***We Must Sustain His Legacies
With the passing away of the late National Publicity Secretary for the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, continue to pour in, former PDP Governorship aspirant, Barrister Ken Imansuagbon described the death of the human activist as devastating in view of the fact that he lived and died in the struggle for an egalitarian society.
Barrister Ken Imansuagbon, aka, Rice Man, in a statement , and made available to newsmen who also shared his personal experience as school mate, said the exit of the Trojan remains a personal loss.
“Writing a fitting tribute in the memory of my friend and brother, Yinka Odumakin, is no doubt a very big challenge especially as I have to overcome emotions of the years we spent together in thick and thin. His demise is a personal loss to me.
“Yinka was my school mate then in Great Ife(University of Ife). Our paths crossed as student unionists. He was the Public Relations Officer(PRO) at some point and I can remember vividly his fearless campaign during the Speech Night at the Sports Complex.
“His speech, and that of one of our other contemporary, Panaf, was electrifying and robust. Even when Yinka’s presentation was calm, his words were deeply lacerating”
“As the PRO of the Student Union Government (SUG), he was tough and rugged. He was generally loved and respected. His ideology about leadership was that of service. At Fajuyi Hall, he was the shining star and a role model for us. Himself, Biodun Owoniko, now SAN, were role models and they excelled academically too”.
“Like me, Yinka believed in the Nigerian nation where there would be equity, fairness and justice. As one who launched his opposition career from that position to challenge unjust status quo, often forming alliances with progressive movements of dissents with common purposes, he was a target of several suppressive regimes.
“He was against the use of overt power for the structured suppression and subjugation of the common Nigerians. He was feared by Jackboot governments because of his liberating manifestoes and seductive ideals”.
“He challenged without fear state corruption and the alienation by the ruling elite.
His clamour for civil liberties holds several lessons for us. He spoke against governments stifling the people to silence.
“Yinka was a revolutionary leader and a nationalist. He took more than just passing interest in Nigerian’s fortunes. He never could watch idle while some individuals plunge the country into social and economic mire with harrowing effect. In fact, he spoke boldly on every national issue that was worth talking about”.
“He was a ruthless foe against the implacable mechanism of totalitarian regimes in Nigeria until his passing. He never for once ignored the antecedent history of his people who were subjected to Dictatorial Orders of unresponsive thoughts”.
“I recall correctly his unpretentious position during the Edo State election last year, which was seen as the political emancipation from the grips of the last godfather”.
“He was of the opinion that I should allow Governor Obaseki to complete his second tenure. He was among those who eventually persuaded me to step down, though not without friendly fireworks from me. He was a straightforward man who didn’t mind standing alone”.
“Libraries would be erected if I continue to recall and write about the man Yinka was. He has told Nigerians the truth and it’s left for us to take his stencilled words etched in our national sands for what they are worth. At least Yinka is no more a target where archers of repression can direct their darts”