Power Minister, Adelabu Mourns Ex-minister, Prince Ajibola Afonja

Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu has expressed deep sadness over the death of Prince Ajibola Afonja, a former Minister of Labour and Productivity under the Interim National Government of late Chief Ernest Shonekan, adding that the vacuum left by his passing would be difficult to fill.

Afonja who was also the former Chairman of First Bank and native of Oyo town, Oyo State, died on Sunday night at the University College Hospital, UCH, in Ibadan. He was 82.

In a condolence message made available to journalists, Adelabu expressed shock and deep sadness over the death of Prince Afonja, describing him as someone whose indelible mark on the society would never be forgotten. He described the former Minister as an illustrious and distinguished son who contributed immensely to the development and progress of Oyo town.

The message reads:

“With a deep sense of loss, I mourn the passage of our father, former Minister of Labour and Productivity in the Interim National Government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan.

Although he lived to a ripe old age of 82, his transition is still painful because his wise counsel, at this time, in our State and the Nation would be sorely missed. We however take great consolation in the fact that he lived a life of service to the people, having left indelible marks in the sands of time.

To say Baba’s demise came to me as a rude shock would be an understatement, considering the manner of his death.

“As a Minister, he contributed in his own way in stabilizing the polity during that tense period of Nigeria’s history. He was committed to Country, people of Oyo State and Oyo town in particular.
As a businessman, he brought renown to Oyo town through his business, Integrated Dimensional System, IDS, a name he was associated with during his lifetime.

He was a philanthropist whose generosity touched lives.

“I share in the grief of members of his nuclear and extended families, the people Oyo and Nigeria that he served at a most turbulent period of Nigerian history. My heart-felt condolences also go to all those left behind by his passing.

‘No soothing words can help ease the pain and loss of his passing away, but let us take consolation in his good deeds which are indelibly written in the heart of the people who have had the good fortune of coming in contact with him.

“Though, he left at the most unexpected time, but we take solace in the words of the American composer, Irving Berlin that, “the song is ended but the melody lingers on.” He left good memories having done his duties by his people in Oyo Town, Oyo State and Nigeria.

“On behalf of myself and my family, I pray that his soul finds repose in the bosom of the Almighty God.

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