IT was a torrent of tributes yesterday for two eminent Nigerians who passed on: Dr. Moses Adekoyejo Majekodunmi and Chief Akinwole Michael Omoboriowo.
Omoboriowo, a former Deputy Governor of the old Ondo State, according to the family yesterday, died at about 6.00 p.m. on Tuesday at the Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos residence of his first son, Mr. Akinwole Omoboriowo (Jnr.). He was aged 81.
Majekodunmi, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, former Health Minister, Sole Administrator of the defunct Western Region and founder of St. Nicholas Hospital, died yesterday in his Ikoyi, Lagos residence.
Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) have described the death of Omoboriowo, a native of Ijero-Ekiti, as a big loss to Ekiti State, Yoruba race and the nation at large.
Omoboriowo, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Ekiti State, was last sighted at the burial of the late Prof. Sam Aluko at Ode-Ekiti on March 3, this year.
He served as deputy governor under the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin as governor of old Ondo State on the platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) between 1979 and 1983 but parted ways with him (Ajasin) during the 1983 general election when he defected to the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and was declared winner of the violence-choked election by the then Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO).
His declaration elicited crisis that led to bloodbath and unprecedented attacks on people and property in some notable towns in the old Ondo State before the Supreme Court upturned his victory and declared Ajasin the authentic winner of that election.
In appreciation of his role in Ekiti politics, a former governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, appointed him the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the then University of Ado-Ekiti now (Ekiti State University) in 2003.
Fayemi described Omoboriowo as a consummate and respected politician, who was a great defender of Ekiti interest during his time as a politician and will be greatly missed.
Fayemi recalled the contributions of Omoboriowo to the development of old Ondo State, which now comprises Ekiti and Ondo states, stressing that he was part of the legacies of the Adekunle Ajasin-led administration on which the progressive governments in the South-West are trying to build upon.
Mimiko, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Eni Akinsola, noted that the death was especially shocking because the deceased was not reported to be sick. He saluted the late politician’s contributions to the development of the old Ondo State.
Former governor and National Vice Chairman (South-West) of PDP, Chief Segun Oni, has described his death as painful and a huge loss to Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria in general.
“I received the death with shock because Baba was not particularly sick. I saw him a little while ago and we always see him regularly. However, I know that Baba departed this world at the time appointed by God and all we can do is to first celebrate him as our leader, father and foremost patriot, who never shifted his attention away from the development of Ekiti”.
Majekodunmi, who was born on August 17, 1916 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, according to family sources, died of old age.
According to Dr. Ebun Bamgboye, Director of Clinical Services at St. Nicholas Hospital, “Majekodunmi died peacefully at home today (yesterday) at age 95. He lived a fruitful and fulfilled life. The St. Nicholas Hospital is one of his legacies.”
The Guardian learnt at the hospital yesterday evening that Nigerians had started trooping to the hospital and his private home at Ikoyi to pay their condolences. Among the early callers was Prince Ademola Adeniji Adele. .
The deceased was Minister of Health in the First Republic. He was appointed Sole Administrator of Western Region in June 1962 after a political crisis in the region, holding office in place of the Premier Samuel Akintola until December that year.