The Governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi, and two former governors of the state, Ayodele Fayose and Olusegun Oni, paid their last respects to the late former Governor of the old Ondo state, Bamidele Olumilua, when his body was buried at the Ikere Ekiti, his Hometown.
In an interdenominational burial procession held on Friday in Ikere Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi described the late ex-Ondo State Governor, Evang. Bamidele Olumilua as a leader who valued self-respect, saying he was never a contract-seeking individual in the quest for material acquisition.
The governor said the late Olumilua never wavered from speaking the truth to power because he was not materialistic nor did he compromise his integrity through unnecessary drives for contracts and other enjoyments.
Olumilua who died on August 4 at the age of 80, was the governor of the old Ondo State between 1992 and 1993 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Politicians at the burial include the Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, as well as former Governors Segun Oni and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State respectively among others
Fayemi in his tribute applauded Olumilua for his love and compassion for Ekiti, saying he had left an indelible footprint on Ekiti’s socio-political sand.
“Baba Olumilua embraced all the governors of Ekiti regardless of party affiliation. He scolded, chastised us when the need be. He was a governor for less than two years in Ondo, but he was able to transform the state.
“His singular action led to the admission of Ondo into the committee of oil-producing states. All the governors from Ekiti always went to him to drink from his wealth of experience.
“He always spoke the minds of the people by speaking the truth to power. When he called you, he was not calling for a contract or any money, he always discussed developmental issues. We all benefited from his generosity of spirit.
“The greatest legacy we learned about his life and time is that, good name is better than gold and silver and that the best service one can render is service to the people.
“We admired and thanked him for his life of selfless service to the people of Ekiti and Ondo States”.
In his sermon entitled ‘inevitability of Death’, Pastor T.O. Falade of the Gospel Faith Mission International described death as a debt everyone, rich or poor will pay to either gain eternity or hellfire.
He said: “Some are living their lives as if they will be here forever, this is not possible. I want to encourage you to bare your minds towards that day when death would come to knock on your door.
“Baba Olumilua was a governor of a state at a time and this did not deprive him of serving God. He was prayerful because he knew that one day he would be called to judgement”.
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In her eulogies to the late Olumilua, the deceased’s first daughter, Mrs Yetunde Banjo, described her father as a stickler for rules, whose erudition and love for scholarship knew no bounds.
“My father was a thoroughly educated person. He could speak on any topic under the sun. He believed that hard work and prayer can take you to wherever you want.
“As a governor, he told one of his children not to think he had any special entitlement. He told the son right away that he was the governor and not the son and should forget about thinking that he should enjoy any special benefit as a governor’s son.”