Eminent personalities, including the Senate President Bukola Saraki, governors, former civilian and military governors, Yoruba leaders on Thursday gathered in Ibadan the Oyo State capital to pay last respect to former Military Governor of Western Region, Retired Major General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo at a day of tribute held at House of Chiefs, Ibadan.
Leading the family to pay last respect is the scion of Adebayo family and former Governor of Ekiti Adeniyi Adebayo, accompanied by the widow of the deceased Mrs. Modupe Adebayo.
The corpse had earlier been received around 2pm at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
It was accompanied to the venue around 2.48pm by four governors- Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rauf Aregebsola (Osun), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo).
General Adebayo it will be recalled died on 8th March, 2017 at the age of 89, a day before his 90th birthday.
At the lying in state, apart from Saraki and governors are Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, Deputy Governor of Osun State, Chief Grace Laoye Tomori, former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, Former Military Governors of old Oyo State, General David Medaiyese Jemibewon, Col. Oladayo Popoola and Real Admirer Akin Aduwo and former Civilian Governor of old Oyo State Dr. Victor Olunloyo, former Deputy Governor of Oyo State Chief Iyiola Oladokun.
Others include the Olubadan of Ibadanland, who was represented by his chief led by High Chief Owolabi Olakulehin (Balogun of Ibadanland), Secretary to Ogun State Governor Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa and Commissioner of Police in Oyo State Mr. Abiodun Odude.
Also in the list is the Senators representing Oyo Central and North, Alhaja Monsurat Sunmonu and Dr. Abdulfatai Buhari, members of Executive Councils in Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti.
The Provost of the Cathedral, St. Peters Anglican Church, Ibadan, Venerable Wale Adebiyi and representatives of Chief Imam of Ibadanland Sheik Abubakri Abdulganiy Agbotomokekere prayed for the soul of the departed octogenarian.
Saraki while speaking urged the gathering not to mourn but to celebrate a life well spent.
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He said “I stand here not to mourn but celebrate General Adebayo, it is not common for six state governors to celebrate an individual, let me commend the efforts of the organizers.
“I think Baba Adebayo deserves more than this, on behalf of entire Senate General Adebayo is more than South-West.
“That is why the entire Nigeria is here to honour General Adebayo.
“The only tribute we can have for them is to sustain the labour of our past heroes not to die in vain.”
Ajimobi while speaking on behalf of his colleagues, described Adebayo as an illustrious son of Africa.
“Papa fought a good fight, and we take solace, I congratulate us all for the good works of the late General Adeyinka Adebayo.
“Papa has carved his name on our heart, his legacy will always remain in our heart. May his gentle soul rest in peace”, he said.
Secretary to Oyo State Government who is also the Chairman of the planning committee, Alhaji Olalekan Alli earlier said that the demise of Adebayo though heartbreaking was a thing of joy for a life well spent.
He said the choice of Ibadan for the day of tribute was in recognition of his contributions.
Members of the Yoruba Council of Elders who spoke through Chief Sofola, described the demise of Adebayo as a hugh loss.
“He was an embodiment of what has been said here. As Military Governor, he contributed to the betterment of his people and as Chairman of YCE he worked diligently for the betterment of people”, he stated.
Representative of Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka represented by DVC (Admin) Professor Emilolorun Ayelari declared that tremendwous achievements by the former Pro Chancellor of the university will continue to be remembered by the university.