Tributes have been pouring from various quarters since the news of the death of Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, broke out earlier on Saturday.
Odumakin died of COVID-19 complications at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), as confirmed by his wife, Joe Okei-Odumakin.
The deceased was a Human rights activist who played a vital role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), that fought the Sani Abacha regime after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election and a critic of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, but that did not reduce the testimonies of his sincerity of purpose and integrity while alive by people who did not share his views and ideologies.
Below are reactions from various quarters of the country:
The Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, described the death of its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, as a terrible blow.
In a statement by its Secretary-General, Basorun Sehinde Arogbofa, the group said: “It’s a terrible blow. A terrible blow to me as a person because we’ve been so intimate.
“He’s been my right-hand man in Afenifere management. It’s terrible. Yinka should not have gone at this time.
“It’s a terrible blow to Afenifere and Nigeria. We’ve lost a brilliant chap with intelligent and brilliant ideas.
“This is sad, very sad. What a pity. I pity his wife Joe.’’
The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, said the death of Odumakin is one death too many, stressing that Yoruba has lost a gem, who, according to him was a dependable ally.
Aare Adams, who received the news of the late Odumakin’s death with shock and trepidations, said the death of the late Afenifere publicity Scribe was a big loss to the Yoruba nation, adding that death had dealt the Yoruba nation a big blow, leaving in its wake, sad memories of the loss of a brother, a friend and dependable ally.
While mourning his friend of many years, Iba Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, said “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 extent of the shocking news for me has been inexplicable. It will take a very long time for me to accept the realities of his death”.
“We are in the struggle together, we shared so many memories together and I was very close to the family, so for me, it was a personal loss and I wish my sister, his wife, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and the deceased relatives well, especially at this trying moments”.
“For the Yoruba nation, and Afenifere as a whole, Odumakin’s imprints will always be in the book of history, but as much as his death was so rude and shocking, we are consoled that the man died, though, very young, he will be remembered for his invaluable contributions to the development of Nigeria and the Yoruba nation in particular.”
Sahara Reporters publisher, Yele Sowore, had reacted, saying, “Death is a necessary end! Sad to announce this passing of a friend and fighter, Yinka Odumakin. Rest in Power, Senior Comrade!”
Also, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), reacted to the sad news saying that, “Yinka’s death is a personal loss to me. Himself & the wife, Joe, have been my long-time friends & allies. I knew them separately before they met & got married. I just called the wife’s line & they’re still at the hospital. My deepest condolences to Josephine & the Odumakin family.”
“This is a very big tragedy for Yorubaland. A very sad day! May the soul of Comrade Yinka Odumakin find peace with our ancestors in the bossom of Olodumare!” Personal Assistant to late Afenifere leader, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, Tope Adedayo reacted.
Renowned journalist, Dele Momodu, also reacted to the news with a statement, “I slept about 5.30am this morning and had to switch off my phones, something I rarely do… Unknown to me TOKUNBO AFIKUYOMI, a mutual friend of YINKA ODUMAKIN and I was trying frantically to reach me… Then I woke up and my first phone froze bec of endless messages. I called Tokunbo and he was weeping… This is just so sad. YINKA, please, REST IN PEACE…”