National leader of the All Progressives Congress Bola Tinubu has joined in mourning spokesman for pan-Yoruba group Afenifere Yinka Odumakin.
Odumakin died on Saturday at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital isolation centre.
Tinubu and Odumakin were allies in the days of the National Democratic Coalition. The latter played a significant role in Tinubu’s emergence as governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy for the 2007 election. They later fell out, with Odumakin becoming a vocal critic of Tinubu.
However, in a statement he personally signed on Saturday, Tinubu hailed Odumakin’s doggedness.
He said: “In the struggle against the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election and the perpetuation of military dictatorship, Odumakin was never found wanting. He was at the vanguard of the battle even at the risk of his life and liberty.”
He further said: “In the course of the last two and a half decades, Odumakin and I had cause to collaborate in various organizations and in pursuit of different political causes at different times and I can testify to his capacity for hard work, his brilliance, his tenacity in his loyalty to his cherished principles.
“Even if we differed politically, I had no cause to doubt his sincerity in charting his chosen path. He will forever remain a model of what a citizen who places the good of his country above his personal interest could be. For, given his talents and abilities, Odumakin could easily have opted to focus on his personal welfare and that of his family rather than embroil himself in the several struggles he dedicated his life to.
“It is certainly not fortuitous that his wife, the indefatigable Amazon, Dr Joe Odumakin, was Yinka’s comrade in struggle and active collaborator in fighting for justice, liberty and the dignity of the underprivileged. They were iconic soul mates in the ceaseless battle for a better and greater Nigeria.”
Tinubu condoled with Afenifere leader Ayo Adebanjo, the Afenifere family, Odumakin’s associates in the civil society movement and the entire public over the loss.