Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has narrated how the late human rights activist and columnist Yinka Odumakin affirmed Bola Tinubu’s candidacy for Lagos State governor in 1998.
Aregbesola, a former governor of Osun State, revealed this in a tribute on Saturday titled,’ Yinka Odumakin: The departure of a confident humanist’.
According to PUNCH, Odumakin, the spokesman for the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, expired on April 2 in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Covid Isolation Centre.
Odumakin has been a staunch critic of Tinubu, Aregbesola and several other politicians from the nation. The overdue activist canvassed the thoughts of restructuring, fiscal federalism, decentralised policing as alternatives to the nation’s socio-economic challenges.
From the tribute, the minister said that he was pleased to have understood, worked and listened together with Odumakin, whom he told doggedly fought for the dignity of the Nigerian men and women.
Aregbesola stated, “Yinka has had to openly criticise me a few times, particularly if I had been governor in Osun, our connection notwithstanding. I took it in good faith because it never changed our relationship. His criticisms were consistent with his writings about which constitute public attention ”
“He had been a stubborn advocate of his convictions never gave up on anything he believed, irrespective of the resistance,” the ministry added.
Aregbesola was Director of this Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation in 1998 when Tinubu conducted for Lagos State Senate on the stage of the Alliance for Democracy.
Aregbesola remembered how he met with the late Odumakin back in 1998 through the groundwork for Nigeria’s return to democracy following the dark years of military tyranny.
He stated, “How can we meet? Yinka Odumakin and Bunmi Omoshehindemi walked into my office since the CGS of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation workplace in Sunday Adigun St., Alausa Ikeja. It was in November of 1998.
“Both came to announce support to the candidacy of all Bola Tinubu unequivocally. It was in defiant opposition to people afterwards instead of lodging for democratic construction without a transparent resolution of the June 12 imbroglio. It was a brave step, then believing their position could have been considered anathema from the motion. We’d since then assembled a strong relationship, occasionally relatively smooth and sometimes frosty, but constantly notable until his translation Friday, April 2, 2021.
“I said we had a remarkable relationship because Yinka was constant in a position to fight for democracy, federalism, justice and rule of law. All these to me are the variables behind defining the habit of man. Whoever has this devotion is an ally and a humanist.”
The overdue Afenifere spokesman afterwards entered another political vessel as he had been known in the previous few years before his passing as a fiery critic of Tinubu, who’s currently a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress.
Last Monday, Tinubu paid a condolence visit to Mrs Joe Okei-Odumakin, widow of the late activist. Besides, he said the narrative of Nigeria’s democracy wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Odumakin.