By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.
Ekiti State Governor Mr. Ayodele Fayose has described the late former Military Governor of the old Western State, Major-General Adeyinka Adebayo,as someone who lived a fulfilled life and was truly an Ekiti man to the core.
In a condolence message in Ado-Ekiti,the state capital signed by the governor, he said Ekiti people would never forget the late General for his love for them and for epitomising the great virtues of an Ekiti person.
“General Adeyinka Adebayo was truly an Ekiti man. He was not a bigot and never allowed political considerations to becloud his sense of fairness,honesty,and boldness in the face of daunting obstacles.
“He would always call a spade a spade and would not mind whose ox is gored. Despite the political differences between me and his son,Otunba Niyi,he was forthright in commending our efforts at developing the state, even though we are among the least financially buoyant. He would not allow sentiments to sway his sense of judgment and was a true father to all.
“He was a leader Ekiti people would remember for helping to open up the state when he served as the Military Governor of the old Western State. His efforts led to the establishment of hospitals in major towns,the setting up of the Odua Textile Factory among others.
“He will be sorely missed by Ekiti people and Nigerians in general,but we are consoled that he was fulfilled in life and lived up to old age. The good people of Ekiti State sympathize with his immediate family,”he said.
In similar vein, Oba Ademola Ajakaiye, the traditional ruler of Iyin-Ekiti,hometown of late General Robert Adeyinka Adebayo,has extolled the virtues of the late patriarch of Adebayo family and commiserated with the family and Nigerians on the death of the former military Governor of Western Region.
Oba Ajakaiye,a retired justice,described late Adebayo as a patriot, nationalist and great Nigerian who was one of the oldest surviving Generals of the Nigerian army.
According to the traditional ruler, late Adebayo’s tenure as military governor of old western Region was instrumental to the rapid development of his state and the region: “He served as the governor of Western Region in 1966. It was while he was governor of that region that he was instrumental to provision of some essential infrastructure to Ekiti.
“He created Ekiti into four divisions in Ekiti South, Central, North and West, with Ado as the capital. Because of this step, Ekiti was able to develop rapidly in all rounds rather than merely developing as a division. This gave birth to further development. He was a nationalist and very disciplined man as a military man. Former President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) was his Aide De Camp. President Buhari also worked with him, so did T.Y. Danjuma.
He was the leader of the Yoruba council of elders. He wasn’t a tribalist and believed in the Nigerian Project. After serving as Western state governor, he went to Kaduna to head the military training school where soldiers were trained. He once led the Nigerian troop to Congo. He was a father figure to all governors in Ekiti.
“His departure is though a great loss,but we give thanks for his life. We are not mourning but celebrating his transition. As a Christian he has only departed into glory. We recently honoured him by naming a church after him. He was a governor of the state and had his son as governor of the same state. No Nigerian has had such records. He gave approval for the establishment of the Eyemote Comprehensive High School in Iyin 50 years. Although,he lived in Lagos, he was always coming home. He was a traditional chieftaincy title in our town as Chief Aro of Iyin. He was always participating in anything that concerns the town and was always around during the community’s day celebration.”