Nigerians, indeed the Yorubas, received the news of the death of a principal Afenifere leader, Senator Ayo Fasanmi with rude shock. The news from the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode came from the son of the deceased, Justice Obademi Fasanmi.
Since the news of his death was broken, torrent of tributes has since followed from leaders of thoughts, civil society groups, particularly from the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo, who captured the life of the distinguished and charismatic Senator of the Federal Republic as a true patriot, a forthright servant, an interlocutor for the common man. Describing him further as a man of deep conviction, praying that his legacy of consistency in egalitarian beliefs, social justice and action lives on.
The plethora of reactions that trailed the sad news were clear testimonies of his sterling qualities while alive.
He was a notable loyal and adherent supporter of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the first Premier of the Western Region, and he never wavered in his support and loyalty till the political Averta breathed his last in 1987. In the Afenifere, a Pan Yoruba political group, he was a hard believer in the politics of the revered Cicero, Chief Bola Ige and supported him unalloyed even when Ige elected to serve in the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
Among the deluge of eulogies poured on him, was from the Nigeria Voters Assembly’s President and Convener, Comrade Mashood Erubami. While commenting on the death of the political titan, Erubami described the late Senator as an unforgettable legislator and prodigy of ethical politics, a hero and quintessential leader. He further described him as a model of modesty, who hailed from Ekiti and died like an Osun indigene, having lived major part of his life in Osogbo, the capital of the State of Osun.
He said, though, it would appear he had died but since he will live in the conscience of many of his supporters and followers , he will live on forever.
The Coalition of Yoruba Youths under the leadership of Comrade Awa Banji spoke eloquently of the political colossus. He expressed worry over the unfinished desires of the leader as he is fondly called that it may be a bit tasking for the Youths to complete the unfinished agenda on his mind before death came calling.He, notwithstanding, assured that he will lead the Youths to carry Nigeria to its desired lofty height through greater courage, passion and commitment for sustainable human development.
In another heartfelt condolence sent to the families, Barrister Oladosu Oladipo, the leader of the Nigeria Next level Prosperity Forum said of Senator Fasanmi : “He was another political sage with impeccable integrity, spartan discipline, correct version and well planned mission.” The group prayed that his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
Also, the Executive Governor of Ekiti State, in his glowing tribute to the sage, described him as one of the heroes of democracy being enjoyed in the country today, a steadfast Awoist and committed progressive whose death robbed Nigeria of one of her most selfless politicians and patriots. A justice and equity defender, a consistent progressives who never waver in his commitment to the progressives ideology as exemplified in his membership of the Action Group (AG), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Social Democratic Party (SDP) Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Senator Ayo Fasanmi was an exceptional member of the National Democratic Coalition, (NADECO), a principal pro-democracy outfit established in the fight to fight the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola
The second republic Senator who hailed from Iye- Ekiti in Ilejemeje local government of Ekiti State, a renowned pharmacist and former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
He lived a fulfilled life ,ran a good race and has gone home for a well deserved rest.
The leadership of the Progressive Student Forum during Pa Fasanmi’s birthday at 77 described him as a strong pillar, an embodiment of truth, loyalty, peace, unity and progress. A man with Solomonic wisdom.
He Passed on at the age of 94. He would have been 95 in September 2020.
Pa Ayo Fasanmi did not die without leaving good legacies for politicians coming after him, he wrote his name in gold as a very courageous, truthful and ethical political leader in Nigeria. We will continue to miss him but believing that he never dies since he will continue to live in our consciences as his followers. Adieu Pa Fasanmi !!!
Senator Ayo Fasanmi was born in 1925 in Ekiti, South West zone of Nigeria. He attended St Paul’s primary school, Ebute Metta and Government School, Ibadan. He studied Pharmacy and graduated with a diploma certificate in pharmacy. He commenced his pharmaceutical practice in Osogbo and later joined politics of the Progressives.
He was a member of the Unity Party of Nigeria in 1978, became a member of the Federal House of Representatives to represent Ondo North and later served in the Old Western Nigeria Housing Corporation. He Married to Madam Adejoke, who died in 2014 at the age of 82.