Fayose, Babalola pay tributes to Adeyinka Adebayo in Ado Ekiti
Thousands of Ekiti State indigenes yesterday celebrated the life and times of the former Military Governor of old Western Region, General Adeyinka Robert Adebayo at a colourful lying-in-state ceremony organized by the state government.
The farewell service, which took place at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti, was attended by many dignitaries across the country who took turns to pay their last respect to the departed General.
The State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, had declared yesterday a work-free day and ordered all markets closed to allow the residents pay their last respects for the late General.
Adebayo’s remains will be buried today in his Iyin-Ekiti country home after a commendation service at All Saints Anglican Church. 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 between 1967 and 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
“Baba in his lifetime did his best. He was a symbol of hope for the present generation, the coming one and the one yet unborn. My person in particular, I benefited from his counsels which had helped in the governance of this state. He was a dedicated and hardworking man, who sees Ekiti as a project that must succeed.
“The works of a man speak for him after death. General Adebayo truly never wanted civil war and he fought on the side of the country for Nigeria to sustain the unity of our dear nation.”
Fayose called on Ekiti populace to pray to the Almighty to grant the family the needed unity that would sustain the legacies he left behind. Foremost legal luminary, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) described the late General as a patriotic Nigerian who will be remembered for his roles in the development of the Western Region.
He said: “General Adebayo was a part of Nigerian history. He will be remembered for his humility, dedication to duty and as an incorruptible leader who left an enviable legacy for all to learn lessons from.”
In his brief sermon, the Special Assistant on Religious Matters to Governor Fayose, Pastor Seyi Olusola, urged the people to learn from Adebayo’s death, saying “everybody will die at the appointed time no matter how great, connected or influential you are, so you must be good to humanity.”
Quoting from the Books of Hebrew and Ecclesiastes Chapter 6 Verse 3, Pastor Olusola added: “You should change that your bad attitude
because if you die today what will the people say about you, good or bad? And immediately you die, you will face judgment. If you have a problem in court, you can hire good lawyers and wriggle your way out, but in heaven, such is impossible,” he said.
Former governor of Ekiti State and son of the late general, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, led the family members to the venue of the event where Fayose commanded the local hunters to give the departed General a 21-gun salute.
The venue of the event was filled to the brim, as people clad in Ankara Aso Ebi, adorned with the portrait of General Adebayo, danced to
all sorts of music being produced by local musicians.
Dignitaries at the ceremony include former governor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, former military Governors of Ogun and Ekiti States, Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin and Atanda Yusuf, Catholic Bishop of Ekiti, Most Reverend Felix Ajakaye, former Deputy Governors of Ekiti and Lagos, Chief Paul Alabi, Dr Sikiru Lawal and Mrs Sinatu Ojikutu.
Others include Secretary, Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr Kunle Olajide, former Registrar of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Chief Olu Ajayi, President of Ekitiparapo in Lagos, Chief Esan Ogunleye and former member, House of Representatives, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele.