The body of Second Republic Senator Ayo Fasanmi, who died on Wednesday, will be laid to rest on Tuesday, his family said.
Senator Fasanmi died at 94 of old age related illness in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, where he lived.
A leading light of progressive politics, Senator Fasanmi, who was a member of the House of Representatives in the First Republic, a senator in the Second Republic and the vice chairman (Southwest) of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) at the outset of this republic, got a torrent of tributes from President Muhammadu Buhari, governors, lawmakers and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others.
A family spokesman said yesterday that the disciple of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo will be buried in his hometown Iye-Ekiti on August 4.
He said: “Baba’s wish is that he should be buried almost immediately and I can say that with what we have on ground now, Baba should be buried on Tuesday, August 4. We are going to work in conjunction with his political associates and the southwest governors.
“His remains will be buried at our hometown in St. John Anglican Church, Iye-Ekiti. He is going to share the same tomb with his wife who died in 2014. The tomb is a double-decker and the arrangement between them is that whosoever goes first will be buried underneath and who goes last will be on top. I am sure they will unite together in paradise.
“Once everything is put in place, we shall let everyone know the detail of the burial arrangement.”
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola visited the family to pay his respects. He penned his tribute in the condolence register. He was received by two sons of the late elder statesman – Justice Olufemi Fasanmi and Mr. Folabi Fasanmi.
Buhari described the passing of the Ekiti-born politician and leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural group as a great loss to the nation.
He said the late Pa Fasanmi served as a moral compass for the nation across administrations, noting that in his many counsels and well-considered opinions and advocation, the former national legislator had suggested valuable ways forward on various national issues.
Eulogizing Fasanmi in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, the President described him as fearless and consistent, saying the progressive ideals he projected impacted greatly on government at all levels.
The statement said: “President Muhammadu Buhari joins Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, in mourning the passing of Pa Ayorinde Fasanmi, describing his death as a big loss to the nation.
“The President condoles with people and government of Osun and Ekiti States, family members, friends and associates of the elder statesman, who served as a legislator in both House of Representatives and Senate, and distinguished himself politically by always standing for the truth, especially on issues related to the uplifting of the downtrodden.
“Chief Fasanmi’s wise counsels, borne out of humility, deep reflection, diligent studies and experience will be sorely missed by governments at different levels, as he regularly and willingly listened to leaders, and always had a good advice on going forward.
“As an ardent follower and prodigy of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the President believes the fearless and consistent leader of the Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation lived to serve his people and the nation, and the progressive ideals that he projected impacted greatly and provided a road map on development at state and federal levels.
“President Buhari notes, with commendation, that the efforts of Chief Fasanmi in the founding and sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy will be remembered, and posterity will be glad for his great sacrifices.
“The President prays that the Almighty God will receive the soul of the departed leader, and comfort his family.”
The Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN has described the late Afenifere leader, Senator Ayo Fasanmi as a patriot whose positive exploits will not be forgotten in a hurry.
A family statement in the early hours of Thursday, announced the demise of Pa Fasanmi, one of the lieutenants of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
A Second Republic Senator, Fasanmi passed on at the age of 94.
“Pa Fasanmi, one of the few men standing, personified integrity and exemplified atruism”, Akeredolu said in a statement issued by Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo.
“Baba lives on because of his positive exploits and demonstrated capacity to lead a people. He bequeathed courage, planted love and displayed an insatiable quest for a just, equitable and egalitarian Nigeria.
“His thoughts were laced with candour and palpable emotional attachment for his people, the Yoruba Nation and Nigeria at large. These thoughts were truly Nigeran and reflected in all ways, an inexorable passion for humanity.
“As a true son of the old Ondo State, Governors of both States and indeed, all South West Governors, will commence talks with the immediate family to give this Patriot, a befitting interment”, the statement said.