The Southern Senators’ Forum has expressed grief over the death of Afenifere Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin and founder of CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma.
This was contained in the condolence messages to the families of the duo, signed by the forum’s Chairman, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, on Monday in Ado-Ekiti.
He described the death of the two renowned activists as tragic, devastating and saddening, saying their contributions to the growth of democracy in Nigeria were immeasurable.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while Odumakin died of complications arising from COVID-19 on Saturday, Chukwuma, one of the youngsters that consummated Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), died of Myeloid Leukemia, on Sunday.
Bamidele lauded the deceased patriots for their well- amplified positions on issues of national discourse, no matter how controversial they might be.
The senator, representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District, added that Nigerians would not forget the unquantifiable sacrifices made by the duo during the dark days of military junta.
He said that Odumakin and Chukwuma posed as dogged and uncompromising pro-democracy soldiers, especially as members of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and CLO respectively.
According to him, although the activists died at relatively young ages, their footprints will be difficult to erase, as their names have been written in gold as “true lovers of the masses.
“Odumakin’s death is one that has really rendered many of us distraught and spellbound. We are indeed rattled, going by his well-defined roles in the growth of the country’s democracy.
“In fighting for his fatherland, the deceased was incarcerated, harassed, intimidated and had close shave with death several times in the hands of the military junta,” he noted.
Applauding the life and time of the late Chukwuma, Bamidele said that the activist was a detribalised Nigerian, particularly with the way he related with people seamlessly across ethnic lines.
“We join other patriotic Nigerians in mourning these two iconic citizens.
“We pray that the good Lord shall pacify their widows, families and friends and give them the courage to bear these shocking and practically irreplaceable losses,” Bamidele added.