Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and his Ondo State counterpart, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, were among dignitaries who gathered at Abeokuta on Friday to bid farewell to Major General Ekundayo Opaleye (retd.) one-time military administrator of old Ondo State.
Also, the former governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun was present at the ceremony.
Opaleye, aged 77 died on November 18, 2023
. He was the Military Administrator of old Ondo State between 1986 and 1987.
Abiodun has however described the late soldier as a patriot, who epitomised courage, integrity, leadership, and commitment not just to the Nigerian Army but to the country at large.
The governor, who his deputy, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, represented, made this known on Friday during the burial ceremony of the late revered elder statesman, at the Green Legacy Resorts Hall, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library.
He said, “Your departure has left a vacuum not only in the lives of your immediate family but also the state.
“Even at retirement, you have continued to live a life of impact by playing a pivotal role in Owu Kingdom as Balogun serving alongside as a cabinet member of the Olowu in Council, and since I resumed office as governor, General Opaleye remained supportive of my administration by giving wise counsel where and when necessary.”
Abiodun expressed heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of the state to Opaleye’s widows, children, grandchildren and the extended family he left behind, praying that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Speaking at the event, Aiyedatiwa described Opaleye as an exceptional administrator and exemplary leader whose contributions to the development of old Ondo State can never be forgotten.
He said the late military administrator of Ondo State was a dutiful soldier who served the country meritoriously.
Aiyedatiwa, represented by his Deputy, Olayide Adelami, said “Listening attentively to the tributes given by all the various groups here present, I cannot but conclude that Major General Opaleye was a total man who excelled in all spheres of life.
“He was a responsible and committed father, highly revered elder statesman and an illustrious son of Ogun state.”
Aiyedatiwa recalled the roles Opaleye played while he was at the helm of affairs in Ondo state between 1986 and 1987.
“In Ondo state, we know him as a very thorough and articulate administrator who has left an indelible mark on the sands of time. I recall he was the one who introduced the ‘due process’ in the operations of government in the then-old Ondo state – a feat that will be remembered by generations yet unborn.
“Though his demise is painful we are consoled by the fact he lived a life of purpose.
“On behalf of the government and people of Ondo state, I wish to commiserate with the Ogun state government for this irreplaceable loss, not only to the state but the country at large.” Adelami who delivered the eulogies on behalf of the Ondo Governor concluded.
Acknowledging the deceased’s humility, fear of God and contributions to the church’s development despite his position in society, Most Superior Evangelist Olusegun Olarinde, in his sermon, noted that death is a debt, imploring people to be diligent and extend the hand of fellowship to other people.
Also speaking, the only daughter of the deceased, Navy Cdr. Abiola Oluwole-Smith, described her father as loving, caring, disciplined passionate, calm, and a rare gem, adding that the deceased was an embodiment of genuine love, honesty, humility and a family man, who would be greatly missed.
Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines