The family of late Governor of the old Western Region, Sir Odeleye Fadahunsi has lamented the refusal of both the Federal and Osun State Governments to accord their patriarch the honour due him since his passing on May 12, 1986.
This is coming just as the family stated that the refusal of the two tiers of government is a disservice to the nationalistic efforts of the late politician whom it described as one of Nigeria’s founding fathers.
Fadahunsi who was elected into the defunct Western Region House of Assembly on the platform of the National Council For Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) took office as the governor of the region with the exit of the former holder, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, the then Ooni of Ife in 1962.
He vacated office in January 1966 upon the takeover of government by the military, which resulted in late Major-General Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi coming to power.
The position of the family is contained in a statement issued in Lagos by one of the sons of the deceased, Mr. Taiwo Fadahunsi on Wednesday as part of activities marking the 36th anniversary of the demise of the late nationalist.
In the statement, Fadahunsi stated that the family has written a series of letters both to the state and Federal government, “without acknowledgement,” describing the action as ‘regrettable and unfortunate’.“
Today marks the 36th anniversary of the demise of our father, Sir Odeleye Fadahunsi, KCMG, GCON. Since he died in 1986, there have not been any deliberate efforts to immortalize his memory by Oyo (now Osun) state. The Federal Government too has not done anything to immortalize him.
“We wish to state that other nationalists of the stature of our patriarch have been honoured with one monument or institution without any thought to Sir Odeleye. This to us is of great concern considering the role he played in the series of constitutional making conferences and debates prior to the attainment of independence by Nigeria.
Fadahunsi urged government to immortalise his father in the name of fairness just as they have done to his contemporaries who were also regional governors such as Sir Kassim Ibrahim, the governor of defunct Northern Nigeria and Sir Akanu Ibiam of Eastern Nigeria as well as Jereton Mariere of Midwest Region who has been honoured with such street naming in Abuja.
“In as much as we are sad by this development, we hope the occasion of his 36th anniversary will force the hands of both governments to do what is right. We are concerned not because the subject was our patriarch but also because the refusal to do what is written is a bad signal to Nigerians who might be inclined to wish to be patriotic in future.”