Chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and former presidential candidate of the party, Nuhu Ribadu, are leading a trail of tributes pouring out to the family of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, who died Saturday after a long and painful battle against breast cancer.
Tinubu, a close associate of the late deputy governor described her death as “a devastating loss to the family, [and] the government and people of Ekiti State” saying, her passage “is a big blow and comes at a time when she is most needed to play a vital role in the transformation of Ekiti.”
Ribadu, in his remarks, said “this is undoubtedly a big blow to the wonderful people of Ekiti State, whose quest for a progressive agenda for development found a passionate missioner in her person” adding that “It needs no retelling that the nation as a whole, and the women community in particular, lost, in this sad passage, an eloquent voice for democracy, for inclusion, and for purpose in governance.”
Both leaders praised her public roles when she lived. “Alongside the people of Ekiti, I share in the sudden and painful loss of this great daughter of Oduduwa and rising star, Mrs. Olayinka,” Tinubu said in a late Saturday statement, praying “for solace for her family and Ekiti sons and daughters through the trying period;” and using the incident to lament at the state of health facilities in Nigeria.
Ribadu said he “understands, as indeed our nation does, that the deepest pain from this loss is from her family, [but] join all well wishers to condole with her husband and children, sharing with them the prayers of consolation, and urging them to be fully enriched by her legacy of service, love of humanity, and vision of a better community.”
Mr Tinubu who was a two-time governor in Lagos state remarked that “Her painful death sadly reminds us of the parlous state of our health care system in Nigeria,” disclosing that “the lives of millions of our men and women are in jeopardy as they suffer under the disease of cancer without early detection and adequate treatment” but calling for “A national cancer centre of international status…to be established with proper funding and subsidized cost for testing and treatment.”
He said: “Nigerians must continue the struggle against cancer and hold out their candles for all that have died and those suffering from this terrible disease and by so doing, we will get the government doing something and keep hope alive.”
“My prayers also include a calming and guiding hand of the Lord” said Mr. Ribadu “to support my friend and brother, Governor Kayode Fayemi, as he bears this loss, and as he enthuses citizens of the state to value the fact that when people are in the Lord, as Mrs. Olayinka was, their passage is to the bosom of the lord.”
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