Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has described the late ex-Ondo State Governor, Evang. Bamidele Olumilua as a leader who valued self respect, saying he was never a contract-seeking individual in quest for material acquisition.
The governor said the late Olumilua never wavered from telling the truth to power owing to the fact that he was not materialistic or compromised his integrity through unnecessary drives for contracts and other enjoyments.
Fayemi spoke in Ikere-Ekiti, on Friday, August 28, during an interdenominational burial procession held for the former Govenor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Ishola Olumilua .
Olumilua, who died on June 4, 2020, at the age of 80, was the governor of the old Ondo State between 1992 and 1993, on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
At the ceremony, ace gospel musician, Evangelist Bola Are rendered songs to thrill the congregation at the church programme held at the chapel built within the premises of Great Expectations Hotel owned by the late All Progressives Congress (APC) leader along Ado-Akure highway in Ikere-Ekiti.
Political heavyweights at the burial included : Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), represented by the Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, as well as former Governors Segun Oni and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State respectively among other important dignitaries across Nigeria and beyond.
Fayemi in his tribute applauded Olumilua for his love and compassion for Ekiti, saying he had left an indelible footprint on Ekiti’s socio-political sand.
“Baba Olumilua embraced all the governors of Ekiti regardless of party affiliation. He scolded, chastised us when the need be. He was a governor for less than two years in Ondo, but he was able to transform the state.
“His singular action led to the admission of Ondo into the comity of oil producing states. All the governors from Ekiti always went to him to drink from his wealth of experience.
“He always spoke the minds of the people by speaking the truth to power. When he called you, he was not calling for contract or any money, he always discussed developmental issues. We all benefited from his generosity of spirit.
“The greatest legacy we learned about his life and time is that, good name is better than gold and silver and that the best service one can render is service to the people.
“We admired and thank him for his life of selfless service to the people of Ekiti and Ondo States.”
In his sermon entitled ‘inevitability of Death’, Pastor T.O. Falade of the Gospel Faith Mission International, described death as a debt everyone, rich or poor will pay to either gain eternity or hell fire.
He said: “Some are living their lives as if they will be here forever, this is not possible. I want to encourage you to bear your minds towards that day when death would come to knock on your door.
“Baba Olumilua was a governor of a state at a time and this did not deprive him of serving God. He was prayerful, because he knew that one day he would be called to judgement.”
Quoting from the books of Revelation 20 vs 11, the cleric reminded that men are mere mortals, who shouldn’t perceive themselves as being important or found in corrupt acts that could make them lose eternity.
“Any man, any governor, President, Bishop whose name is not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire, but change your ways, don’t wait until this becomes your portion, because it is not easy to stand the judgement of God.
“At a time, Evang Olumilua was a governor. That was his season and he spent it for God. Try and spend your season for God, don’t spend it foolishly or anyhow. We can’t cheat death, it is inevitable. You will account for all your deeds.
“Some are going to God, attending churches, but still engaging in occultism, if this is what you believe in, you are going to hell fire”, he warned.
In her eulogies to the late Olumilua, the deceased’s first daughter, Mrs Yetunde Banjo, described her father as a stickler for rules, whose erudition and love for scholarship knew no bounds.
“My father was a thoroughly educated person. He could speak on any topic under the sun. He believed that hardwork and prayer can take you to wherever you want.
“As a governor, he told one of his children not to think he had any special entitlement. He told the son right away that he was the governor and not the son and should forget about thinking that he should enjoy special benefit as a governor’s son.”
Dignitaries at the interment ceremony were : former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko , former Governor Oni, ex-Governor Fayose, his Deputy, Olusola Eleka, the Ekiti first lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Deputy Governor Bisi Egbeyemi, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Hon Bimbo Daramola, and Hon. Yemi Adaramodu.
The roll call also included: Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, Anglican Communion, Most Rev Christopher Omotunde, Bishop of Agape Christains Ministries, Bishop Felix Adejumo, among others.