As encomiums pour in for late old western region gov
From WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State capital, Ado-Ekiti was shut down yesterday by a tumultuous crowd who attended the lying in state for late General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, governor of Old Western Region, who passed on at 89 recently.
Late Adebayo hailed from Iyin-Ekiti, Irepodun-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Ekiti.
At the instance of Governor Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti people, clad in “Aso Ebi” with image of late Adebayo embossed, thronged the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti to pay last respects to the late general and leader of his people.
Governor Fayose had arranged a uniform Aso Ebi for all Ekiti people attending the epoch-making event. He had subsidised price of the Aso Ebi with N3000 for four yards each, so each person had paid as little as N1000 for four yards with a company price of N4000.
Adebayo’s corpse had left Ibadan, Oyo State capital and was received by Fayose at the border town of Ita Awure in Ekiti where it was taken to Oluyemi Kayode Stadium amid pomp and ceremony.
Tributes from various associates, groups, family and friends among others had greeted the arrival of Adebayo’s remains tucked in a beautiful casket that was wrapped with flags of Ekiti and Nigeria.
The high point of the Lying –in –State was the 21-gun salute by local hunters as commanded by Fayose.
Former governor of Ekiti State and son of the late general, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, led the family members to the venue of the funeral.
Stakeholders, including Governor Fayose, Secretary , Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide, former Registrar of the West African Examinations Council(WAEC), Chief Olu Ajayi, President of Ekitiparapo in Lagos, Chief Esan Ogunleye, showered encomiums on the General Adebayo for exposing Ekiti to modernity while in the saddle in the old Western Region.
Fayose described general Adebayo as a true face of Yoruba nation and Nigeria, who genuinely fought for the unity of the country during the civil war that nearly ripped the country apart from 1967 to 1970.
Fayose said: “We are celebrating General Adebayo today because he had paid his dues. He had done Ekiti and Nigeria proud as a disciplined military man.