THE South West and Oyo state Chairman, National Union of Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde, popularly known as ‘Fele’ is dead.
Oyerinde had been managing an undisclosed ailment for sometimes now, and last appeared in public six weeks ago when he held the state executive meeting of the union at their new office in Ojoo, Ibadan.
His death was made public on Tuesday through a press statement released and signed by the national president of the union, Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin.
Yasin also made a phone call to a Yoruba programme on Petals 102.3 FM on Tuesday evening that Oyerinde died at the Zenith Medical and Kidney Centre, No. 5 Atom Kpera Close & Off, Joseph Gomwalk Street, Gudu, Abuja.
The National chairman further hinted that his remains, were on transit en route Ibadan while his remains will be committed to mother earth on Wednesday, at his Elebu house, between 9.00-10.00am.
Yasin’s announcement where he eulogized the deceased as man of peace threw the state chapter of the union into a state of mourning.
Immediately the news about his death filtered into town, situation around his house changed immediately as Eid-al-adha celebration in his house ended abruptly.
All tents and chairs in use were hurriedly packed as the atmosphere turned sober as family members were all looking helplessly at the current situation.
Yasin who made a telephone call through to the programme said he was in Saudi Arabia, and was on his way to Nigeria for the burial.
He said “I am making an announcement that one of us, a prominent member of NURTW, South West and chairman of Oyo state chapter, Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde , popularly known as Fele died this afternoon at Zenith kidney hospital, Abuja.
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“Since then (Oyerinde’s death was confirmed), we have make arrangements to bring his remains to Ibadan, by the grace of Almighty Allah, his remains will arrive Ibadan tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and he will be buried between 9.00-10.00am in his house at Elebu, Ibadan.”
“As I am speaking now, I am currently in Saudi Arabia, and was the first person to call when the incident happened.”
The national chairman then prayed for the repose of his soul and for God to comfort his wife, children and family.
On succession plan to fill the vacuum created by his death, Yasin said the deputy chairman of the chapter, Alhaji Abideen Olajide popularly known as Ejiogbe to step in in acting capacity according to the constitution of the union.
“Now, for his death, according to the constituion of our union, we have accepted the appointment of Alhaji Abideen Olajide, popularly known as ‘Ejiogbe’ who is the deputy chairman as of the time of this incident in Oyo state to act as chairman for now.
“We enjoined members to support and work with him.”
Born precisely on October 1, 1960, Taofeek Oyerinde, who said he became a commercial driver in 1978, and succeeded Alhaji Lateef Salako fondly called Eleweomo who was murdered in a political party congress in Ibadan in December 2010.
- AJIMOBI MOURNS, SUES FOR CALM
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has described the sudden death of the state Chairman of the National Union of Road and Transport Workers, Alhaji Taofeek Ayorinde, a.k.a., Fele, as very depressing and tragic.
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In a statement by his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr. Bolaji Tunji, on Tuesday, the governor said that he received the news with heavy heart and utter disbelief.
Describing the death of the NURTW boss as a huge loss to the family the state and the South West, the governor said that he was particularly pained because he had lost a dependable ally and purveyor of peace.
The governor said that he was proud of Oyerinde’s emergence as the Chairman of the NURTW, which he said was in recognition of his sterling leadership ability and propagation of peace and orderliness among the drivers.
The governor said, “I am greatly saddened by the passing away of Fele. It is very unfortunate and disheartening, especially because he has over time proved to be a dependable ally in our administration’s quest to restore peace to the land.
“That the motor parks across the state are rancor and violence-free today can be partly attributed to his yeoman efforts to whip errant and rapacious drivers into line. He commands respect among the drivers for his sterling leadership qualities.
“His death is indeed a big loss, not only to his family, but also to the NURTW nationwide and the entire people of Ibadanland. May the Almighty grant the family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“With the directive of the national leadership of the union that Fele’s deputy, Alhaji Abideen Olajide, a.k.a. Ejiogbe should fill the vacuum created by his death in acting capacity, I urge our drivers to respect this decision and go about their lawful activities without rancour.
“I enjoin the good people of Oyo State to be vigilant around the motor parks and report any act capable of breaching the public peace without delay. May Allah repose the gentle soul of the deceased and grant him the highest place in Jannah.”
The governor sued for calm and admonished the NURTW leadership in the state to eschew violence or leadership tussle at this time when he said they should maintain sobriety in honour of the deceased.
- MAKINDE EXPRESSES SHOCK OVER FELE’S DEATH
The gubernatorial aspirant under the platform of peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, has expressed shock at the death of the NURTW chairman in Oyo State, Mr Taofeek Oyerinde.
In a statement issued by the Seyi Makinde organisation and signed by Prince Dotun Oyelade, Makinde said that politics should not be used as a yardstick to determine when to rejoice or commiserate with one another.
“To Makinde, salvaging Oyo state from the current situation is beyond politics.”
He said that Fele as he was popularly called left his mark on the sand of time and prayed for his repose.
Makinde said that “the NURTW if properly deployed has a big role to play in the economic development of the state particularly in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
He promised that his administration will partner the Association to achieve the dreams of the new administration in oyo state.