It was a moment of grief on Tuesday night as the remains of the late Lagos East Senator Sikiru Adebayo Osinowo were interred in his Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State home.
Osinowo, popularly called Pepperito, died in Lagos earlier that day and was conveyed to Ijebu-Ode for burial according to Islamic injunctions.
He was 64.
Family members, friends, politicians and associates broke down in tears as the body of the former lawmaker was interred around 11 p.m.
The interment climaxed the Janazah (body preparation and prayers) which began around 7.30 p.m.
The family yesterday explained why the interment could not hold earlier.
The remains of the senator had arrived in Ijebu-Ode around 7:08 p.m but the preparation for his interment was put on hold as opinions differed on where he should be buried.
It was gathered that while some relatives wanted Osinowo to be buried at the Muslims’ Burial Ground at Oke-Erin on the Ijebu-Ode-Ibadan road, others said the remains should be interred where the family would control.
But Osinowo’s medical doctor son, Babatunde, was eventually called to decide the final resting place for his father.
The son chose a location under the shade of a luscious plant at the western side of his father’s home at 85, Molipa Express in Ijebu-Ode.
The late Osinowo was eventually lowered to mother earth at 11:07 p.m.
In a video that has gone viral, he said: “He (God) just created us without notice and He will take us away without notice, because He did not sign an agreement with us. This is our first year anniversary in this chamber. Many have died within the last one year. So, which of the blessings of our Lord are we going to deny? Many of our prophets lived for only 33 years and 66 years. We even lived more than some of the prophets… Death is inevitable; it will come of a sudden. We must be prepared by letting our good deeds be more than the bad.”
There was a rain of tributes from eminent Nigerians for the late senator.
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola condoled with the family, friends, political associates, government and people of Lagos State on Osinowo’s death.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, said: “Osinowo was a good ally and a believer in true democracy. He had, over the years, proved himself as the voice of the people with his unprecedented representation, first at State House of Assembly and later the National Assembly until his death. He will be greatly missed in the political circle.”
The Southwest APC said Osinowo’s death had thrown the party into mourning.
APC National Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Southwest Caucus, Bankole Oluwajana, expressed the party’s condolences in a statement by the APC Southwest Zonal Publicity Secretary, Mr Karounwi Oladapo.
The senator representing Ekiti Central, Opeyemi Bamidele, said Oshinowo’s flamboyance, meekness, strong political savviness and immeasurable generosity would be sorely missed by his constituents and the people of Lagos.
Other party chieftains and prominent Nigerians who mourned the demise of the Lagos East senator include the Chairman of Nigeria inn Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, former Deputy Governor Idiat Adebule, ex-Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji and a member of the House of Representatives, Ademorin Kuye.
Others are the Oniru of Iru in Lagos State, Oba AbdulWasiu Omogbolahan Lawal and the Elegushi of Ikate Kingdom, Oba Saheed Elegushi.