The Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has expressed condolences on the death of elder statesman and former member of the National Assembly, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye.
The late Senator Durojaye, who was a prominent chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and former Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), died in Lagos on Tuesday, aged 88 years.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said he was saddened that a pillar in the struggle for the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in the 90s has gone.
He described the deceased as a highly cerebral economist, lawyer, pro-democracy activist, distinguished parliamentarian and a leading light of the progressive politics in Nigeria.
Dr. Fayemi said the deceased was one of the prominent pro-democracy campaigners who gave younger elements in the movement like him the inspiration during the struggle for the revalidation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
He said the late Senator Durojaiye stood to be counted on the side of the people of Nigeria and defied the most brutal military dictatorship at a critical period in the nation’s history to demand the restoration of a popular mandate when it was risky to do so.
Hailing the sacrifices made by the late Afenifere chieftain, the Governor recalled that he was arrested in December 1996 and detained for 560 days by the Gen. Sanni Abacha-led junta who considered him a thorn in its flesh.
Fayemi said the late Senator Durojaiye’s commitment to service came to the fore during his career at the nation’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before he decided to join politics as a member of the Constituent Assembly between 1988 and 1989 and later as a Senator of the Federal Republic.
He noted further that the late Durojaiye had a memorable and unblemished tenure as Chairman of the NCC, the regulatory body of telecoms operation in the country.
“An iroko has fallen. We shall miss Senator Durojaiye’s amiable personality, brilliance, wisdom and candour. He was one of our very best. We are however comforted with the fact he lived a decent and impactful life and served God and humanity with all his might.
“We pray that God comforts his family and associates and grant him eternal rest.”, the governor added.