Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has urged Nigerians to support the ideals of peace and unity, which many great leaders stood for.
”Our strength as a nation lies in our diversity and size. Many states in Nigeria are far bigger than many nations of Africa.
“The economy of Lagos State, for instance, is six times that of Rwanda. We must learn to stand together and work together. This is the great message of Mr. President,” he said.
Prof. Osinbajo spoke yesterday in Ila Orangun, Osun State, during the burial of Madam Omowunmi Akande, the wife of the former Interim Natonal Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande.
Osinbajo said he was with President Muhammadu Buhari in London on Tuesday when he recieved the news of Mrs. Akande’s death.
He said President Buhari was touched by the news, and quoted him as saying “How will baba (Chief Bisi Akande) cope now?”
The acting President confirmed that President Buhari called Akande to commiserate with him.
He said President Buhari described Madam Akande as a virtuous woman who was like her husband’s town.
He added: “Mama’s loyalty to baba was unequalled. She and baba raised their children well. We are happy to see the children she left behind doing well. Mama, no doubt, has left a good legacy behind. She lived a life we are happy to remember with joy. We are celebrating the life of this great woman.”
Turning to Akande, Osinbajo said Buhari “respects you because you don’t lie.”
“Baba (Akande) has displayed courage many times, even, it is rough politically, but while we are wondering how baba will cope this time, he has shown tremendous courage again. Baba will always remain a beacon of light to us. So thank you for being a light.”
Among the dignitaries at the event was APC stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who the acting president hailed as “a visionary”
“When he was governor of Lagos State, he assembled all of us as commissioners without any consideration from where you have come from. While I am from Ogun State, Dele Alake and Bamidele Opeyemi are from Ekiti State, Rauf Aregbesola is from Osun State Lai Mohammed is from Kwara State.”
Describing Tibubu as a detrabilised leader, Osinbajo said “we can talk about Nigeria’s unity only when we act what we preach.”
The roll call include: Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo).
APC Deputy National Chairman Segun Oni,MallamNuhu Ribadu, Osun State Deputy Governor Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, former Police Inspector general Tafa Balogun, Mr. Bamidele Olumilua, Mr. Segun Awolowo
Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd.,) Prof. Olu Aina, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Mr. Wale Oshun,Chief Pius Akinyelure, Bashir Imam Ambasador Sola Iji, amongothers.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, states the content of President Buhari’s letter.
The President’s message reads: ”I received the very sad news of the death of your dearly beloved wife, Madam Omowunmi Akande this morning. I am following our phone call with this letter of condolence, which comes from my heart.
“To lose a wife, a dear wife after 50 years, a constant and loving companion through good and bad times, is a blow only a man of unshakeable faith can withstand. Please extend my personal condolences to the immediate and wider Akande family and to friends of the family for this irreparable loss. “May Allah give you the strength and Iman to endure her passing away”.