Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described the former President of Yoruba Council of Elders, late Adeyinka Adebayo as a remarkable statesman who belonged to the last vestiges of Nigeria’s pioneering heroes.
“Chief Adeyinka Adebayo was a proficient administrator as well as an outstanding soldier who fought to keep our country together,” Mr. Atiku said in his condolence message.
“Much later in his lifetime he championed the cause of the Yoruba nation in an inclusive Nigerian project, so enviably that historians will eminently have a record of him as a pan-Nigeria advocate.”
The Turakin Adamawa condoled with the Adebayo family and the government and people of Ekiti State over the loss of an illustrious leader, while also praying for the repose of his soul.
The Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, also described late Mr. Adebayo as a patriot.
Mr. Aregbesola said his death robbed Nigeria, especially the Yoruba race, of an elder statesman.
“General Adeyinka Adebayo served his fatherland well. He was a fine officer of the Nigerian Army and did his best in all the capacities where he served,” the governor said.
“The history of our country is incomplete without adequate mention of this fine officer.
“We receive with heavy heart the death of one of Nigeria’s finest officers of the Nigerian Army, who fought for the unity of nation.
“No doubt, he is a soldier of repute and commander of men. He distinguished himself in his chosen profession both at home and abroad.
“The history of post-independence Nigeria and the crises that threatened the young nation’s existence will be incomplete without a chapter for this courageous soldier.”
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on his part, expressed sadness over the demise of the elder statesman.
Governor Ambode in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, said Mr. Adebayo’s demise was a great loss to the nation, especially the South West region.
“General Adebayo was a great patriot and one of Nigeria’s foremost nationalists who never shied away from expressing his love for his country and his people,” the governor said.
“He was a brilliant administrator who was known for his dedication and zeal to serve his fatherland.
“Those who know papa would attest to the fact that he was a man of many parts. For the Yoruba nation, this is a great loss. His passion to see the integration of the South West region was second to none.
“No doubt, we would miss his wise counsel especially at this time when our nation is on a path to rebirth.”
In his message, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, described Mr. Adebayo’s death as a great loss to the Yoruba people and the nation.
The governor said the late Mr. Adebayo would be fondly remembered for his unifying efforts in the South West region and in across the nation at large.
“Although he died at a ripe old age, General Adebayo’s experience and fatherly advice will be sorely missed,” Mr. Amosun said.
“He was a rallying point and one of the voices of reasoning in the Yoruba nation and indeed across the length and breadth of Nigeria.”
Also, a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, learnt his voice in pouring eulogies on late Mr. Adebayo, describing his passage as a great loss to Nigeria, and particularly to the Yoruba nation which he served meritoriously.
Mr. Daniel described the death as a sad loss coming at this point in the political evolution of Nigeria and at a time the Yoruba people were in dire need of political identity and guidance.
“General Adebayo was a man of peace, who despite his military background advocated for peace and dialogue in settling the Nigeria Civil war as opposed to arms conflict, a position which later earned him the chairmanship of the Committee on Reconciliation and Integration after the war,” Mr. Daniel recalled.
“There is no doubt that Nigeria will miss his wisdom, wealth of experience and guardianship at this trying political and economic period.
“It is on record that General Adebayo was one of the first generation of leaders in Nigeria who promoted agriculture as a veritable alternative and a good source of foreign exchange for the country.
“His vision in the establishment of the Institute of Agriculture and Research Training, Moore Plantation in Ibadan stands him out as an exemplary leader and will be greatly missed.”
The retired major general died in the early hours of Wednesday at the age of 89 at a Lagos hospital.
Mr. Adebayo, who was military governor of the old Western State between 1966 and 1971, also served as President of the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE.