Makinde, Adelabu Mourn Ex-Labour Minister Ajibola Afonja

Oyo State governor, Engr Seyi Makinde and the Minister of Power, Chief Adelabu Adebayo have mourned the demise of a former chairman of the First Bank, Prince Ajibola Afonja, describing him as an illustrious son of the state who represented and promoted the Pacesetter State as a good ambassador.

LEADERSHIP recalls that Afonja, a one-time Minister of Labour and Productivity under the Interim National Government led by the late Chief Ernest Shonekan died on Sunday at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan at the age of 82.

Governor Makinde, who described the death as shocking, commiserated with the immediate family of the former minister, the people of Oyo town and Oyo State.

He prayed to God to grant repose to his soul and stand by the family and the community he left behind.

“I received the news of the death of a former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Prince Ajibola Afonja, with shock and sadness.

“I condole with the Afonja family of Oyo, the people of Oyo and all residents of Oyo State on the passage of such an illustrious son of the state.

“Prince Afonja was a great ambassador of Oyo State, who promoted the state and made immense contributions to its growth.

“It is my prayer that God grants repose to his soul and grant him Aljana Firdausi,” Governor Makinde said.

Similarly, the Minister of Power also expressed deep sadness over Afonja’s passage, adding that the vacuum left by his passing would be difficult to fill.

In a condolence message made available to journalists, Adelabu expressed shock and deep sadness over the death of former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, describing him as someone whose indelible mark on the society would never be forgotten.

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He described the former minister as an illustrious and distinguished son, who contributed immensely to the development and progress of Oyo town.

“With a deep sense of loss, I mourn the passage of our father, former Minister of Labour and Productivity in the Interim National Government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan.

“Although he lived to a ripe old age of 82, his transition is still painful because his wise counsel, at this time, in our State and the Nation would be sorely missed. We however take great consolation in the fact that he lived a life of service to the people, having left indelible marks in the sands of time.

“To say Baba’s demise came to me as a rude shock would be an understatement, considering the manner of his death.

“As a Minister, he contributed in his own way in stabilising the polity during that tense period of Nigeria’s history. He was committed to Country, people of Oyo State and Oyo town in particular.

“As a businessman, he brought renown to Oyo town through his business, Integrated Dimensional System, IDS, a name he was associated with during his lifetime. He was a philanthropist whose generosity touched lives.

“I share in the grief of members of his nuclear and extended families, the people Oyo and Nigeria that he served at a most turbulent period of Nigerian history. My heart-felt condolences also go to all those left behind by his passing.

‘No soothing words can help ease the pain and loss of his passing away, but let us take consolation in his good deeds which are indelibly written in the heart of the people who have had the good fortune of coming in contact with him.

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“Though, he left at the most unexpected time, but we take solace in the words of the American composer, Irving Berlin that, “the song is ended but the melody lingers on.” He left good memories having done his duties by his people in Oyo Town, Oyo State and Nigeria.

“On behalf of myself and my family, I pray that his soul finds repose in the bosom of the Almighty God,” Adelabu expressed.

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God'swill Ofigo
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