A former governor of the defunct Western State of Nigeria, Adeyinka Adebayo, is dead.
He was 89 and died in Lagos.
His death was confirmed by sources closed to the family, saying he died in the early hours of Wednesday in his sleep.
The retired major general was governor of the western state between August 1966 and April 1971 and also served as President of the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE.
A former governor of late Mr. Adebayo’s home state of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, has mourned his passing.
Mr. Fayemi, the current Minister of Mines and Steel Development, described the deceased as a devoted father, leader and administrator with uncommon love and commitment for the progress of his people.
Mr. Fayemi said the death of the foremost Yoruba leader has robbed the Yoruba race and indeed the country of a true patriot and a great leader.
The minister in a condolence message signed by his special assistant on media, Yinka Oyebode, described the late Mr. Adebayo as a distinguished and highly refined leader and elder statesman, who lived his entire active life and retirement working for the unity and progress of the country.
“Baba was fervent in his zeal for the unity and progress of the country. His love for his fellow citizens and his fatherland was legendary. He was a man of great intellect and great taste who attained greatness by dint of hard work and dedication,” he said.
Mr. Fayemi recalled his numerous encounters with the late YCE leader while growing up as a young man, and while serving as governor of Ekiti State, describing the deceased as a man of substance with a generous spirit.
“General Adebayo was indeed blessed by God. Papa was a man of distinction, a man of honour and a courageous leader. He was a loving and devoted father not only to his biological children. He was a father to all who came in contact with him. We shall greatly miss his wise counsel, which he gave effortlessly.”
“There is no doubt, Baba’s death has robbed the Yoruba race, indeed Nigeria of a distinguished citizen, patriot and leader. We shall surely miss his wise counsel and generous spirit at this critical stage of our national life.”
Mr. Fayemi urged the children of the late elder statesman to be consoled by the fact he lived a good life, touched many lives and left a good name and legacy of service.
“His was a life well spent. We are not mourning Baba’s passage, rather we are celebrating his call unto glory,” the minister said.