President Muhammadu Buhari has joined Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, in mourning the passing of Ayorinde Fasanmi, describing his death as a big loss to the nation.
Mr Buhari, in a message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Thursday, condoled with the people, governments of Osun and Ekiti, family members, friends and associates of the elder statesman.
He acknowledged that Mr Fasanmi was a member of both the House of Representatives and the Senate where he distinguished himself politically.
The president said the elder statesman always stood for the truth, especially on issues related to the uplifting of the downtrodden.
Mr Buhari affirmed that Mr Fasanmi’s wise counsels borne out of humility, deep reflection, diligent studies and experience, would be sorely missed by governments at different levels.
The president stated that the late elder statesman, regularly and willingly listened to leaders, and always had good advice on the way going forward.
Mr Buhari said, as an ardent follower and prodigy of the late sage, Obafemi Awolowo, the fearless and consistent Afenifere leader lived to serve his people and the nation.
He maintained that the progressive ideals that late Mr Fasanmi projected, impacted greatly and provided a road map on development at state and federal levels.
Mr Buhari noted, “the efforts of Fasanmi in the founding and sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy will be remembered, and posterity will be glad for his great sacrifices.”
The president prayed that the Almighty God would receive the soul of the departed leader and comfort his family.
The death of Mr Fasanmi was confirmed on July 25 in a statement signed by one of his children, Folabi Fasanmi, who said the nonagenarian died peacefully on July 22 in Osogbo, Osun.
In the same vein, the Leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the South West on Thursday described the death of Mr Fasanmi, as a huge loss to the Progressives family in Nigeria.
The South West Zonal Publicity Secretary of APC, Karounwi Oladapo, said this in a statement on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti.
Mr Oladapo said Mr Fasanmi, one of the foremost elder statesmen, was a very honest and consistent Politician, who never flirted from one political ideology to the other.
“Senator Ayo Fasanmi kept faith and loyalty with the Chief Obafemi Awolowo led Progressive Parties: Action Group (AG), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and lately, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“He never deviated from his commitment to the Social Democratic Principles and Progressive ideals until he breathed his last, on Wednesday, July 29.
“He championed the tenets of Afenifere Socio-Political Organisation, a Pan Yoruba group of West Africa Nigeria in its original form, as espoused by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the Action Group of the first Republic.
“He never had anything to do with the Conservatives and reactionary elements in the Nigeria Political Space,” he said.
The party noted that Senator Fasanmi played a pivotal role during Mr Buhari’s re-election campaign bid in 2019.
“Faaanmi received, campaigned and made powerful speeches in support of President Buhari at the Ekiti Parapo Pavilion, Ado Ekiti, at an advanced age of 93.
“This was very unique and remarkable,” Mr Oladapo added.
The South West APC Leaders, therefore, urged the federal government to name a National monument after Mr Fasanmi, in recognition of his innumerable contributions to democracy, good governance and national development.
Mr Fasanmi was a member, Federal House of Representatives under the Action Group of the First Republic and a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the Second Republic, between 1979 to 1983.
The party condoled with the family of Mr Fasanmi and the good people of Ekiti.