From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has mourned the death of the former Military Governor of Oyo State, General Adetunji Idowu Olurin (retd), who passed on Saturday morning at the age of 76.
Governor Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, expressed shock over the news of the death of Olurin, who he described as a gallant military officer and an astute administrator.
According to the governor, the death of the former Civilian Administrator of Ekiti State occurred at a time the country and Ogun State needed his security expertise in tackling various security challenges confronting the nation.
He added that the late general was an illustrious son of Ogun State who put the state and Nigeria on the global map with his exploits when he served as the ECOMOG Commander in Liberia.
‘General Olurin of the popular Olurin Family in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of the state served Nigeria and ECOWAS in many capacities,’ the governor’s statement read.
‘He was Military Governor of Oyo State and later Civilian Administrator of Ekiti State after retirement. He was also Chancellor of Nigeria’s first University of Education – Tai Solarin University of Education, TASUED, Ijebu Ode.
‘At the international level, he was ECOMOG Commander.
‘General Olurin, who was the Commander, 1st Mechanised Brigade, Minna, GOC, 3rd Armoured Division, Jos, also lectured on peacekeeping at the International Peace Academy, the National War College, and United Nations seminars in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.
‘As a recipient of many honours including the United Nations Peace Medal and the Knight Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption (KCHOAR), Liberia’s highest national honour award, as well as an honorary Paramount Chief of the Republic of Liberia, he had made Ogun stand out, not only the country but at the global level.
‘On behalf of my family and the people of Ogun State, I commiserate with the entire Olurin Family of Ilaro. The demise of one of Nigeria’s finest military officers is a painful loss to our state and the country.
‘We shall continue to remember the late General for his meritorious service to his fatherland as well as statesmanship. He shall be sorely missed not only by his family and kinsmen in Ilaro, but the entire people of Ogun, and by extension Nigeria.
‘I pray the Almighty God rest his soul, forgive his shortcomings and grant his family members fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss,’ Abiodun was quoted to have said in the statement.
Also, the former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola and the Chairman, Board of Directors, Ogun Guandong Free Trade Zone, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, expressed shock over the demise of General Olurin.
Daniel, in a statement he personally signed, described the late General as an eminent statesman and the disciplined officer who served Nigeria and Ogun with grace and candour.
Senator Adeola in a statement made available to reporters in Abeokuta by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, said the passing away of the famous army general is as a huge loss not only to his people in Ilaro, Yewaland and Ogun State but indeed a great loss to Nigeria and the international community.
‘General Olurin was a true patriot, a nationalist that sacrificed much not only for the unity of Nigeria but peace and security in the West African sub-region and the African continent. His expertise in security and administration will be sorely missed,’ the senator stated.
In his own statement entitled “We lost an Icon”, Isiaka, who noted that late Olurin’s life was that of service to humanity.
‘He was a consummate military officer whose intervention in crucial national assignments, left indelible landmarks. Baba was also a seasoned administrator who did creditably well when called to serve as a Military Governor and later in life as Sole Administrator.
‘More importantly, Ogun West has just been deprived of one of its illustrious and mortal icons; coming at a season when his fatherly advice would be needed in navigating a new national democratic order that is so needed at this time,’ Isiaka stated.