There was shock and disbelief in the Oyo State House of Assembly and the entire state yesterday, following news of the death of the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Hon. Michael Adeyemo.
Adeyemo died of heart attack in the early morning of yesterday in his Ibadan home, aged 47.
He was said to have died on the way to the hospital. His remains were taken to the Anatomy Unit of the University of Ibadan.
In a formal announcement of Adeyemo’s death yesterday, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, declared a three-day mourning period with effect from Monday.
He also directed that flags be flown at half mast during the period.
The governor, who was on official assignment outside the state at the time the Speaker died, had to rush back to Ibadan when the news was broken to him, and headed straight to the Anatomy Department of the University of Ibadan where the late Speaker’s remains were kept.
During the visit to the morgue, Ajimobi had a lengthy discussion with the pathologists to ascertain the likely cause of the death and whether it could have been prevented, after which he spoke with the family members and the large number of sympathisers around.
Born into the Adeyemo family of Alaarun Compound in Lanlate, Ibarapa East Local Government Area of the State, the deceased Speaker was the eldest child of the family.
He attended the IMG (Ibadan Municipal Government), Oke Ado, Ibadan for his primary education and was at Celestial Church High School, also in Oke Ado, for his secondary education.
Adeyemo bagged two university degrees, first at the University of Port Harcourt in Educational Management, graduating in Second Class Upper and at the University of Ibadan, where he studied Law and graduated in 2004.
He practised at the Olujinmi & Akeredolu Law Firm.
With a passion to serve his people burning in him, he made his foray into politics in 2007 and had been a member of the state assembly from 2011 till his death.
He was quite active in the affairs of state and had presided over the plenary session of the House of Assembly on Tuesday before it was adjourned till May 3.
Popularly called AMA by friends and associates, the late Speaker who represented the Ibarapa East State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, was sworn in as Speaker of the State House of Assembly on June 12, 2015
Prior to his position as Speaker, he was Deputy Chief Whip of the House, member of Fund Allocation, Works and Transport, Agriculture, Trade and Investment, Appropriation and Public Finance committees of the 7th House of Assembly.
The late Speaker was the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Conference of Speakers and also the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, among Speakers of the States’ Houses of Assembly.
He was a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the International Bar Association. He also served in the executive committee of the Ibadan branch of the NBA as an Auditor and Assistant Secretary.
Governor Ajimobi described his death as a tragic loss for him and the people of the state.
He said: “I received the news of the untimely passage of my brother, friend and dependable political ally, with grief and utter shock, this morning (yesterday).
“He was a fine gentleman and bridge builder, who was committed to the development and progress of the state.
“His death has left a gaping void that will be difficult to fill.”
The governor expressed sadness that death had again taken away one of the brightest, dutiful and committed political leaders in the state, who had used his sagacity in piloting the affairs of the Assembly without rancour.
As the leader of the legislative arm of government, with members from different political parties, the governor said that Adeyemo ensured that the arm’s relationship with the Executive was very robust.
The governor said: “He was an energetic young man that was always prepared to sacrifice his time, expertise and resources to ensure that the relationship between the Executive and Legislature did not break down at any time, no matter how thorny the issue might be. He was my bridge builder.
“Political leaders from Ibarapa zone deferred to him because of his candour, gentleness, respect and his amiable disposition to all, young and old. He was a rallying point for the Assembly leaders, who held him in high esteem because of his unassuming nature.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family, honorable members of the House of Assembly, his political associates, friends and loved ones. This is a loss too sudden and tragic for me to bear.
“My prayer is that his very gentle soul should continue to rest in peace. I will sorely miss him.”
A rude shock–Osun Assembly
The Osun State House of Assembly, led Rt. Hon. Najeem Salaam, yesterday described Adeyemo’s death as a rude shock.
In a condolence message signed by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the Osun Assembly said the death was a huge loss to the government and people of Oyo State in general.
The statement said the death of Hon. Adeyemo was too sudden as he led the house proceeding with agility three days to his death.
The Assembly noted that the influence and proactiveness of Hon. Adeyemo, who was the Chairman, Conference of Speakers in the South West, would be greatly missed.
Describing the late lawmaker as a respected parliamentarian and a voice to reckon with in the Nigeria Conference of Speakers and legislature generally, it said that his death would leave a big vacuum.
Oyo Speaker’s death shocking, says Lanlehin
A governorship aspirant and immediate past Senator for Oyo South District, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, described Adeyemo’s death as shocking and devastating to the entire Oyo House of Assembly, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, his family and the people of Oyo State.
Lanlehin, in a condolence message from his media office, said Adeyemo, who was a great lawyer, would be sorely missed for his outstanding leadership skills and for espousing politics without bitterness and violence.
Describing him as a great stabilizer in the Eighth Assembly and team player in the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures where he was active and played enviable role, Lanlehin tasked his colleagues to sustain Adeyemo’s legacy of peace.
Lanlehin said: “My heart goes out to his immediate family, the people of Ibarapa East State Constituency, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, his family, colleagues and associates in this trying time.
“The speaker was a fine gentleman, a humble, brilliant lawyer whose positive impact was felt wherever he went.
“Coming seven years after he lost his wife during child birth, I can only pray that God should grant him eternal rest and keep the children safe and flourishing, and the family, the fortitude to bear the painful loss.”