TRIBUTE TO FUNMI OLAYINKA
I just lost someone as never imagined, nor felt ever like this since I was born.
I just lost someone, and never knew the love and bond we had for each other was as strong as I felt after the eclipse.
I just lost someone in Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka. It is devastating. The reverberations and tremblings were such never felt since I grew up to realise how painful pain can be.
I was at The Place in Ikeja GRA on Saturday, 6th of April evening having a solitude dinner when Akin called.
“Uncle Segun, have you heard about Sahara Reporters’ breaking news?”
Nope I replied, and sharply too. But there had been simply one news I never wanted to hear in the past three months. That is, the miracle of healing I have been craven and believing the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords for had not come to be.
To the best of my monitoring apparatus, Funmi was with us earlier that day, and when few minutes later, after having pushed aside and abandoned the remaining bits of my dinner, the confirmation hit and jolted me like a thunderbolt. The confirmation came all the way from the US of A. I made my way back home, shaking and trembling at the back of the car, and with the driver ceaselessly asking “Everything OK?”. There was never an answer given. Funmi Olayinka, nee Famuwagun, my Next Locker Neighbour [NLN], around 35 years ago at Olivet was gone. We had our lockers next to each other during the HSC, Lower Six Studies.
Funmi was quintessential.
We came to be re-united decades later but this will not be the appropriate forum to discuss that as I need to talk about the Funmi I knew.
What a Lady.
What a Woman.
If there had ever been someone you can rely on, looking further will be a time wasting exercise to embark on.
She was the able and God-Chosen “Co-Pilot” to the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. JK Fayemi. If your path had been crossed by Funmi’s, during that short 52 years on this side of eternity, and you do not have a lovely story to recount, there must be something seriously wrong.
I saw it all.
She was fiercely, and recklessly loyal.
Funmi epitomes hardwork.
Funmi was a representation of brain and beauty.
Funmi was what hardwork should be.
Funmi meant and lived Courage.
Funmi lived not a life of excuse, even when it could have been logically sensible, and acceptable.
Funmi was fulfilled.
Will there ever be the right age to bid the world goodbye? The fact in the question bordering on why good people live not for long continues with Funmi’s exit.
But she did well.
Icons do not live forever.
Legends establishes life-long impact that lives exponentially forever after them. That’s what Funmi, I believe was created to do and fulfil.
When, Funmi turned 50, I sent the piece below to the to the writer of a masterpiece written in one of the National Newspapers… “Just read through your piece on Funmi [ Funmi Olayinka @50],
and simply a beautiful one. Meanwhile by the time you finish reading through my mail, you will find it difficult to differentiate / distinguish between reality and the stuff a true fiction is made of. Here we go… In the first instance, I wish Funmi [ my NLN] the very best of 50th,…How time flies !!! We were in the same class of ’76, and I used to call her “Next Locker Neighbour” simply because her desk was next to mine. Meanwhile, she was in the Arts Department. Even then, Funmi radiates class, and she combined being tall with elegance, and not in the least was I personally surprised on reading through her bundles of achievements there after. Very hardworking lady. Some other classmates were the likes of Femi Vaughan, Rotimi Abolarinwa, Nikolas [!!!], Funmi Shangle, Bimbo Omope, etc…etc… This is the funny bit… I was Kayode’s BestMan when he got married to Bisi in 1989 here in London. I am eagerly waiting for that day, when that stolen mandate will be restored, and the story will be sweeter than nothing ever imagined. So much for the memory lane. May the Lord God continue to bless Funmi with Wisdom, Sound and Perfect Health, and Long Life. Happy Birthday to an amazing lady. Have a great weekend. Segun Adeyi, Swanley. Kent. United Kingdom. 07711143 602”
Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka,The Moremi of Ekiti Land, may your sweet gentle soul rest in perfect peace. You came, You Saw, and You Left a Legacy of Loyalty, Hardwork, Brilliance, and Passion for Excellence.
You are left Ekiti State better than you met it. Ekiti State will forever be grateful to you.
I will never forget that moment, when you held me tight and close, re-assuring me this last February. I wish I was strong and bold enough to look straight and directly into your eyes that afternoon, longer than I did…but the situation was tough…it was grim…you turned the comforter while I was supposed to be doing that, instructing me on the need to “thank and give glory to God for He’s been good”…Little did I realise that was going to be the very last time… …and inspite of it all, you still managed to call me …once more for the last time …”Baba Shege” You will be sorely missed, but you are surely resting in the Lord.
Once again, Rest In Perfect Peace.
[Baba Shege, as you always called me]
Where is your deputy, Olayinka’s mother asks Fayemi
Tears flowed freely in Ekiti State on Sunday following the announcement of the death of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, who died at 52 on Saturday after a protracted battle with cancer on Sunday.
The deputy governor’s parents, Chief Festus Famuagun, and her wife, Grace, were inconsolable when Governor Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Bisi, visited the bereaved family at Isato area of Ado Ekiti on Sunday.
The deceased’s mother, who is 80 years old, rhetorically asked the governor, “Kayode, where is Funmi? Kayode, where is your deputy?”
The governor, who was moved to tears by the question, intermittently removed his glasses to wipe tears from his face with his handkerchief.
While the governor tried in vain to console the father, his wife also made attempts to console the mother but it was in vain.
The governor, who was dressed in dark outfit, did not grant interview while leaving the residence of the Famuagun.
Top government officials, including the Chairman of SUBEB, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; the Head of Service, Mr. Bunmi Famosaya; the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo; among others, led other government official to commiserate with the bereaved family.
Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe, burst into tears during an interview with journalists at the residence of the deceased.
Awe, who had tried hard to fight tears, burst into tears as Olayinka was referred to as the late deputy governor. The ACN chairman described Olayinka as a pillar of support for the ACN and the government of the state.
Sympathisers have been pouring into the Government House to commiserate with Fayemi over the death of the deputy governor.
Some of the early callers at the Government House in include, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former Governor of old Ondo State, Bamidele Olumilua; and Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin.
Okonjo-Iweala said, “It is with deep sense of loss that we learn the passing of our beautiful, intelligent sister. She was a true representative of Nigeria’s womanhood.”
Meanwhile, Fayemi on Sunday declared a seven-day mourning to commence the mourning of the late deputy governor, who died of cancer in Lagos on Saturday.
Fayemi said this in a broadcast on Sunday.
The governor said it was sad that Olayinka lost the battle to cancer although she availed herself of medical treatment both at home and abroad.
The governor said, “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.
“She was a virtuous family woman and devout Christian, who served God practically and diligently, touching many lives in compassion and humility.
“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.”
Culled from Punch
TEXT OF STATE BROADCAST ON THE PASSAGE OF DEPUTY GOVERNOR, EKITI STATE, MRS FUNMI OLAYINKA
SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013
My dear good people of Ekiti State,
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
“Baba Shege…When you wake up in the morning, thank God, In the afternoon, give Him Glory, and before you go to bed at night……, The Lord Has Been Good…He has Been Good”
– Funmi Olayinka, Feb., 2013
May Your Sweet Gentle Soul Rest In Perfect Peace…
Funmi Olayinka Passes On…May Her Gentle Sweet Soul Rest In Perfect Peace.