The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has hailed late Yoruba leader, Pa. Ayo Fasanmi, as a hero of Nigerian democracy.
Aged 94, Pa. Fasanmi’s death was announced on Thursday.
“Our highly revered Pa Fasanmi lived a good life, ran a good race, and has gone home for a well-deserved rest,” Fayemi said via a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode on Thursday.
“There is no doubt we shall miss his wise counsel, but we are consoled with the fact he lived a good life and left a good legacy. Our prayer is that God will grant him eternal rest and comfort his family.”
Fayemi described Pa Fasanmi as a steadfast Awoist and committed progressive who was a torchbearer for younger progressives in his lifetime, according to the statement.
He added that Fasanmi’s death had robbed Nigeria of one of her most selfless politicians and patriots who demonstrated unalloyed commitment for a better country where justice and equity occupy a pride of place.
In the old Western Nigeria, Pa Fasanmi served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation.
He was National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in 1977, elected into the Senate in 1979, and became a member of the House of Representatives in 1983.
He also served with the National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1994, as a member.
According to Fayemi, Pa Fasanmi was a politician who was consistent with the progressive ideology as demonstrated in his membership of the Action Group, Unity Party of Nigeria, Social Democratic Party, Alliance for Democracy, Action Congress, Action Congress of Nigerian and All Progressives Congress.
Fayemi recalled the pivotal role played by Fasanmi as a chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in the fight to revalidate the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola.
He said the late Pa Fasanmi demonstrated courage in his stand against military dictatorship at a time it was very dangerous to dare the most vicious dictatorship in the nation’s history.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said all these sterling qualities exhibited by Fasanmi informed the decision by his administration to name one of the four new secondary schools in the state capital after the late elder statesman in 2019.
He expressed fulfillment that Pa Fasanmi was alive to witness the enthronement of a government of the progressives at the federal level for the first time in the nation’s political history in 2015 and was also consistent in advocating for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.
The Governor, who said that Fasanmi lived a fulfilled life, urged contemporary politicians to imbibe the ideals of service, sacrifice, humility, altruism, and patriotism of the late elder statesman.