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Lagos lawmakers mourn Buraimoh at valedictory session

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020, was particularly a sad day for lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly. A valedictory session was held in honour of one of their colleagues, the late House Committee Chairman on Information, Strategy and Security, Hon. Tunde Buraimoh, who died on July 10. A visitor to the plenary on Tuesday needed not be told that the legislators, especially the Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, were in deep mourning over what all of them (lawmakers) described as “one death too many.”

But beyond describing the late Buraimoh, who represented Kosofe Constituency 2 in the Assembly until his death as a rare gem and excellent legislator, it was said that never had any lawmaker’s death in the Assembly since 1999, when the country returned to democratic rule, been as painful and touching as that of Buraimoh, also popularly called Bamofin (one with a sound knowledge of law). Even from the way the lawmakers dressed, with most of them wearing dark apparels and in sombre mood, the message was clearly that of ‘irreplaceable’ personality, a huge loss to the Assembly and the family of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Lagos State.

Reading through members’ condolence messages one after the other, Speaker Obasa said he was yet to come to terms with Buraimoh’s death two weeks after.

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He expressing how dear the lawmaker was to him, not just as a friend but also in the capacity of discharging his duties as the leader of the Assembly, Obasa said, “I have lost one of the most resourceful members that I depended on for advice,”

For the period both Obasa and Buraimoh served in the Assembly, the speaker said his late bosom friend was always willing to offer advice, adding, “he never had no for an answer; he had a ready answer to any question.”

Speaking on Buraimoh’s intelligence in legislative business, Obasa said his departed friend and colleague was a man with “an uncommon intelligence and political sagacity and a man of honour,” and also called him a “respecter of constituted authority.”

The Speaker then directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to write the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to inform them about the death of Braimoh.

While Obasa described Buraimoh in the context of a fellow lawmaker, a personal and trusted friend, his deputy, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who represents Lagos Island Constituency 1, addressed the session in his capacity as Buraimoh’s university colleague.

According to him, “I stand up with a heavy heart to mourn Braimoh. We went to the same university and graduated together. We started the Fourth Republic together in 1999. He was sociable and intelligent. I commiserate with Mr. Speaker, and I pray that may we not witness any loss in the state House of Assembly again.”

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The Assembly also went down memory lane regarding the death of the federal lawmaker that represented Lagos East, Senator Bayo Oshinowo, who died about a month before Buraimoh. The late federal lawmaker was also a member of the Assembly until 2019 when he contested and won the Lagos East Senatorial seat. Painfully also, both Buraimoh and Oshinowo were from the same Kosofe Constituency and were both strong grassroots’ politicians until their death.

Buraimoh served as a former chairman of Kosofe Local Government Area and was fondly called the Bamofin of Ketuland.In one of Buraimoh’s last encounters with The Guardian over negative perceptions regarding the state Assembly being a rubberstamp of the national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, Buraimoh strongly defended the integrity of the assembly as an independent body and probably the best state assembly in the country.

A schoolmate of Buraimoh and former Abuja Bureau Chief of The Guardian, Mr. Niyi Bello said he and the deceased attended Oyo State College of Arts and Science (OSCAS) together from 1982 to 1984, where he said Buraimoh started his political career as a strong influencer, and one of those that determined who wins the election of the president of the school’s Student Union Government. According to Bello, “Buraimoh was a very vocal person.”

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