Former Special Adviser to Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Commerce and Industry, Mr. Deji Tinubu, was on Tuesday interred at the Vault and Garden, Ikoyi, Lagos, amid tears and eulogies by dignitaries and others that were in attendance.
They include National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu: Mrs. Dola, wife of Vice President. Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Ambode of Lagos State and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Others were former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Mr. Femi Pedro; President, Dangote Group of Company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and others.
Deji was last Thursday confirmed dead at the Epe General Hospital, Epe, after he had slumped while playing the five aside novelty football match with his colleagues at the Chalet where a 3-day retreat was being held for State Executive Council, Body of Permanent Secretaries and heads of government agencies and parastatals.
Deji, rare and special person —Tinubu
APC national leader, Tinubu, who was an uncle to the deceased, described him as a man who had over the years inspired the youth through his profession but expressed worries that Deji left too soon.
Tinubu further described the late Deji a rare and special person, who died while playing the sport he so loved from childhood, saying that the deceased had a zest for the game of football just as he had a special zest for the game of life.
“I cannot even begin to describe how deeply I shall miss him,” he said.
“Deji is very close to me. I knew him and the type of person he was. He was considerate and kind, outgoing, but thoughtful and humble. He loved people and thought more of others than he did himself.
“Thus, I could not help but love him as if he was my son. He made me proud that he carried the name Tinubu with respect.
“As Chairman, Sports Commission, he didn’t let me down. He performed with the same dedication, energy and winning attitude as he did on the field of play which made former Governor Fashola to also retain him in that office.
“When Ambode recently made him Special Adviser on Commerce and Industry, it opened another vista for him in recognition of the excellent job he did for Lagos in sports development.
“Deji, a sports entrepreneur, has over the years through his company become a role model for youths in Lagos and beyond,” Tinubu added.
Deji, a rare breed, his story has not ended —Ambode
Lagos State governor, Mr. Ambode, while eulogizing the deceased, who was a member of his cabinet, who he described as described as a rare breed, stressed that frigid hand of death might have taken a special member of his cabinet, but quickly noted that his story had not ended.
“We cannot forget Deji in a hurry. We cannot forget that he was a family man. And that he was a great professional, good temper and breed. He was a symbol of service to humanity,” Ambode said.
..I lost my friend on my birthday-Amosun
Speaking, Ogun State governor, Senator Amosun, said the death of former Special Adviser came as a rude shock considering that the news came the day he was celebrating his 60th birthday and against the background of the plans they both had to boost football at the grassroots in Ogun State.
Amosun, who wore a gloomy look at the Church service held in Victoria Island, hinted that he had urged Deji to visit Ogun State in the second quarter of the year to discuss in details and give his observation on the state’s grassroots sports.
“I am sad that we planned to work together on sports development in my state, Ogun. We both scheduled to meet in June, when our airport would have been completed, and discuss the way forward. While I had been looking forward to that date, I was shocked when my aide informed me of his death. On this day, I was celebrating my 60th birthday. It is pathetic that on this date I lost my friend,” Amosun said.
.his goodness, humility will remain unforgettable–Fashola
According to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was apparently short of words, the deceased was an easy going person who didn’t seek fame but happiness, declaring, “To say he will be missed will be an understatement.”
“While all of us who survived him and whose lives he touched in many different pleasant ways will find our own ways to deal with his loss, his remarkable life of goodness, simplicity and humility will remain unforgettable,” Fashola, who was former governor of Lagos said.
Earlier, Pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Victoria Island, Idowu Iluyomade, urged family of the deceased not to sorrow but rejoice, stressing, Deji didn’t die. He only slept to wake again.