By Sodiq Yusuf
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has described the death of the Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Adebayo Osinowo as a rude shock.
In a statement he personally signed, Aregbesola said the late Osinowo popularly known as Pepperito was a committed, loyal and dedicated party man who gave his all for the cause which he charted.
The minister noted that the deceased was a solid pillar of support whose backing to the success of his governorship ambition in the State of Osun is unquantifiable.
Below is the full statement;
OSINOWO WAS A GOOD MAN
I received with shock and indescribable grief but submission to the will of Allah the passage of my friend, brother and political associate of many decades, Senator Dhikrulahi Adebayo Osinowo.
Vivacious, didactic, ebullient, engaging, witty and more. These are befitting epigram for the extraordinarily energetic Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District at the National Assembly. There was no dull moment with Osinowo. He was zestful and full of life.
We met soon after his release from a prolonged detention with the winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, an experience that, according to him, was close to death. Bayo never finished regaling us with snippets of his gulag experience that could best be described as harrowing and life threatening, yet he survived.
He was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Kosofe1, State Constituency. He served in that capacity for 16 years before his election into the National Assembly. He was a solid pillar of the house, mobilizing, coordinating and enforcing party policies, objectives and decisions.
Senator Osinowo was a core loyalist to our cause and tendency in all spheres and climes and a bold and courageous defender of the MANDATE GROUP.
Osinowo was versatile and lived the conviction of his beliefs and courted political engagements with relish. He never shied away from polemics and debate. He told whoever cared to listen that he was an unapologetic Tinubu man.
I can never fully requite the debt of service, favour and commitment I owe Senator Osinowo. He gave me an overwhelming support for the Osun Governorship project. As a matter of fact, he took it personal. He engaged and was responsible for the 12-man bodyguards that provided water-tight security for me from 2004 to 2010. He mobilized resources from far and wide for the elections and legal tussles.
To be sure, Bayo recruited Prince Adelowo Adedeji (OBAFOOT) to our circle. Obafoot then donated his palatial country home for our use in Ilesa as residence and operational base till today.
The resources, both human and material, rallied by Senator Osinowo for that cause were legendary. Only Allah SWT can adequately reward him for the kind gestures.
His demise was unforeseen. He was not known to suffer any illness. The news of his indisposition was brief and unserious till 14:39 hours today (Monday) when his painful transition was announced by one of us over the phone. What does this teach? We are reeds in the hands of fate. No one knows the time and hour but God.
My heart is with his wife, children and family. I beseech them to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.
All members of the political family are enjoined to be calm and forbearing. Friends and associates should know that a leaf will not fall off a tree branch outside the Knowledge of God.
May Allah SWT forgive our brother and accept him to Aljannah Fridaous. Aamin.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola
Minister of Interior