NADECO chieftain, ex-CBN director, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye dies at 88

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Former Executive Director of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and former chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye is dead.

He was said to have died Tuesday at the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Mettta, Lagos where he wasx receiving treatment. The former presidential aspirant was 88 years old.

The former Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) was a major activist who was vehement against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election won by late Chief MKO Abiola, and was a notable figure in NADECO that fought for the actualization of the mandate and the discontinuation of military rule in Nigeria. For this he was unjustly arrested by the goons of the Sani Abacha Gestapo military regime and was kept away in the gulag, in the dark and made to sleep on the bare floor all through his stay in his captive’s den.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) yesterday condoled with the family of the late Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.

Other eminent Nigerians and organisations that mourned the former Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) from 2016 to 2019 include former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba, Lagos West Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola and Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG). President Buhari described Durojaye’s death as a great loss to the nation.

In a condolence message by his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President also commiserated with the government and people of Ogun State, as well as friends and political associates of the elder statesman.

He described the deceased as “a dogged fighter for democracy, an activist, a nationalist and an indispensable member of the financial community”.

Speaker Gbajabiamila described Durojaye’s demise as sad and painful.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker recalled how the late Durojaiye contributed to the development of Nigeria’s democracy through robust and purposeful engagements as a foremost economist, barrister and solicitor.

Abiodun, in a statement yesterday in Abeokuta by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, expressed shock over the passage of the Ijebu-Igbo politician.

“He was with us during the Stakeholders meeting for the Ward Congress last month and was a strong pillar of our Administration,” he said.

In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, Governor Sanwo-Olu commiserated with his Ogun State counterpart, Governor Abiodun and the people of the state, especially indigenes of Ijebu-Igbo, on the demise of their illustrious son and elder statesman.

Governor Fayemi, who described the late elder statesman as an iroko, recalled that the late Durojaye served the country in many spheres without blemish.

“An iroko has fallen. We shall miss Senator Durojaiye’s amiable personality, brilliance, wisdom and candour. He was one of our very best. We are however comforted with the fact he lived a decent and impactful life and served God and humanity with all his might.

“We pray that God comfort his family and associates and grant him eternal rest,” the governor said in a statement yesterday in Ado-Ekiti by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode.

Osoba, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone, said: “The progressives family in the Southwest is presently in disarray. We should be using this development to put the house in order,” he said.

In a statement by his Media Adviser, Chief Kayode Odunaro, Senator Adeola (popularly called Yayi), who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said: “I am particularly sad at the demise of one of my role models in politics, who showed much interest in my political aspirations, including donation to my campaign fund at some point after he was convinced of my capacity and ability for high political office as a member of the APC National Assembly Screening Committee that screened me to contest for Senate.

“He was a gentleman and a technocrat in politics who lent his vast knowledge for the cause of pro-democracy, good governance and service to the nation.”

ARG, through its Leader, Mr. Wale Oshun, said: “We commiserate with his biological and sociopolitical family and pray for the repose of his soul and the preservation of his good legacies.”

Also, in a statement by its President, Akin Malaolu, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum said: “We sympathise with the Durojaiye family of Ijebu-Igbo, the people of Ogun State, and all Nigerian patriots on the loss of our respected leader, Senator Biyi Durojaiye.

“While alive, he made visible impact, promoting the spirit of togetherness amongst Nigerians of diverse backgrounds of ethnicity, faith, and politics. He was a farsighted leader who transcended parochialism.”

The Durojaye family yesterday admonished Nigerians to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

The first and eldest son of the deceased, Abimbola, gave the advice while speaking with NAN. He said notwithstanding what killed his father, it was necessary for Nigerians to fortify their health against the global pandemic.

Abimbola said his father’s body had been deposited in a mortuary somewhere in Ikeja.

He said plans were already in place for his funeral rites and would be communicated to the public soon.

Source: Banneronlinenews.com with reports from The Nation.

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