Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Prominent Nigerians including the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; the governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi, yesterday paid glowing to tributes on the founder of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr Fredrick Fasehun, as his (Fasehun) remains were interred at his Ondo country home.
Also in attendance were the former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko and the co-ordinators of the OPC in all states of the South West and their members.
The vice president who graced both the funeral service held at the Anglican Church, Ondo and the interment ceremony at Fasehun’s residence located at Jolaco area, along Ife Road, Ondo, said Nigeria had lost a warrior who dedicated his entire life time to the service of humanity.
Describing the late Fasehun as a brave and courageous person, Osinbajo stressed that the commitment of the late founder of the OPC to democracy could not be over emphasised.
He said, as a brilliant medical doctor, he contributed significantly to the development of medicine in the country and made useful impact on Nigerian medical system since his return to the country.
Osinbajo said Fasehun would be remembered for his service to humanity, especially his roles in founding the OPC, which he said was among the pressure groups that fought for the return of democracy to the country.
Also, the vice president who recalled the roles played by Fasehun during and after the 1993 presidential election stated that Nigeria will not forget people like Fasehun.
He recalled that the late OPC founder suffered greatly in the hands of the military dictator, General Sanni Abacha, because of his belief in the rule of law and democracy, recalling that he was remanded for 20 months in Ikoyi prison by the Abacha-led military government.
He maintained that the legacy left behind by the late Fasehun would be remembered forever, adding that the beneficiaries of his charity programmes who spread across different parts of the country will not forget him.
“We will definitely miss this great Nigerian. We will miss his contributions to the growth and development of our nation. We will miss his contributions to the medical profession and his life will continue to be an example for many to follow,” Osinbajo added.
Speaking, Ondo State governor, Mr Akeredolu said the late Fasehun served Nigeria till he breathed his last, saying that posterity will never forget him.
According to him, Fasehun suffered seriously for the Yoruba race because of his belief in an egalitarian and just society and his fight for the freedom of the Yoruba race.
Akeredolu stated that Fasehun and a few other Yoruba leaders fought for the freedom Nigerians enjoy today.
He noted that founding OPC was one of the legacies Fasehun left behind, adding that the OPC which he nurtured to what it is now will continue with what the deceased represented while alive.
In his sermon, the Anglican Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Bishop Gabriel Akinbiyi, enjoined the people to live a life that will be worthy of emulation like the late Fasehun.
He reminded the congregation that the earth is a temporary place and everyone will die one day.
However, the national co-ordinator of the OPC who is also the Are Ona kakanfo of Yoruba land, Gani Adams, was absent at the burial ceremony.