Afenifere spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, dies from COVID-19 complications

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Spokesperson of pan-Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, has died from complications from COVID-19. He was aged 56.

According to news report, the activist who had been on ventilator at a treatment centre in Lagos, died Saturday morning.

A report by the news portal Qed.ng said that Odumakin “had serious underlining conditions including diabetes, lung-related issues and a mild stroke he suffered a few years ago.

“He had a lung surgery before he was put on a ventilator.”

The report said that “his case reportedly took a turn for the worse last week, with doctors concluding he had few days left.

“His wife and fellow activist Joe Okei-Odumakin had just been informed of the death shortly before the filing of this report.”

He was married to a fellow rights activist, Joe, in 1997.

Odumakin’s voice was heard through the dark years of military despotism.

He played a major role in the National Democratic Coalition that fought the regime of the late military head of state, General Sani Abacha, after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.

As Afenifere spokesman, Odumakin spoke tenaciously for the rights of the Yoruba and the people of the South-West geopolitical zone.

Just before his death, he consistently condemned the activities of criminal Fulani herdsmen, who have been accused of farmland destruction, rape, killings and abductions in the South-West.

▪︎Odumakin was a strident voice in the pan-Yoruba advocacy for good governance, restructuring and self-determination-Olusunle

Reacting to the demise of Odumakin, a journalist, scholar, politician and public affairs analyst, Dr Tunde Olusunle, said Odumakin’s demise was a massive blow.

Olusunle said the Yoruba race had, painfully, lost an invaluable voice to the hereafter.

He described the late Odumakin as “a strident voice in the pan-Yoruba advocacy for good governance, restructuring and self-determination for the Yoruba people of Nigeria, who straddle 10 states in Nigeria.”

He said that “Between the sociocultural organisations Afenifere and the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF, Odumakin was irrepressible in speaking up on the ineptitude of government at the centre, while advocating true democratic practice.”

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