Fayemi, Olayinka’s mum weep
Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Madam Adetutu, Grace Famuagun, mother of the deceased deputy governor of the state Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olayinka wept uncontrollably yesterday when the former paid a condolence visit the family. Mrs Olayinka, 52, who was a banker before she became the state’s Number two citizen, died last Saturday after losing her battle against cancer.
News of her death had thrown the state into deep mourning even as tributes in her honour had continued to pour in, in torrents from across the nation. Governor Fayemi and the octogenarian mother of his deputy gave emotions free rein when the former accompanied by his wife, Bisi arrived at the Oke-Ori Omi, Ado-Ekiti home of the Olayinkas on condolence visit. Dr Fayemi could not hold back tears at the sight of Madam Famuagun, who was every inch in the throes of deep mourning.
The scenario was said to have turned emotional when Madam Famuagun, 81, at seeing Fayemi, cried out: “Kayode, where is my daughter? Where is your deputy? Kayode? Where is Funmi?” The governor, who could not say a word, was said to have broken into tears and soon began to weep uncontrollably. Mrs. Olayinka died in a Lagos hospital after a prolong battle with cancer, which saw her in and out of hospital before she finally bowed to death last Saturday.
The Ekiti State Government had issued a statement last month asking the people of Ekiti to pray for her to survive the sickness, which was then not disclosed. There was also controversy over alleged jostling for the position of the deputy governor by some politicians from Ado-Ekiti when her sickness was speculated to have become worse. This was said to have led to a cry for mercy by her brother, Mr. Olusegun Famuwagun, who pleaded that politicians in the state should let the woman live and not take her job yet.
Meanwhile, some prominent people and parties have continued to mourn the late deputy governor among them were Aare Afe Babalola, former governor of old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua; former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni; Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Jide Awe and his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe. Aare Babalola described the death of Olayinka as “a shock to me. I feel it is a great loss.
She was a bright star – a good example of what a woman can do. I commiserate with the family. And I pray that her soul rest in perfect peace.” On his part, Evangelist Olumilua, who was accompanied by his wives, said in his condolence message: “The more glorious a life, the more trouble to expect. With Jesus all is well.” Chief Oni branded the death of the deputy governor, as a loss, not only to the people of Ekiti State but to the entire country.
Also in his reaction, the Chairman of ACN Chief Awe and his counterpart in the PDP, Chief Ogundipe, described her death as a colossal loss to the state and Nigeria at large. Awe, who spoke with journalists in Ado Ekiti, said Olayinka would forever be remembered for her steadfastness, describing her as a politician with high level of morality and glamour. The PDP chairman in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Omolusi, described the death of Olayinka as a great loss to Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and Nigeria at large.
He said the late deputy governor was a woman of high reputation and someone passionate about the development of the state. Meanwhile, Governor Fayemi has declared seven day mourning on the death of Mrs Olayinka. He said in a broadcast message: “My dear good people of Ekiti State. With grief in my heart, I address you today on the passage of our deputy governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka.
“In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of seven-day mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half-mast. During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended.”