The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described the late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, former military governor of the old Western Region, as a detribalised Nigerian who contributed immensely to the peace and unity of the country.
The Minister told newsmen during a condolence visit to late Adebayo`s family home in Lagos on Saturday that the deceased played a big role in the stability of the country at the critical time he was governor.
Mohammed,who was received by the deceased`s widow,Modupeola and daughter,Mrs Nike Makinde, as well as other family members, said Adebayo was a passionate and astute administrator who put the interest of the country first in all he did.
He said the life and times of late Adebayo was a great leadership lesson in tolerance and peaceful co-existence as he was very understanding and tolerated everybody, regardless of ethnic and religious background.
“Late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo was an astute administrator who did his best to promote the peace and progress of Nigeria, particularly the old Western region, when he was governor.
“I think what we need to learn from the great leadership achievements of late Adebayo is that Nigeria is too delicate a place; we must understand the various sensibilities; we might be a country, but we are a country of many nations.
“So anybody who is entrusted with the mantle of leadership must look at Nigeria from that perspective. He must be very understanding, accommodating and tolerant.
“And we can say about late Adebayo that he was tolerant, understanding and accommodating, and was able to achieve quietly what others would achieve with so much noise,“ he said.
The minister said Nigerians should celebrate late Adebayo rather than mourn, adding that history would be kind to him for his role in keeping the country together.
In her comments, the deceased`s daughter, Makinde, said the late patriarch of the family was a perfect example in humility and selfless service.
She said their father was not given to materialism, but dedicated all he had for the comfort and needs of the less privileged around him.
“Our father was a good example of humility and generosity. He always told us to humble ourselves before people and never feel that we were important.
“He was not materialistic; he did not live for himself alone, but also for the needy. He was always helping people and would not say it.
“He was such a wonderful father.We will sorely miss him for his great impacts. He really did his best for humanity,“she said.
Makinde thanked Nigerians for standing with the family, saying the condolences they had received were a measure of the achievements and the goodwill of their late father.
Newsverge reports that the late Adebayo , father of former Ekiti governor, Mr Niyi Adebayo, died in Lagos on March 8, a day to his 89th birthday.