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… IBB, Osoba, Saraki, ACF, others mourn

Posted by By MUYIWA OYINLOLA, Lagos, KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna, MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta, EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja on 2007/11/30 | Views: 738 |

… IBB, Osoba, Saraki, ACF, others mourn

Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was among several eminent personalities, who paid glowing tributes to elder statesman, Chief Sunday Awoniyi, who died on Wednesday night at a London hospital.

… IBB, Osoba, Saraki, ACF, others mourn

Former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was among several eminent personalities, who paid glowing tributes to elder statesman, Chief Sunday Awoniyi, who died on Wednesday night at a London hospital.

Apparently shocked by the news, Babangida said: “This is a colossal loss of a monumental dimension. It is not only shocking to me, but it also made me speechless.
“Chief Sunday Awoniyi was a great man, wordsmith and powerful speaker. He was committed to the rule of law and due process was peculiar to him.

“He was a man of high moral values, strong character and he firmly believed in the unity of Nigeria. We have lost a distinguished patriot, a detribalized Nigerian whose understanding of politics and governance impacted heavily on our growth and development. May Allah give the family, Nigerians and the world the fortitude to bear this loss of a fulfilled and an accomplished elder statesman.”

Early reactions to Awoniyi’s death came from the governors of Kogi and Kwara states, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the Arewa Consultative Forum, the umbrella body of the North, which the deceased had led for years.
While declaring a 3-day mourning period in Kogi, the governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris described Awoniyi as a detribalized Nigerian.

He said: “Despite the fact that he was a Yoruba man, he related very well with the North, which earned him the chairmanship position of Arewa Consultative Forum. Nigerians and Okun people will miss his intellectual contributions to the development of the country.”
Kwara State Governor, Dr Bukola Saraki while commiserating with the family of Chief Awoniyi described him as a great politician who has left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.

He said the deceased would be remembered as a great nationalist who contributed immensely to the political and economic development of the country.
Governor Saraki prayed God to grant Chief Awoniyi eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
The PDP described Awoniyi’s dead as a great loss to the country and the entire political class.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lady Imeh Udom, in a telephone interview said the late Awoniyi was “an icon in his own right that deserved to be emulated by Nigerians.

“Chief Sunday Awoniyi has created a vacuum that no one can fill, in this era that is gradually winding down. He was a politician of long standing who set examples for many politicians and he had paid his dues in politics and the younger politicians are following his footsteps.

“It is unfortunate that he died when the party was preparing for its national convention. The party is losing its founding members and we mourn his death.”
Secretary General of ACF, Col. Hamid Ibrahim Ali (rtd) told newsmen that Awoniyi, was on his way to Kaduna to attend an ACF meeting, when he was involved in the auto crash along the Kaduna/Abuja highway.

Alli told reporters at the Sokoto Road, Kaduna secretariat of the forum that the ACF would not be the same again following the death of Awoniyi whom he said was a leader all Northerners looked up to, and regretted that the late ACF chairman died at a period when his services were needed most.
His words: "Certainly, it's a big gap that will be created by his absence. I hope we'll gather ourselves together, but certainly we cannot replace him, I must confess.

"We hope we'll get people who will work as hard. But to say we'll get a replacement for Chief Sunday Awoniyi, its very difficult. If I say anything now, I may not be accurate and articulate as I'll love to be.
"But suffice it to say that we are praying for the repose of the soul of the departed and we pray that God in his infinite mercy will grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Senator Joseph Waku, the National Treasurer of ACF said: “Chief Awoniyi’s death is shocking and unexpected because the nation needs him most at this critical time when concerted efforts are being made to move the country out of the woods. Our consolation at this point is that the man fought gallantly all forces of oppression especially in the last eight years and he died as a great fighter.”
Former governor of Ogun State Aremu Olusegun Osoba described the death of Awoniyi as a rude shock.
Osoba who spoke during a telephone conversation with journalists added that “with the death of Chief Awoniyi, the nation has lost a dedicated civil servant and astute administrator who remained forthright to the end.”

Osoba recalled that he had known the late Chief Awoniyi since 1967 as a brilliant, courageous, forthright and dogged man who held tenaciously to anything he believed.
The Senate President, Senator David Mark, and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu also described the death of the elder statesman as a great loss to the nation.

Mark said “the position of Awoniyi is always very clear on national issues. He would not prevaricate. He never left anyone in doubt as to where he stood. He did that honestly, objectively and with the fear of God.”

Ekweremadu on his part said “Chief Awoniyi will be remembered for his contribution to the development of the civil service, first in the northern Nigeria government and later at the centre. He was indeed one of the true founders of the PDP.”

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown