WorldStage Newsonline– Gov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti has expressed ‘deep sorrow’ over the death of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, at the age of 66.
Oyebanji, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode in Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, has consequently declared seven days of mourning for the late speaker.
The governor, who described Afuye’s death as shocking, sad and unfortunate, also directed that state functions, including the swearing-in of the newly-appointed Secretary to the State Government and the Attorney- General be postponed indefinitely in honour of the speaker.
The governor equally announced the postponement of the thanksgiving service, earlier slated for this week, as a mark of honour to the late Afuye.
He said that Afuye’s death was unbelievable, as he was on his entourage during an inspection tour of some projects in Ado- Ekiti on Tuesday and did not show any sign of illness.
Oyebanji said he was shocked when he got a call early Wednesday morning that the late speaker was rushed to Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti.
He said he that he had hoped that Afuye would leave the hospital hale and hearty, in view of the medical attention he was receiving when he paid him a visit at the health facility’s intensive care unit (ICU) on Wednesday afternoon.
“I was, therefore, speechless when the news of Afuye’s death came later in the evening,” he said.
The governor described the late speaker as a loyal friend and party man, a patriotic Ekiti leader and tireless advocate of good governance.
He said that Afuye had, in the last 30 years, committed his time, energy and resources to the development of the state and the country.
Oyebanji prayed God to console the family of the deceased and the entire Ekiti people on the irreparable loss.
“Ekiti has lost an illustrious son, a perfect gentleman and champion of democracy and the rule of law.
“My heart bleeds over the loss of this great leader who was a great friend and brother indeed.
“On behalf of myself, my wife, the government and good people of Ekiti, I commiserate with the Afuye family and the people of Ikere-Ekiti.
“May the good Lord give everyone of us the fortitude to bear this loss,” Oyebanji said.
SANWO-OLU COMMISERATES WITH GOV OYEBANJI, LAWMAKERS
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mourned the passing of the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Mr. Funminiyi Afuye.
Afuye died at the age of 66 on Wednesday at an undisclosed hospital, where he was rushed, following a brief illness.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday, described Afuye, who represented Ikere Constituency 1 at the Ekiti State House of Assembly, as one of the illustrious sons of the State who contributed immensely to the growth and development of Ekiti State during his lifetime.
The Governor described the deceased as a principled politician, progressive, loyal, trustworthy and committed member of the ruling party in Ekiti State.
He said the lawyer and human rights activist turned politician spent his life in the service of humanity, Ekiti State and Nigeria, especially as a Commissioner for Information, lawmaker and later Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also commiserated with his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, former Governor of the State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the entire members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly on the death of the Speaker.
He urged Governor Oyebanji, the deceased family, friends, and the entire people of Ekiti State to preserve the legacy of the deceased by immortalising the good name and the struggle of the late Speaker for Ekiti.
“On behalf of the people and government of Lagos State, I sympathise with Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji and the entire people of the State on the demise of the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye.
“Rt. Hon. Afuye was a committed public officer who served Ekiti State passionately and selflessly in different capacities. He did his best for Ekiti as a member of the executive and legislative arms of government. He was also a committed member of our great party, APC till his death. ”I pray that God would grant the soul of our beloved Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye eternal rest and comfort the immediate and political families and the people of Ekiti State he left behind,” Governor Sanwo-Olu stated.