The late former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina, was on Sunday, buried at his Felele residence, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital according to Islamic rites.
He passed away early Sunday morning, aged 73 years old.
Alhaji Adesina, a national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the rallying point of ACN in Oyo State, died at St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos after a protracted illness.
The late politician who was born, Lamidi Adesina in 1939, but fondly called Lam Adesina, has had his health deteriorating recently.
He was initially admitted at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and later taken to the St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos.
He was elected the governor of Oyo state in 1999 and was defeated in 2003 by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Rashidi Ladoja.
Alhaji Lam, was a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in the Second Republic.
He was laid to rest on Sunday.
He is survived by his wife and children.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared a seven-day mourning for the departed elder statesman during which all official state functions will be suspended and the national flag flown at half-mast.
Lam, an exemplary leader
President Goodluck Jonathan has also expressed his grief with the death of Alhaji Adeshina.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, stated that, the president is “deeply saddened by the passing away of elder statesman and former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adesina.”
The President, on behalf of himself, the Federal Government and all Nigerians, extended his heartfelt condolences to Alhaji Adesina’s family, the government and people of Oyo State.
According to President Jonathan “Alhaji Adesina’s indefatigability in political struggles as well as his honesty, integrity, sincere commitment and dedication to the service of his people before and during his tenure as governor have ensured that he will be honoured and remembered by present and future generations as an exemplary leader who did his utmost best to improve the lives of his people.”
The President prayed that “God Almighty will receive Alhaji Adesina’s soul and grant him eternal rest.”
An irrepressible voice of conscience
Also reacting to the death of Alhaji Adesina, his political party the ACN has described his demise as a “devastating blow to the party in particular and a big loss to the nation in general.”
In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party stated that “with the demise of the former Governor, Nigeria has lost an irrepressible voice of conscience.”
”Lam Adesina has remained a constant fixture in the nation’s body polity for over three decades, either as a newspaper columnist, member of the House of Representatives, social and political critic, prisoner of conscience, state governor, or an elder statesman.”
”Though deceptively meek, he was a political lion who was ferociously effective. A perfect validation of the saying that all politics is local, Lam Adesina never lost control or confidence of his people. Even during the locust years when the PDP captured the body of Oyo State politics, the soul of the people remained with the former Governor,” the party said.
ACN said it was remarkable that even after he was rigged out of the state’s governorship, he remained in his Molete residence in Ibadan, right in the midst of his people, instead of migrating to the GRA or other elitist areas of the city as many in his class would have done.
”From that modest abode, he influenced political discourse and direction in Nigeria. There is no better attestation to this than the fact that he never lost touch with the ordinary people during his rich and purposeful lifetime,” the partyadded.
ACN prayed that God will grant repose to the soul of the departed, and give his family the strength to bear their irreplaceable loss.