Yinka Odumakin (1966 – 2021)

, Yinka Odumakin (1966 – 2021)
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Editorial

By all accounts, the fight for a bigger Nigeria changed into once his life. His activism outlined him. He changed into once among eight student activists expelled from Obafemi Awolowo College (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun Express, in 1988 for leading a grunt in opposition to the insurance policies of the Ibrahim Babangida military regime. He changed into once the public members of the family officer of the university’s student union on the time. A court ordered the reinstatement of the expelled protesters.

His combating spirit changed into once evident within the knowledgeable-democracy battle in opposition to the annulment of the nation’s historical June 12, 1993 presidential election by the Babangida regime. He changed into once a front-line fighter within the Nationwide Democratic Coalition (NADECO), and could well furthermore be counted among people that fought for the restoration of democracy after almost about twenty years of military rule within the nation.

He changed into once secretary of the Attach Nigeria Neighborhood which campaigned for the inauguration of then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President in 2010, following the in unhappy health health of President Umaru Yar’adua and moves by a cabal to hijack vitality.

Before his death from COVID-19 complications on April 2, on the age of 54, Yinka Odumakin changed into once greater is named the nationwide publicity secretary of Afenifere, a politically influential Yoruba socio-cultural community. He changed into once a vivid spokesman who boldly expressed the community’s values.

His loyal criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration reflected his independence and sense of objectivity. Paradoxically, Odumakin changed into once Buhari’s spokesman when he unsuccessfully contested the 2011 Nigerian presidential election under the defunct Congress for Revolutionary Alternate (CPC). “We had idea that if he involves vitality, things would toughen,” Odumakin had acknowledged in 2018 within the direction of Buhari’s first term. “We’re losing the nation on the 2d,” he acknowledged in his overview of the Buhari administration’s 2d term in 2019.

Interestingly, in 2014, Odumakin and his accomplice, Joe, made the headlines as presumably the most easy married couple taking piece within the 492-member nationwide convention organised by the Jonathan administration. His accomplice, representing South-South, changed into once concerned as president of Campaign for Democracy and president of Ladies people Arise; and he, representing South-west, changed into once concerned as Afenifere spokesman.

The story of how he met his soul mate says so a lot about his activism and the penalties he confronted. “We met within the heady days of presumably the most brutal dictatorship within the history of Nigeria; the repressive government of the gradual General Sani Abacha. We met at a detention facility in Alagbon the place she changed into once transferred from Ilorin, Kwara Express, after her detention over some pro-democracy campaigns,” he recalled. It’s miles a measure of their conviction and consistency that, after they bought married in 1997, they continued to fight for pretty governance and human rights collectively unless Odumakin’s death.

Odumakin changed into once a passionate proponent of restructuring the nation for growth. “The simplest ingredient that can well place us is to enable the federating items to include autonomy and attend an eye on over their affairs and resources. That is presumably the most easy means it is doubtless you’ll well rob Nigeria a brand unique hire of life, in any other case Nigeria is on its means out,” he acknowledged in an interview in 2019.

Severely, posthumous tributes to him came from reasonably tons of quarters, collectively with people he had criticised in harsh terms. It’s miles an affidavit to his positives that even these he had spoken about in extraordinarily unfavorable terms had sure things to converse about him.

Born in Moro, in uncover-day Osun Express, he graduated in English Reviews from OAU in 1989. He changed into once a reporter at Punch Newspapers, and later joined The Guardian Newspapers, which he left in 1993. Till his death, he changed into once a columnist for Forefront. He addressed nationwide components with the ardour of a patriot.

The fight continues for a bigger Nigeria, and Odumakin’s instance as an activist reveals that the nation wants extra activism to enact building.

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