All Progressive Congress, APC, chieftain, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu have extolled the virtues of late Afenifere leader Pa Fasanmi.
While condoling the family, Tinubu said, “I commiserate with the family, associates and progressives throughout our country, the South-west and Ekiti State in particular over the passing of eminent politician, elder statesman and beloved leader of Afenifere, Senator Ayo Fasanmi. With his passing, we have lost someone special and excellent in every way.
According to Tinubu, Papa’s long sojourn on earth was for the good of all. He walked at the vanguard of all democrats, freedom fighters and believers in true federalism. To have lived to the age of 94 was God’s gift not only to him and his family, but to this nation he loved so deeply.
“A colourful personality, Papa was principled, courageous and honest. He was a loyal and dependable ally of the indomitable Chief Obafemi Awolowo. For all his life, Pa Fasanmi practiced and advanced the virtues he learned at the feet of his leader. He never betrayed those values.
“Like American civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis, who was buried today (Thursday, July 30), Papa Fasanmi remained faithful to the truth for which he suffered greatly. Yet, no matter the cost, he never strayed from his principles. A brave man, he never flinched at the prospect of speaking truth to power.
“I had a close relationship with Paba Fasanmi, dating back many years. He was a mentor and role model to me and many others who believe in progressive politics as a means to uplift our society and its people. When Papa was recently admitted to the hospital for age-related sickness, I spoke to him and followed up with his close aide to monitor his situation.
“As Afenifere leader, he was a true believer in the importance of fiscal federalism as essential for the growth of Nigeria. His vision for our nation was a coherent and correct one.
“I share in the grief of this moment with his political soulmates, Pa Fasoranti, Chief Bisi Akande, and others. I also commiserate with Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.he said.
Papa Fasoranti according to him, devoted himself toward progressive development and democratic advancement. This fine job has not been completed. The Nigeria of our dreams is still a work in progress. Papa Fasanmi struggled for that dream and supported those patriots, like President Muhammadu Buhari, who also toiled for the same goal. Let us all learn from Papa Fasanmi’s example and join hands to move Nigeria towards the safe harbour of peace and prosperity.
He prayed that Almighty God grant the soul of Pa Fasanmi eternal rest.
May God also guide and comfort his family that they may have the strength and perseverance to continue after him through living by his example. God bless Nigeria.
On his part, Sanwo-Olu has expressed sadness over the death of an elder statesman and leader of Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere, Senator Ayo Fasanmi whom he described as “a great Nationalist, passionate leader and humility personified.” He was aged 94.
Pa Fasanmi, also the leader of Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba, died in the early hours of Thursday, after a brief illness.
Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said the death of the nonagenarian came at a critical period when his wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom was most needed in Nigeria.
He also described the late Pa Fasanmi as a complete gentleman and selfless leader said he contributed immensely to the development of South West region in particular and the nation in general.
According to the Governor, “Pa Fasanmi, was an exemplary leader who spent the greater part of his life in the service of humanity, particularly the Yoruba cause where he contributed to the development of the region.
Sanwo-Olu recalled, ” In the old Western Nigeria, Pa Fasanmi served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation.
“He was National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in 1977, elected into the Senate in 1979, and became a member of the House of Representatives in 1983.
He also served as a member of the National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1994.
“Pa Fasanmi was indeed an icon who will never be forgotten in history of Nigeria and the Yoruba race. He will surely be missed.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said that late Pa Fasanmi, who was an “Awoist” to the core, would be remembered for his words of wisdom in keeping Nigeria as one united entity.”
The Governor added that Pa Fasanmi, had always been advocating to Yoruba leaders to forget their differences and close the ranks for the good of the Yoruba race and Nigeria as a whole.
According to the Governor, “the late Pa Fasanmi made the call in Lagos in his remark at the public presentation of the book: “Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency”, written by Professor Wale Adebanwi, an Associate Professor in African American and African Studies, University of California-Davis.
“According to the frontline politician and second republic senator, this is (then) the time for political differences that have existed among the Awoists and the entire Afenifere clan to be cleared.
“At this auspicious time in our country, it is good we are having an occasion like this which brings many of us (Awolowo Associates) together. The event of today suggests to me that we need to forget our differences.”
Sanwo-Olu stated that the above statement among other great virtues are what the late Fasanmi stood for.
“On behalf of my family, the Lagos State Government and people of the state, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the immediate family members of the deceased; the government and people of Ekiti and Ondo States over the irreparable loss.
“May God give the departed soul eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the loss. Adieu Pa Fasanmi,” Sanwo-Olu stated.