Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has said that the demise of former Afenifere leader, Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi at Nigeria’s most distressful period was very painful.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, in a condolence message to Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said with the death of Pa Fasanmi, the Southern and Middle Belt Forum, has lost one of its guiding fathers.
Nwodo’s message reads, “It is with a pained heart that I received the news of the demise of our father and foremost Yoruba leader, Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi. It is sad that Pa Fasanmi left us now that his wise counsel is needed most in the nation’s march towards democratization and in its most distressful period.
“I can recall Senator Fasanmi’s innumerable contributions to nation building as a pharmacist, politician and elder statesman during his stint as President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation, Member of the Federal House of Representatives and Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I also recall that Pa Fasanmi made remarkable contributions as a member of the Constituent Assembly that produced the 1979 Constitution and also member of the National Constitution Conference Commission in 1994.
“It is indubitable that with his passing on, Afenifere, and indeed the Southern and Middle Belt Forum, have lost one of their guiding fathers, especially at a time when his invaluable contribution is most needed to restructure and bring the country back on the track of sanity.”
Describing the late Yoruba leader as one that was humble, selfless, and a champion of democracy, Nwodo said he gave the Yoruba nation a place in Nigerian politics by contributing to the formation and sustenance of Afenifere. He further said, “As an ardent follower of the great sage, Pa Awolowo, Senator Fasanmi was consistent in his fight for the downtrodden, epitomised in his immortal statement that ‘my greatest challenge is ensuring that Awo’s legacies do not end.”