The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has condoled the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, over the demise of its spokesman and activist, Yinka Odumakin.
Naija News reports that Odumakin died on Saturday at age 56. He died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital after suffering from COVID-19 complications.
The ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, in a statement on Saturday in Kaduna, described the news of Odumakin’s death as a rude shock to the forum.
“While he was alive, Odumakin held on to his views very strongly. We often disagreed with him on many issues. Our disagreements were, however, on principle and not personal.
“The fundamental difference is that Afenifere group admits only descendants of Oduduwa as members, while we in ACF admit even descendants of Oduduwa who are northerners,” he said.
According to him, accommodating hundreds of ethnic groups has made it very difficult to always agree with a group whose membership is limited to one ethnic group.
“We had hoped that Odumakin will live long enough to work for and see the new day. His death today has robbed us of that opportunity.
“We pray for the repose of his soul and condole his family and colleagues in Afenifere. We shall certainly miss him,” Yawe said.
Meanwhile, the wife of the late spokesman for Afenifere, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, has revealed more details about how her husband died.
Speaking on Yinka’s death, Joe disclosed that the vocal activist and columnist was recovering from COVID-19 and had asked for his phones and gadgets before he relapsed and died.
“It all started on March 8 when he said he had a series of meetings and appointments to make. But he went to see his physiotherapist and discovered that his oxygen level had dropped,” she told The Punch.
“After the doctor attended to him, it was discovered that he had COVID-19 and was transferred to the isolation centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
“The next day, his oxygen level dropped a bit more and we had to move to the Mainland General Hospital, Yaba. He was put on a ventilator at the hospital. After a few days, he tested negative.
“So, he was moved to the LASUTH Intensive Care Unit. While at the ICU, his kidney, liver and other body parts were okay. The issue was respiratory; he had problems with breathing, which they said was due to his lungs which were affected in the aftermath of the infection.
“I did not share these details because I wanted him to tell the story of his survival, which would have been sweeter, and I was looking forward to that. I never believed that he would die. It’s so difficult for me to use past tense for him after being together for 24 years.
“All of a sudden, I got the news from someone in the US (who sent a WhatsApp message) and I thought that the person did not know what he was saying because I was looking forward to reuniting with him. He (Yinka) had also asked after his son after he regained consciousness. He told me that the first thing he wanted immediately he came out was his Ipad and two phones, and I had them in the vehicle. When I heard that the worst had happened, I was in shock.
“The people with me were telling me that I should not go to see his body, but I refused. I moved in and saw his face was covered; I removed the cloth. I was given gloves. I started saying a lot of things to him, but he did not respond. That was when I knew that comrade was gone.”