By Adekunle Williams
Ikeja – Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, among others poured tributes on late Sen. Adebayo Osinowo at a special parliamentary session held in his honour
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osinowo, 65, reportedly died of COVID-19 on June 15 in Lagos and has been buried in his country home in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Sanwo-Olu said during the session in honour of Osinowo at the Lagos State House of Assembly complex on Tuesday in Lagos that the deceased meant different things to different people.
The governor said that a lot of people had expressed how and what they knew about the late Osinowo during his lifetime.
He said members of the state Executive Council had a special session for the late Senator on Monday because of his level of contributions to the development of the state.
“He was a very witty and jovial person. We enjoyed a high level of comradeship.
“He was a different person to different people. He has lived a fulfilled man, a respected Nigerian, a respected husband and father.
“How do we want to be remembered, when we are gone? If we missed him, we must learn something from him. Let us know that our time will come, and what will people say about us?
“On behalf of the people and government of Lagos State, I thank the House of Assembly for the session. I want us to know that our time on earth is limited,” he said.
Obasa, while eulogising the late lawmaker, said that Osinowo was a major general in the corridor of Nigerian politics.
The Speaker described the late Senator as a power broker who assisted many politicians to realise their dreams.
“I met him before we got to the state house of assembly, when we were strategising about who would be the speaker of the 5th Lagos Assembly.
“Osinowo was an astute and grassroots politician and a super benefactor to many. My emergence as speaker of the 8th Assembly was through him and he contributed to the success of our elections in the South West.
“He fought to liberate Nigeria from military dictators. He was a parliamentarian par excellence and he was a great democrat.
“ Osinowo was a friend, a colleague, a teacher, ebullient, lively and full of humour,” he said.
The lawmaker said the late Osinowo was in tune with everybody.
“His death has created a vacuum that would be difficult to fill and he would be greatly missed by everybody,” Obasa said.
The speaker said that he was sure that the deceased never knew he would be departing so soon, when he gave a speech about death on the floor of the Senate.
Speaking via zoom, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila commiserated with the Lagos lawmakers over the great loss.
Gbajabiamila said many people had heard about the late Senator and there was no way one could talk about the state and the state house of assembly as well as the Senate without mentioning Osinowo.
“He would be remembered with fond memories. Let us remember those good times we had with him, his jovial ways, and anecdotes.
“He was a welder who welded different forces together. He was close to the Speaker of the House of Assembly, I know you would miss him. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Also speaking, the APC Chairman in Lagos State, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, said that Sen. Osinowo lived a very good, caring and generous life.
Contributing, the immediate past Speaker of the House, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said he never knew that after five years and three weeks of leaving the House, the time he would speak in the chamber again would be a valedictory service for late Osinowo.
“Most of the old members and senior members of the APC know that Senator Sikiru Osinowo was a close associate of mine.
“I spent 12 years in the house, 10 of which I led the House, but we were close all through.
“When someone passes on in our clime, we don’t say bad things about him or her. Pepper, as I knew him, was a human being. He was an extra ordinary human being,” he said.
Other lawmakers took turns to also pay glowing tributes to the late senator and described him as a mentor and a political leader, who they said mentored many and helped to stabilise the assembly.
Earlier in his sermon and prayers, Muslim cleric, Sheik Habeeb Al-Ilori, said that it is only God that does not die.
“We will come into the world and go at the appropriate time. God created death and death is the ultimate price for every human being to pay.
“Aljana is for those who do well, while hell fire is for those who have not done well for humanity.
“As we mourn Sen. Osinowo, then it is certain he will be in Aljana as he did good things while on earth. We should all do good and see the late Osinowo as a good example for us,” he said.