At a well coordinated Commendation Service attended both physically and virtually (via Zoom), prominent Nigerians, including Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, Obas, leaders of Afenifere, family members on Monday paid tribute to Senator Ayo Fasanmi, describing him as a man of monumental significance. The service which was held amid strict safety protocols supervised by the State’s Ministry of Health at All Saints Anglican Church, Osogbo was hosted by Governor Oyetola.
Here are excerpts:
Pa Fasanmi was a beacon of hope for a new Nigeria – Governor Oyetola
The Governor of the State of Osun, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola at the Commendation Service, described late Senator Fasanmi as an undiluted progressive, a beacon of hope for a new Nigeria and an encouragement to the younger generation of politicians and public administrators.
Oyetola, in his tribute, said: “As Mother Earth receives one of its best donations to humanity today, I pay tribute to a dyed-in-the-wool progressive who lived his life for the betterment of humanity.
“Service is second nature to the late Pa Fasanmi. His training as a pharmacist prepared him for selfless service to humanity and he wasted no time in faithfully transferring it to the the larger business of politics. He was a passionate believer in a better Nigeria. He was ever seeking to enrich and expand the frontiers of socio-political knowledge, encourage mass political participation, offer selfless service to build a successor generation.
Pa Fasanmi’s was an Omoluabi who, despite his advanced age, was a regular face at all Osun programmes and he offered consistent, sincere counsel for the growth and development of the State”, Oyetola said.
FASANMI WAS GOD’S GIFT TO NIGERIA
Speaking during the commendation service held in his honour in Osogbo, Oba Adedapo Aderemi, the Oludo of Ido Osun and Secretary of the Council of Yoruba Obas, described Senator Fasanmi as a strong-willed and passionate reformer.
In his words: “We are grateful to God for gifting us such a noble man in Yorubaland and in Nigeria as a whole.
“Baba was a committed Awoist from the beginning of his life, till he drew his last breath. He spent his almost 95 years on earth living according to the principles of Chief Awolowo. His thoughts and actions were all coordinated towards serving others.We thank God for his life”, Oba Aderemi stated.
Also, Senator Biyi Durojaiye, described Pa Fasanmi as a man of great humility, adding that he will miss his candor and humility above other admirable traits.
He said: “Such a good man is gone. He was the oldest senator alive.
“On behalf of the Afenifere Group, Egbe Ilosiwaju, which I am representing here today, I wish to thank the Governors of Osun and Ekiti in particular, and all other Governors, for the contributions they’ve made towards honouring baba. He deserves the honour”, Durojaiye stated.
HE WAS A TRUE YORUBA SON – Prince Abiodun Ogunleye
Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, a former Commissioner for Health, Commissioner for Finance and Deputy Governor in Lagos State, and also a member of the Afenifere Group, described Senator Fasanmi as a true son of the Yoruba nation and the nation of Nigeria. He said Senator Fasanmi was committed to Nigeria being developed, and that didn’t come as a surprise because of the legacy he chose to follow – the legacy of Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
FASANMI NEVER BETRAYED AWOLOWO ALL HIS LIFE- Hon Tunde Balogun
Honorable Tunde Balogun, the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Lagos State, said Senator Fasanmi was a very upright, steadfast and consistent politician.
According to him, “He lived a progressive life. He believed in progressive ideas. He lived, worked and thought like a progressive.
Baba difn’t betray Awolowo, he didn’t deny his ideals.
“He was a good Christian, a good family man. He was close to his wife and children.
“We learnt from him that before you join a political party, you must think properly on what your ideas and ideals are, and how they align with that of the party”, Balogun stated.
HE TOWERED ABOVE OTHERS IN SERVICE- Princess Adebowale
In her tribute, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Civic Engagement, described Senator Fasanmi as a father figure.
“What I learnt from him is about his service to people, to humanity.
He believed in people. Politics for baba was about giving his life to service, to people and making sure that his life impacted that of others.
“He was a mortal that towered high above other people in terms of service. He was an epitome of the saying of J. F. Kennedy, which compels citizens not to ask what the country can give to them but what they can give to the country”, Aderemi stated.
OUR FATHER’S NAME OPENED DOORS FOR US – Justice Obafemi Fasanmi (Son)
Speaking on behalf of the family, Justice Obafemi Fasanmi, the first son of Pa Fasanmi, described his father as a good man, not just on the home front but in the society.
According to him: “We have never heard of our father’s involvement in any scandal, and this for us is a big deal.
“Wherever we appeared and we mentioned that we are Baba Fasanmi’s children, the doors of such places are always opened to us, because of the good reputation that our father built for himself”, Fasanmi stated.