Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has described the death of former Governor of old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Ishola Olumilua as a monumental loss to the state.
Olumilua who served as Governor in old Ondo State (from which Ekiti State was created) died in the early hours of Thursday, June 4, in Ikere Ekiti after a brief illness.
Dr. Fayemi said ex- Governor Olumilua’s death came few months after he celebrated his 80th birthday in his hometown where his ideals once again came to the fore, adding that nobody knew that the former Governor would soon depart for the world beyond shortly after joining the club of octogenarians.
The Governor described Olumilua as a humble servant of the people, a compassionate leader, a politician whose actions were guided by the fear of God and a revered statesman whose impact positively affected the people he served.
He said Olumilua excelled as a foreign service officer, public servant, politician, community leader and clergy.
The Governor noted that Olumilua’s tenure in old Ondo State between January 1992 and November 1993 was remarkable in execution of life changing policies and projects within limited resources.
Dr. Fayemi said Olumilua’s worth was appreciated by the Federal Government which appointed him as the Chairman of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission where he served diligently without blemish.
The Governor recalled that the deceased equally excelled as the Chancellor of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) during his first tenure in office during which the university was rebranded and became one of the most sought after institutions for admission seekers in the country.
He also described Olumilua as a disciplined and selfless party man and one of the leading lights of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Elders’ Forum in Ekiti State, adding that the former governor was a stabilising force in the ruling party.
Fayemi said Olumilua’s death has robbed the state and party of wise counsel noting that the vacuum created by the loss will be difficult to fill.
The Governor urged the family of the deceased to take solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and left legacies of service, statesmanship, peacemaking, service in God’s vineyard and honour.
“Our revered Baba has gone to be with his maker. We lost a refined statesman and a man of honour. We are however consoled by the fact Baba lived a good life and left behind a legacy of honour and a good name. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”