Updated: Odumakin begins final journey home (Photos)

Remains of Odumakin lying in state at the Police College, Lagos
Remains of Yinka Odumakin lying in state at the Police College, Lagos
Remains of Yinka Odumakin lying in state at the Police College, Lagos

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Late Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin began his final journey home on Thursday as his body was laid in state at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos.

Hundreds of sympathisers and well wishers thronged the Police College to pay their last respect.

Widow of the deceased, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin was visibly downcast as she accompanied the body to the Police College.

Yinka died on Friday, April 2, 2021 from respiratory ailment following COVID-19 complications at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and other political bigwigs attended the event and paid tributes.

The governor charged politicians and members of the Civil Society Organisations, to uphold the legacy and struggle of the late comrade.

According to Sanwo-Olu, ‘comrades of like minds’ should not abruptly end what Yinka Odumakin believed, stood, and worked for during his lifetime.

The Governor also charged them to keep working hard for a Nigeria that will be a land of justice, fairness, and where equity would become the watchword and reflect true federalism.

“Yinka was one-half of the most formidable couple that we have seen in our history and the other half is his beloved wife, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who now sadly has to continue this struggle without her husband, fellow comrade and big friend that I know he is to her. My sister, you will continue to push on strongly in the trenches.

“We are passionate about what he believed in and what he stood for. He wanted the best for Nigeria. He wanted the best for his Yoruba nation, but he was completely detribalised, and he used his voice to advance the cause and the needs of the voiceless. Until the very end, he kept going.

“He kept speaking up, he kept working hard for a Nigeria that we all can be truly proud of a Nigeria that will be a land of justice, a Nigeria that will be fair, a Nigeria where equity would become the watchword, and a Nigeria that will truly reflect true modern federalism.

“But the Almighty God who we cannot query did not allow Yinka to finish. As some people have said, he was a fighter who fell in his prime.

“At a time like this, we are all short of words but we will continue to hold on to the legacy and what he believed and lived for. All comrades of like minds should ensure that they don’t abruptly end what Yinka Odumakin stood for, what he believed in and what he had worked for. That is a charge for each and every one of us.”

Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, wept uncontrollably while paying tribute to Odumakin.

He said Odumkain was an irreplaceable material.

Adebanjo, who broke the barrier of culture to attend the funeral rites, urged human rights activists to continue in the spirit Yinka Odumakin, by being courageous and fearless if they truly love the deceased.

“I am not God, I am a human being. There is nothing impossible for God to do but as a human being, I will say it will be difficult to replace Yinka. Where can we find a young man of his age, not materialistic pursuing a cause he believes in selflessly, courageously, relentlessly, and consistently? Yinka, God knows you are a blessing to Nigeria,” he said.

“It is not easy to talk about Yinka. Yinka is an irreplaceable material. Why should I be here? You can’t question him, leaving a man of 93 to take a man of 55-years. God, you are omnipotent, please replace him quickly for us.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said he left the Green chamber where he was presiding to pay last respect to the late Odumakin, who he described as “a man of courage, integrity, true democrat and a man who stood for truth and nothing else”

The Speaker, therefore, charged Nigerians to make a positive impact during their lifetime by rendering service to humanity so that they can be remembered after their demise.

The widow of the late Afenifere spokesman, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who described her husband as an “encyclopaedia of positive activism” said the tributes by Nigerians will continue to embolden her to do more by continuing what her husband fought and stood for.

“One thing that will never make me break down are that his ideals will live forever; his legacy will remain. All that he has lived for remains. Yinka, you are not dead; you are alive, you will continue to live in our unconsciousness. And to live in the unconsciousness of the people, is to live forever. Yinka Odumakin, my comrade lives on,” she said.

The lying-in-state, day of tributes and service of songs was attended by Mr. Tayo Ayinde, the Chief of Staff to Governor Sanwo-Olu; former governors –Mr. Peter Obi (Anambra), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), ex-Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; Pastor Ituah Ighadalo of Trinity House Church, Afenifere chieftains, politicians, and human rights activists among others.

Below are photos from the event captured by Efunla Ayodele

Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, widow of the deceased downcast at the lying in state
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, widow of the deceased downcast at the lying in state
Remains of Odumakin lying in state at Police College, Lagos
Remains of the deceased lying in state at Police College, Lagos
Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin and others paid respect to Yinka Odumakin at the lying in state
Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin and others paid respect to Yinka Odumakin at the lying in state
Pall-bearer arrived with the remains of Odumakin at Police College
Pall-bearer arrived with the remains of Odumakin at Police College
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin joining the Pall-bearer to convey the remains of her husband to the Police College
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin joining the Pall-bearer to convey the remains of her husband to the Police College
The remains of Yinka Odumakin arriving the Police College
The remains of Yinka Odumakin arriving the Police College
Activists at the Police College to honour late politician
Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, widow of Yinka downcast at the lying in state of her husband

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