Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has described the death of Dr Fredrick Fasehun, late founder of Odu’a People’s Congress (OPC) as a big blow to Yoruba race.
This is contained in a statement signed by the governor’s Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Bolaji Tunji, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Saturday.
Ajimobi described late Fasehun as a Yoruba irredentist who lived and died for the collective interest of the race.
The governor said he received the news of the late founder of OPC and elder statesman’s demise with utter disbelief.
He said the incident was unfortunate and disheartening, adding that it has created a vacuum very difficult to fill within the Yoruba nation.
“Dr Fasehun’s exit is indeed a monumental loss; not only to the Yoruba nation but to the country as a whole. He was a bridge builder and patriot who dedicated his entire life to the unity of Nigeria.
“No doubt, his exit has created a vacuum which will be very difficult to fill. He lived and breathed his last for the unity of the Yoruba race and the promotion of an egalitarian society.
“As the Founder of OPC, the late elder statesman rallied his fellow compatriots for the emancipation of the Yoruba nation and ensured that the race was given its pride of place in the political matrix of the country.
“Papa Fasehun was fearless and irrepressible. Even at the most difficult period in the history of this country, he remained committed to a united and indivisible Nigeria as well as the enthronement of democracy,” he said.
Ajimobi said that Fasehun was for several years an active member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an organisation established in 1994 to lead a mass resistance against military rule.
The governor said that Fasehun alongside other NADECO patriots fought for the inauguration of Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, as the President of Nigeria.
He commiserated with family, friends, associates, members of OPC, the Yoruba race and the entire nation on the demise of Fasehun.
Ajimobi however said that the late elder statesman should be celebrated and not mourned for living a fulfilled life.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fasehun died after a brief illness at the Intensive Care Unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, in the early hours of Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.
He was aged 83, having been born in 1935 in Ondo city, South West Nigeria.
Until his demise, the deceased was a medical doctor, hotel owner and leader of the Oodua People’s Congress.
He is married with children.