By Kayode Adeoti
Family members, friends and many top government functionaries in Kwara State could not hold back tears as a former member of the state House of Assembly; Hon. Hamidu Giwa Afolabi (Elefo) was laid to rest in his home town, Reke, Asa Local Government Area on Monday.
Alhaji Ahmad Mustapha Al-Gambari, who led prayers at Janazat, charged family and the community to continue to live together in harmony and peace, just as he reminded them that death is an expected end for anyone.
“Death is inevitable, and it will come when it desires; no one has been able to devise what can avert it, we should always strive to do good even as we sojourn on earth,” he charged.
A son of the deceased, Alhaji Mufu Afolabi, who spoke to National Pilot amidst tears, disclosed that his father had premonition of his death, as he promised to show him all his property the following day (Monday).
“He was a great man. He summoned my brother and I yesterday (Sunday) and informed us of his intention to take us to where his property are; he wanted to show us everything. I didn’t know that he was preparing to go (die). My father was not sick, he rarely fell sick. When I visited him yesterday, he was full of life and there was nothing to show that he was battling with what would kill him soon. We discussed many issues as if he knew that would be our last.
“Barely 10 minutes after I left him yesterday (Sunday), my sister called to informed me that our father was gasping for breath, I thought it was a joke but, alas my father has gone,” he said in an emotion laden voice.
A former Kwara lawmaker, Honourable Nimota Ibrahim, described Elefo’s death as a colossal loss to the state.
Ibrahim who served alongside the deceased in the 7th Assembly, said Elefo lived a life worthy of emulation.
“Elefo was humble and down- to- earth, there was no dull moment with him. His death is a loss to everyone of one of us, particularly his immediate family. All we can say is that, we all know we come from God and to Him, we shall return; everyone will die someday. I have learnt from him not to take life too serious,” she added.
Also, the Permanent Member 1, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alhaji Bolakale Lawal, who also shared last moment with the deceased, noted that his leadership straits would be greatly missed in the state.
“I’m short of words, we were together yesterday (Sunday). He told me that he was slightly indisposed and I advised him to visit the hospital the following morning. One particular thing I would miss about him is his leadership style, he was committed to whatever he chose to do, he had earned so many honours in that regards,” Lawal added.
The Transition Implementation Committee (TIC) Chairman in Asa LG, Hon, Bello Yunus Oniboki said the impact of Elefo is evident in the politics of Asa LG, adding that he had left a great vacuum that will be very hard to fill.
“Elefo was a prominent person in Asa, a real democrat. His contribution to the development of Reke, Ogbondoroko ward and Asa as a whole cannot be erased easily. It is worth saying he has fulfilled what he came to do in life. It is only saddening that he died now. In terms of coordinating people, Elefo was outstanding,” he stressed.
Also, a member of the state House of Assembly, Hon, Muhammed Ahmed stated that the whole community is in shock because they have lost a prominent personality.
“He was a gentleman to the core; he was close to everybody, because he loved us all. He was my neighbour. The community has lost a very important person. As an individual, I will miss him because of the relationship that we shared; his early morning visit to my children. When I was not around, he catered them; he was very good to them. Since yesterday, I have been missing that oneness. He was very caring,” Ahmed lamented.
The immediate past chairman of Asa Local Government, Alhaji Saka Obalana also lamented the death of Elefo whom he described as his leader, saying that his impact was greatly felt in the politics of the council.