With grief in my heart, I address you today on the passage of our Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka. In the evening of yesterday, April 6, 2013, the death of Mrs Olayinka occurred after a long but spirited battle with cancer. This was duly communicated to the public immediately her death was confirmed in a statement from the Government of Ekiti State.
This is indeed a trying period in the life of our dear state. We have been aware of the health challenges of our Deputy Governor which culminated in the government issuing a statement a month ago when she commenced a sick leave during which we requested that you remember her in your prayers. In the course of her ailment, she battled gallantly and availed herself of the best medical services within and outside Nigeria.
In all of these challenges, I was of the belief that because of her courage and determination to live, she would pull through her health challenges. But man proposes and God disposes. She lost the battle.
Fellow citizens of Ekiti State, I am pained by the exit of our Deputy Governor who was my ready partner in our collective quest to develop our dear state. As my dependable ally in the struggle to free Ekiti, she was a consistent bulwark of support, especially through the period of the judicial struggle to reclaim our mandate. I was never in doubt of her unalloyed loyalty, competence and integrity. I shall miss her greatly. In the course of our struggle, she also became my wife’s best friend.
As my Deputy, she was a hardworking, God fearing, reliable and trustworthy companion. She served our people meritoriously in various capacities, overseeing key units of government including the Ekiti State Economic Management Team; Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Ekiti State Tenders Board; the State Pilgrims Welfare Board; the Branding and Communications Strategy e.t.c. Among her several achievements in office, she would be particularly remembered for overseeing the birthing of a new brand identity for the state; restoring the dignity and honour of our people and bequeathing brand identity icons that have become unifying forces among our people regardless of age, gender, or socio-political leanings. Her unique legacy is that active participation and high achievement in politics and governance should not exclude women; this is particularly instructive in our society today as we pursue inclusion in every sector of national life.
She was a virtuous family woman and devout Christian who served God practically and diligently, touching many lives in compassion and humility. Even as we mourn the dearly departed, we are consoled by the fact that she has gone to rest with the Lord and thus she is free from the burdens and worries of this earthly realm.
In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of seven-day mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast. During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended.
Condolence registers have been opened in the Governor’s and Deputy Governor’s offices, Government House, the State House of Assembly, her residence and the Liaison offices in Lagos and Abuja.
The State shall liaise with her family in preparation for a full state burial. I also use this opportunity to request that you remember the family she has left behind in your prayers.
Olufunmilayo Adunni Olayinka, Akoni Obinrin, Moremi Ekiti, Sun re o.
I wish all of us the courage and the fortitude to bear the loss.
Thank You and God bless.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi,
Ekiti State, Nigeria