Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has appealed to Nigerians to demonstrate greater commitment to nation’s unity and democratic growth.
Osinbajo made the appeal on Thursday during the funeral service in honour of the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr Frederick Fasehun, at St. Stephen’s Anglican Cathedral, Oke Aluko, Ondo, Ondo State.
He spoke glowingly about the deceased, saying that he spent his lifetime and resources working for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria, using the OPC and June 12 as his platform.
The vice president said: “It is a great honour and special privilege to be able to express my condolences on behalf of the President of Nigeria and the Nigerian government.
“It is a sad and great occasion because we celebrate a Nigerian who was exceptional in every sense and will always be remembered for what he did with OPC.
“We know of his struggle for the realisation of June 12. He spent his resources trying to restore that mandate.
“He was a principled person and you will find him actively fighting every cause for justice.
Osinbajo further hailed the deceased for intervening and ensuring the training of artisans in Yorubaland.
According to him, “most of those that founded OPC were actually artisans, so he formed a guild of artisans, teaching excellence and democratic principles.”
He prayed for God’s consolation for the bereaved family, while urging them to sustain the legacies their father left behind.
Earlier, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said the Yoruba race found hope in Fasehun, who founded the OPC, describing the group as “a legacy that will live forever.”
Akeredolu said, “Baba lived well. We are all proud of him. Someone came out then when it was time to have the Yoruba struggle while others were in trenches.
“A force came out from nowhere, the OPC which became the symbol of our struggle.
“An icon has departed and we will forever remember him as one of our patriots who flew the flag of Ondo to great heights.”
In a sermon, Most Rev. Gabriel Akinbiyi, the Archbishop of Ondo Province, Anglican Communion, urged Christians to renew their relationship with God.
Akinbiyi described death as inevitable for all, irrespective of one’s position or status.
He also paid special tribute to the deceased, describing him as a patriotic Nigerian, whose lifespan was devoted to the liberation of his people.
He further admonished Nigerians to accept Jesus Christ, saying, “The second and spiritual death commences after the first and physical death, if the person did not believe in Christ while alive.
“May we not die the second death. Come to who will give you life so that you will be resurrected to eternal life. If you are born only once, you will die twice,” the cleric said.
Dignitaries at the event included Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Minister of State for Niger Delta, Prof. Claudius Daramola, and scores of traditional rulers, among others.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo sent a condolence message.