The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has led the payment of tribute to Yinka Odumakin, its National Publicity Secretary, who died on Saturday.
Joe Okei-Odumakin, wife of Odumakin, in a statement on Saturday announced that her husband died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) due to respiratory issues which arose from COVID-19 complications.
Reacting via a Twitter post which was accompanied by a picture of Odumakin, Ayo Adebanjo, the new Afenifere leader, described the demise as: “This is too heavy to bear.”
Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, described Odumakin as a fearless Yoruba son who spoke truth to power.
Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, said the late Odumakin was a true Yoruba son, a committed fellow, and the voice of the people, especially, the downtrodden.
“We’ll all miss his voice. We’ll miss his commitment, we’ll miss is bravery because the late Yinka Odumakin’s fearless image loomed larger than what we can easily forget in a hurry.
“He was a phenomenon that spoke truth to power. He cut a picture of an all-rounder, a media personage, an analyst and public commentator that had warmed himself to the hearts of many people.
“His exit had left a big vacuum in the social and political milieu and Nigerians will always remember him for who he was because in his life, the late Odumakin was truly one of the few gifted soul of our race,” the statement partly read.
Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti State, said the late Odumakin fought for justice and equity, adding that the deceased was a man who promoted fairness for all.
In the same vein, Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation, described the late Afenifere spokesperson as a “great warrior” who stood for justice and truth, adding that the South-West region and Nigeria have lost one of its shining lights.
Shehu Sani, a colleague of the late Odumakin in the human rights advocacy sector and former senator, said the country has lost lost “an indomitable & irrepressible voice for justice”.
In its own remarks, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed shock over the demise of Odumakin, saying that he made “erudite contributions to national dialogue and relentless commitment towards the development of democratic ethos in our country”.