a father, mentor and political leader.
“I’m suddenly made a political orphan by the passing of Papa Ayo Fasanmi at this point. It is shocking and very painful to me personally because he was my political godfather since he introduced me to Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1977. I am sure his passing is a great loss to the Yoruba nation and to Nigeria as a whole.”
•Huge loss to Nigera -Kalu
Former Abia governor and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, has also expressed sadness over the demise of elder statesman.
Acknowledging the contributions of the late politician to nation building, Kalu stressed that the deceased dedicated his life to the service of humanity. The former governor, while urging the Fasanmi family to uphold the worthy legacies of their late patriarch, noted that the political ideals and democratic values of the late Pa Fasanmi will continue to speak for him.
In a condolence message from the office of the Chief Whip, Kalu commiserated with people and government of Ekiti state, family members, friends and associates of the late Senator.
“The late Pa Fasanmi played prominent roles in the social, economic and political development of Nigeria. The deceased was known for his patriotic and unbiased contributions to national discourse. The late politician will be remembered for his good deeds”.
The former governor while praying to God to repose the soul of Pa Fasanmi, urged the deceased’s family to take solace in the fact that their late patriarch lived a purposeful life.
•Ekiti proud to have produced him –Fayemi
Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, described the late Afenifere leader as one of the heroes of democracy being enjoyed in the country today, steadfast Awoist and committed progressive who was a torchbearer for younger progressives in his lifetime.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said Ekiti is proud to have produced Fasanmi who served as a parliamentarian at different times in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
He said the late Pa Fasanmi demonstrated courage in his stand against military dictatorship at a time it was very dangerous to dare the most vicious dictatorship in the nation’s history.
•Grounded leader –Obaseki
Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in a statement, said Senator Fasanmi was a grounded leader and thoroughbred politician, who was deeply committed to the welfare of his people and the development of the country.
“He was one of the finest politicians around who prioritised the needs of the people above all else. He made indelible marks in the political development of the country that would not be forgotten in a hurry.”