By Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON
If there is any death that has really diminished me and caused me great grief in recent times, it is the unexpected passage of the Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, the distinguished Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly until his sudden demise.
Late Hon. Funminiyi Afuye was the archetypal totality of the treasured Omoluabi ethos of the Yoruba. He was good in and out, and one of the best breeds of the human species to have walked our land. Apart from being born of a noble pedigree, he was a man whose nobility transcended genetic inheritance. He earned his nobility on the strength of good learning and unblemished character.
As a member of the sixth Assembly and the Leader of the Opposition in a hung parliament at a time we were fighting to retrieve our mandate in the court, he played a strategic role in ensuring that the thirteen members of ACN remained on course. His simplicity, humility, and disarming gentility made it easy for him to lead effortlessly. As the Speaker of the eighth Assembly, he provided leadership to the Assembly to ensure the success of my administration. The Assembly under his leadership was exceptional, cooperative, and creative. It was a forward-looking and progressive legislature that passed many landmark bills into law.
Earlier in my first term of office as Governor, he served between 2011 to 2014 as Commissioner of Regional Integration and Intergovernmental Affairs where he worked for the actualisation of our dream for the establishment of the Development Agenda Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission; he was later to serve as my Commissioner of Information and Values Orientation. Excellence trailed every assignment he handled and all the positions he held. I have lost in his death a great patriot, a reliable political ally, an amiable friend, and a seasoned politician and legislator.
Rt. Hon. Afuye was a man of faith, a loving husband, and a family man. His commitment to his family, his Ikere community, Ekiti State, the church (especially, Fountain of Hope International), Afenifere Renewal Group, and the Yoruba land, in general, was without saying. It is difficult to say the last goodbye to him because of the living evidence of his indelible marks that remain a reminder of his impactful life. He will be sorely missed.
I and my wife, Bisi join the Government and people of Ekiti State, the entire Ikere-Ekiti community, the leadership and Honourable members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly to offer our deepest condolences to his family on this irreparable loss. May God grant him eternal rest.
Goodbye, the Right Honourable.