By Mike Adeyemi
The remains of the late Chief Rex Olawoye, an ardent fighter of Otoge crusader in the last general elections, was buried amid tears and wails on Saturday afternoon at his country home, Agunjin in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, National Pilot reports.
Scores of sympathisers thronged the burial ceremony to join his family and relatives in mourning the former council boss whom they described as a generous man and benevolent.
It would be recalled that the late Chief Rex Olawoye, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state the parted to the great beyond last September after a brief illness.
Speaking with our reporter through telephone call on Saturday, a chieftain of Kwara APC, Comrade Abdu-Rahoof Bello who is fondly called Labelabe described late Rex Olawoye as a caring community leader whose gestures and benevolent acts would be greatly missed by the people.
According to him, “it is quite unfortunate that the late chief Rex Olawoye laboured and couldn’t live to reap the fruits of his struggles, but we took solace in the will of Allah.”
“His funeral rites so far are very pleasing because he was given the expected befitting burial that a man of his calibre deserved. People paid him the last respect during the wake-keep in his resident at Fate.
“The interment took place at his country home, Agunjin which was attended by crème dela crème in the state. “The supposedly friends of the late political icon who were not friends while he was alive also thronged out to bid him farewell,” Bello said.
He lamented that it was unfortunate that despite the role the late Rex Olawoye played toward the birth of present administration, he was dehumanized by the government he fought tooth and nail for.
“Could you belief that there was no strong Kwara State Government delegates at his interment? Those that came were there in their capacity as former council boss in Ifelodun in line with the tradition.
“The Ifelodun TIC Chairman was there alongside the factional Chairman of APC, Ayo Fagbemi. The commissioner from Ifelodun, Hairat Osatimehin was also there I think in her capacity.
“If the governor conspicuously unavailable at the event, while not the deputy governor? While not the Secretary to the state government? So there was no strong delegate from the government to pay last respect to chief Rex which is quite unfortunate,” he stressed.
Bello further added that the late Rex Olawoye would not be happy with this government in his grave if truly the saying that the parted look back as a result of how he was totally neglected even while on sick bed by AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq alongside many none fulfillment made to him by the governor.
“What is worrisome and more pathetic is that he couldn’t have the taste or benefit of his struggle. He was neglected by the people he worked for. Without any fear of contradiction, late Rex was not taken care of by the governor and other leaders who fought for his election.
“Throughout the time he was bedridden, I wasn’t aware of any assistance to him either by the governor or his government. I asked his family whether there was any government presence while he was on sick bed. The family lamented there was nothing like that and I was badly pathetic.
“While he was alive, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq promised to give him a juicy appointment at the federal level. “The governor used that to keep him at his side, but the late Rex did not fall for his divide and rule tactics.
“The governor also asked the late Rex Olawoye to submit proposal to KWARMA to give him contract on road rehabilitation, all to no avail as AbdulRazaq kept dribbling. If you look at all these, it amounted to gross dehumanization to a man who risked his life during the Otoge crusade,” the APC chieftain lamented.
The late Rex Olawoye was two-time elected Executive Chairman of Ifelodun LG Council. During his tenure, he co-founded the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON). He had the honor to be the pioneer Chairman.
He was the pioneer of All People’s Party (APP) Public Relations Officer between 1999-2001. He was the Chairman of the new improved Gateway Insurance. He was a co-founder of “Ifelodun Solidarity Group” in 1996. The group mobilised support for the election of Alhaji Khaleel Bolaji to National Confab organised by late Gen. Sanni Abacha.
Baba Rex as fondly called was a “Garrison Commander” in the “O To Ge” liberation army that sacked trenched political dynasty in 2019.
He cut his teeth in public service as an academic at the University of Lagos and later in his professional calling as a pharmacy.