Second Republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme: On Sunday, November 19, former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme breathed his last at about 10pm in a London clinic, where he was flown for treatment by the federal government. The programme for his burial, slated for January was released in December.
Dr. Yusuf Maitama Sule: Fondly called the Golden Voice from the North by reason of his oratorial prowess with which he held audiences spellbound, Dr. Yusuf Maitama Sule, former Nigerian permanent representative to the United Nations, succumbed to the cold hands of death on July 2, 2017, in a Cairo, Egypt, hospital, where he had been flown for medical treatment. He died at the age of 87.
The elder statesman, who was the Dan Manasin Kano, was a respected nationalist, politician, intellectual and acclaimed orator.
Gen. Robert Adeyinka Adebaya: Described as the proverbial cat with nine lives, the former military governor of the old Western Region, between 1966 and 1971, and president of Yoruba Council of Elders, died on March 8, a day to his 89th birthday, in Ikeja, Lagos. He was also the Chief of Staff of the Nigerian Army and Commander of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke: He was the first civilian governor of Osun State and a major contender for the Osun 2018 governorship election. He was also a two-time senator who represented the People’s Democratic Party from 2007 to 2011 and was later elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in 2015. He died on April 23 last year at the age of 62, after suffering a heart attack.
Gen. Samuel Ogbemudia: The former military governor of defunct Bendel State (now Edo and Delta states) from 1967 to 1975, died on Friday, March 9, 2017, in Benin, the Edo State capital. The retired officer, politician and sports promoter was aged 85.
Dr. Olu Onagoruwa: Former attorney-general of Nigeria, minister of justice and human rights activist, Dr. Olu Onagoruwa, died on July 21 at the age of 80. He was appointed the attorney-general and minister of justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1993 and later appointed the African representative to the body that drafted Ethiopia’s Constitution in that same year.
Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji: He was a Nigerian career diplomat and politician who was the special representative of the Secretary General with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone from November 19, 1999, to July 16, 2003. The elder statesman, who died at the age of 83 in London on November 24, was also a one-time minister of foreign affairs.
Pa Adebayo Faleti: He was Africa’s first newscaster, Africa’s first stage play director, Africa’s first film editor and librarian with the first television in Nigeria, Western Nigeria Television. He also famously translated Nigeria’s national anthem from English to Yoruba. In addition to his broadcasting work, Mr. Faleti was a poet, journalist and writer.
Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin: The former minister of health and executive director of United Nations Population Fund died on June 4 in New York, United States, at the age of 68 from a cardiac arrest.