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(Update): Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin is dead

Spokesman of pan-Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere Yinka Odumakin has died of complications from COVID-19.

The activist had been on ventilator at a treatment centre in Lagos, according to an online media.

“I just spoke with Dr. Joe, his wife. She’s in a panic mode. She said a part of her is gone”, a source told newsmen.

Odumakin was a human rights activist who played a vital role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought General Sani Abacha’s regime after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.

He was also one of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) spokespersons, the body representing ethnic nationalities in the South-West, South-South, South-East and the Middle Belt.

In the meantime, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mourned the passage of Mr. Yinka Odumakin.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the late human rights and pro-democracy activist, as a great nationalist, passionate leader and champion of a true Nigeria that would work for every citizen.

He said the Afenifere spokesman lived a selfless life, adding that Yinka Odumakin will not be forgotten in a hurry.

“It is with deep sense of sorrow but with a heart full of gratitude to God for a good life spent by the late Yinka Odumakin that I write to commiserate with the family, friends and associates of the late Yinka Odumakin.

“Odumakin was undoubtedly a great nationalist, passionate leader and champion of a true Nigeria that would work for every citizen.

“Odumakin as civil rights activist was selfless. He spent the greater part of his life in the service of humanity, particularly the emancipation of the Yoruba people, the development of the South West region in particular and the nation in general.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu also stated that Odumakin “stood firmly behind the attainment of constitutional democracy and fiscal federalism as the basis for sustainable development and lifting the masses out of poverty.”

“As spokesman for the Afenifere, Odumakin made his mark and became a reference point as major voice for the development of the Yoruba race. He will surely be missed.

The Governor said he personally followed the late Odumakin and found his principled position and capacity to speak truth to power as crucial for Nigeria’s political and economic development.

He condoled with the family of the deceased, especially his wife, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Afenifere and the entire Yoruba race over the death of the civil rights activist and prayed God to grant his departed soul eternal rest and grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Omolara Omosanya

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