As part of safety requirements against COVID-19, the Osun State Government on Tuesday officially handed the body of the late Senator Ayorinde Fasanmi to the Ekiti State Government for his interment at Iye Ekiti.
The short farewell ceremony took place at Ita Awure, the border of the two states.
This was done to avoid breaching the COVID-19 social distancing protocol at the venue of the internment.
Tuesday’s hand-over followed a well coordinated Commendation Service held in the deceased’s honour amid strict safety protocols supervised by the State’s Ministry of Health at All Saints Anglican Church, Osogbo, hosted by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
Osun State was represented at the hand over ceremony by the Commissioner of Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode; Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Adebisi Obawale; Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Siji Olamiju; and Special Adviser to the Governor on General Administration, Niyi Idowu.
The Ekiti State Government was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Hon. Moji Yaya-Kolade; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Fafure Mojisola; Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Chief Samuel Abejide; All Progressives Congress Chairman in Ekiti State, Paul Omotosho; and Ekiti State APC Welfare Secretary, Otunba Omotayo Kolawole.
At the hand over ceremony, representatives of both the Ekiti and Osun States Governments lauded the late elder statesman as a humanist par excellence and a good support system in the polity of both governments.
Speaking at the hand over event, Abejide described Senator Fasanmi as a man of honour.
He said: “We in Ekiti State honour Baba Fasanmi with all sincerity.
“He was a man of honour, and one who spent his time serving humanity.
“He created indelible impressions in the mind of everyone.
“He was a good man and we can vouch for him.
“He was a reliable man, a faithful man to his people and a faithful servant of the nation.
“He worked for the progress of Ekiti.
“The current administration in Ekiti cannot forget this selfless man for his contributions.
“His commitment to humanity, uprightness, honesty and integrity should be emulated by all leaders and elders who should make conscious efforts to study his life and emulate his virtues.”
Fafure described Senator Fasanmi as a father of Ekiti State and of the nation Nigeria at large.
In her words: “Our father has just left us – a father to the nation and to Ekiti State in particular.
“We are ere to receive Baba’s body from the Osun State Government.”
Yaya-Kolade said the government and people of Ekiti State would miss the late Senator Fasanmi so much for all he meant to the State.
Whilst receiving the body of late Senator Fasanmi, she on behalf of the Ekiti State Government appreciated the Osun State Government for its undertakings for Senator Fasanmi.
She said: “We thank the Osun State Government for all they have done on behalf of Ekiti.
“We will be taking him to Iye Ekiti, where the rest of the team is waiting to also receive Baba.”
Speaking on behalf of the delegation of the Osun State Government, Olamiju said the State acknowledged Senator Fasanmi’s affection for it, its government and its people.
In his words: “Baba came to Osun when he was a young man.
“He meant so much to us in Osun.
“Osun cherishes him so much.
“His contribution to humanity, not only in politics, was immense.
“Mr. Governor attested that Baba called him every week – such a close man to the State and its government.”
Egbemode described Senator Fasanmi as a citizen of more than one State.
She said: “Baba found a good life in Osun, a life of achievement and a life that made him a citizen of not just one State.
“We are here today to bid him farewell at the Ekiti State border.
“We will miss him.
“We will miss his wisdom.
“But he has gone the way of all mortals.
“We pray that the Lord will grant him rest and all of us good life.”