The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Senator Biodun Olujimi, ex-Governor Ayodele Fayose among other prominent Nigerians have mourned the death of the former governor of old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Ishola Olumilua.
The 83-year-old elder statesman who served as Governor in old Ondo State (from which Ekiti State was created) from January 1992 to November 1993 during Third Republic died in the early hours of Thursday in his Ikere-Ekiti countryhome after brief illness.
Governor Fayemi, in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode described Olumilua’s death as a monumental loss to Ekiti State which the deceased served in different capacities.
He said ex- Governor Olumilua’s death came few months after he celebrated his 80th birthday in his hometown where his ideals once again came to the fore, adding that nobody knew that the former Governor would soon depart for the world beyond shortly after joining the club of octogenarians.
The Governor described Olumilua as a humble servant of the people, a compassionate leader, a politician whose actions were guided by the fear of God and a revered statesman whose impact positively affected the people he served.
He added that Olumilua excelled as a Foreign Service officer, public servant, politician, community leader and clergy.
The Governor noted that Olumilua’s glorious tenure in old Ondo State between January 1992 and November 1993 was remarkable in execution of life changing policies and projects within limited resources.
Fayemi said Olumilua’s worth was appreciated by the Federal Government which appointed him as the Chairman of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission where he served diligently without blemish.
The Governor recalled that the deceased equally excelled as the Chancellor of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) during his first tenure in office during which the university was rebranded and became one of the most sought after institutions for admission seekers in the country.
He also described Olumilua as a disciplined and selfless party man and one of the leading lights of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Elders’ Forum in Ekiti State, adding that the former governor was a stabilising force in the ruling party.
Fayemi said Olumilua’s death has robbed the state and party of wise counsel noting that the vacuum created by the loss will be difficult to fill.
He urged the family of the deceased to take solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and left legacies of service, statesmanship, peacemaking, service in God’s vineyard and honour.
“Our revered Baba has gone to be with his maker. We lost a refined statesman and a man of honour. We are however consoled by the fact Baba lived a good life and left behind a legacy of honour and a good name. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”
In her own condolence message personally signed by her, Olujimi described Olumilua as a selfless statesman, advocate of good governance and tested politicians who left behind indelible legacies.
The federal lawmaker representing Ekiti South Senatorial District who commiserated with his family and people of the state, said that Ekiti state would sorely miss him, one of the leading lights of the Ekiti State who has remained a unifier despite political differences.
She noted that the vacuum created by the death of Olumilua would be difficult to fill, urging the Government and the family of the deceased to take the demise of Olumilua in good faith, because he served humanity selflessly.
In his own condolence message, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has condole with the State Government and immediate family of the late former governor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua.
According to his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, the former governor described the death of Evangelist Olumilua, as a loss to Ekiti and indeed Nigeria.
He said; “With the death of Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, Ekiti and indeed Nigeria have lost a very upright and courageous leader.
“He feared God and served humanity selflessly. Rest in Peace, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, former governor of old Ondo State.”
The Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, described the late politician, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, as an astute elder statesman with voracious zeal and passion for the progress and development of the state and its people.
Bamidele, who represents Ekiti Central Senatorial District at the Senate, said the people of the old Ondo State could attest to the uprightness and incorruptible dispositions of Olumilua as a governor that has become a template for good governance.
In his condolence message on Thursday, the lawmaker said that the people of the state would miss Olumilua’s progressive leadership style and ardent belief in the doctrine of unity, togetherness, equity, transparency and accountability, in service delivery.
The All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Ekiti state who described Olumilua’s as a colossal loss to the people of Ekiti and Ondo states, said the retired diplomat will forever be remembered for his legendary roles during the June 12 struggle.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Hon. Ade Ajayi noted that the advisory role played by the late former Governor to the present APC-led administration in the state was immense and purposeful.
Ajayi described the deceased as a quiet achiever who was always steadfast in any course he believed, adding that his foray into politics benefitted the lots of the masses in old Ondo state.
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