Ayo Fasanmi, Afenifere chieftain, dies at 94…Osun announces his death, mourns

By Peter Akinbote, Osogbo.

The Second Republic Senator and a staunch Awoist, Chief Ayorinde Fasanmi, is dead.

The elder stateman died at the age 94 at the State Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo around 6.30 pm on Wednesday.

Pa Fasanmi, a leading figure of the Pan-Yoruba political group, the Afenifere Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba, had been admitted into the hospital since last Friday.

The hospital planned to discharge him on Sunday after he had recuperated from his illness when suddenly Pa Fasanmi’s health relapsed.

The hospital managed his condition till last Friday evening when he have up the ghost.

His personal assistant, Tope Adebayo, said papa’s wish was that he should be buried at Iye-Ekiti, his hometown within one or two weeks of his death.

According to him, Pa Fasanmi had dug his grave about ten years ago.

He disclosed that when Papa was about to be discharged on Sunday he was cracking jokes with nurses and other health workers.

He said: “Papa even joked with one of the nurses that he wished to be President of Nigeria in 2023. Papa said she would make her the firstlady when she becomes the president.”

Pa Fasanmi’s wife, Felicia Adejoke, who was a nurse, died on October 15, 2007 at the age of 82.

Pa Fasanmi will be buried on the upper layer of the grave, where his wife had been buried in Iye-Ekiti.

Pa Fasanmi was a pharmacist, running a pharmacy for many years under the trade name of Bamidupe Chemist in Osogbo while his late wife also operated a health centre called Bamidupe Maternity Home at Okefia, Osogbo.

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Meanwhile, the Osun State government has announced his death, describing Pa Fasanmi as an elder statesman, respected politician and national leader of the Afenifere Group.

According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, papa’s death was confirmed by his first son, Justice Obafemi Fasanmi, on behalf of the family.

“Pa Fasanmi was an epitome of humility, selflessness and integrity. He made enviable and remarkable contributions to his profession, to the socio-political development of Yorubaland, and to the nation at large.

“In the old Western Nigeria, Pa Fasanmi served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation. He was National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria in 1977, elected into the Senate in 1979.

“He also served with the National Constitutional Conference Commission in 1994, as a member. Pa Fasanmi was an icon, who left indelible footprints in the sands of time.

“Baba Fasanmi was a leader who demonstrated his love for our great country in many laudable ways; but more heart-warming was how he showed optimal concern for the welfare of the poor and underprivileged, and how he held leaders accountable on their promises of good governance.

“We also recognise how much Osogbo, and Osun State as a whole meant to Pa. Fasanmi, who was transferred to Osogbo as a Pharmacist in 1951, and he chose to live here till he took his last breath.

“His Dada Estate residence became a make-shift Secretariat for a number of causes and movements of national relevance. The State Government of Osun appreciates all he accomplished in his lifetime, especially as a pivotal force in the socio-cultural and political bolstering of the Yoruba,” the statement read in part.

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