Odumakin died of COVID-19 complications at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
Tinubu said Odumakin, who was Afenifere’s national publicity secretary, has been “fearless and unrelenting” in supporting the cause of justice since he was a student, in a statement on Saturday.
Odumakin actively participated in the struggle to restore democratic rule in Nigeria, according to the former Lagos governor.
According to Tinubu, the story of Nigeria’s “emergence of democracy” cannot be told without considering Odumakin’s achievements.
“Like millions of Nigerians, I was shocked to learn of Mr. Yinka Odumakin’s death early this morning. He was a committed fighter for democracy, a dedicated civil society activist, and a courageous and outspoken defender of whatever ideals and principles he believed in,” he said.
“During the 1980s and 1990s, he was at the forefront of numerous student and youth movements against successive military dictatorships. During this time, he was regularly arrested, threatened, and detained. Despite this, he never gave in to tyranny or permitted himself to be forced into submissive and pliant silence.
“Odumakin was never found lacking in the fight against the annulment of the presidential election on June 12, 1993, and the continuation of military dictatorship. And at the cost of his life and liberty, he was at the forefront of the war. Without Odumakin’s name emblazoned in gold, it’s difficult to say the tale of the birth of the democracy we have today. He was a tenacious supporter of liberty and the rule of law.
“Odumakin never served in the government. But, for the last two decades of this unbroken democratic dispensation, he has been a constant feature and part of our public consciousness. He embodied the true concept of a citizen: a patriot who was always aware that his life would be incomplete and his humanity meaningless unless he took an active interest in and joined like-minded people in trying to achieve the common good of his community and nation.
“Over the last two and a half decades, Odumakin and I have worked together in various organisations and for various political causes at various times, and I can attest to his capacity for hard work, brilliance, and tenacity in his devotion to his cherished ideals. I had no reason to question his honesty in charting his chosen course, even though we disagreed politically.”
Odumakin, according to Tinubu, will forever be a model of “a citizen who puts the good of his country above his personal interest.”
“In the eternal words of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, ‘it is not life that counts, but the bravery you put into it,’ and that it is not how long we live, but how well and productively we live that matters. Odumakin is no longer with us. “However, he lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of his countrymen,” he said.
Tinubu went on to state that Odumakin was “rock solid” in his devotion to Afenifere, the Yoruba people, and the civil society organizations in which he was involved.
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