The Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, on Wednesday described the death of rights activist and unionist, Mr Ayodele Akele, as a colossal loss to the entire nation.
Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, described Akele as a reliable and trusted ally that made remarkable impact in the world of social activism.
He noted that late Akele devoted all his life and energy to freedom fighting.
“I am saddened to hear the news of Akele’s death, it was a loss too many to bear.
“The late Comrade Akele’s foothold in social activism was indelible and we will certainly miss his radicalism.
“The unionist’s relationship with the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) family was cordial till date.
He was nicknamed “Itu” and his popular saying was “Keu, Keu”,which had been his signpost among other Comrades,” the Aare said.
Adams said that the deceased, during his lifetime, remained a frontline freedom fighter and one of the strongmen to be trusted in the struggle, especially during the dark era of the military.
He said that Akele had suffered a lot of injustice and yet remained steadfast in the struggle for justice and social reforms.
Adams said: “I could remember some of the memorable moments we shared together and it reminded me of a brother, colleague and great man of high intelligence and integrity.
“Comrade Akele will never compromise on his principles and ideals; he was at the forefront of the struggle for my release during my days in the prison.”
He described the deceased as one of the few men that had earned his respect.
“Akele participated and showed unrivaled bravery during the campaign by a group, “Free Otunba Gani Adams (FOGAC), that actually led to my release from detention,” he said.
Adams, while describing the late Akele as a hero, even in death, charged other comrades and social activists not to relent in the struggle for true federalism.
According to him, the only way the death of our heroes past could not be in vain is to continue the struggle, which heroes like Akele lived and died for, and also demonstrate unrelenting zeal for social justice.
The Aare prayed God to strengthen the family and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akele, a former labour leader, died on Tuesday morning in the U.S. after a protracted illness.
The late Akele was a former Secretary-General of the National Conscience Party founded by the late legal luminary, Gani Fawehinmi.