Eminent Nigerians have mourned former member of the National Assembly that represented Ogun East between 1999 and 2003 under the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.
They include National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and others.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, in Abuja, yesterday, described the death of a Fourth Republic Senator as sad and painful.
Tinubu said: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of elder statesman, pro-democracy activist and progressive politician, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.”
In a condolence message, Abiodun described Durojaiye’s death as a “great loss to the progressives, the political ideology he identified with and represented while alive.”
Osoba said Durojaiye died in active service to the nation, saying: “Despite his old age, the late octogenarian was never found wanting anytime he was called to serve. I recalled how he was incarcerated under the military regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha but yet he was never deterred.”
Similarly, Fayemi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said he was saddened that a pillar in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in the nineties has gone.
He described the deceased as a highly cerebral economist, lawyer, pro-democracy activist, distinguished parliamentarian and a leading light of the progressive politics in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu, who described Durojaiye as a passionate leader that served his country meritoriously as a public servant, human rights activist, politician and seasoned administrator, commended his contribution to Nigeria’s democracy, especially his fight, alongside other progressive elements in the country during the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and the dark days of the military junta for the enthronement of constitutional democracy in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, said Durojaiye’s death was a great loss to Nigeria.
Also, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural body, Afenifere, expressed shock at the demise of Durojaiye. Its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, said Durojaiye had an unblemished record both in his public career and as a politician.
In like manner, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum said Durojaiye made visible impact while he lived. A statement signed by President of the forum, Mr. Akin Malaolu, said the late senator promoted the spirit of togetherness among Nigerians of diverse backgrounds, ethnicity, faith and politics.