President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, National and Lagos State chapters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday expressed shock and sadness over the death of Senator Adebayo Sikiru Osinowo.
The late senator, popularly called Pepperito, represented Lagos East until his demise at 64.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola also mourned Pepperito.
A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said: “…As a member of the Ninth Senate and a key member of the APC, President Buhari recounts that Senator Osinowo as Chairman of Senate Committee on Industry and member of other committees, worked diligently to advance this administration’s objective of building a better and prosperous Nigeria.
“The President affirms that the senator’s commitment to meet the needs of his community as a four-time member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, devotion to national development as well as insightful contributions at the floor of the Senate would be fondly remembered and missed.
“The President prays God Almighty to grant the family of Osinowo, friends and well-wishers the fortitude to bear the loss.”
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President condoled with Osinowo’s family, friends, political associates as well as the government and people of Lagos State.
Lawan said the late Osinowo served his country creditably at the Ninth Senate, where he was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industries.
Gbajabiamila described Osinowo’s death as shocking and saddening.
In a condolence message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said: “Senator Osinowo’s death is a painful loss to Lagosians. Here was a man who dedicated himself to the service of his people. He was always at the forefront of delivering the dividends of democracy to the electorate.
“As a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly for many years, he endeared himself to his constituents through different laudable projects. And as a senator from June last year until his demise, Senator Osinowo was already proving his mettle.”
Also, in a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, Governor Sanwo-Olu described Osinowo’s death as a rude shock, coming at a time the state and the nation were beginning to benefit from his wealth of political and administrative experience.
“I am saddened by the death of this fine gentleman; a loyal party man and committed democrat with a deep understanding of the state’s social and political landscape,” he said.
Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said: “…We were about to begin the plenary session of the day when the news of his demise filtered in and threw the whole Assembly into disarray and mourning.
“Not many could believe that the ebullient and ever smiling Pepperito, like a candle in the wind, has been blown out. Even with the evidence that death has done its worst, it is still difficult to come to terms that a political pillar and peace maker is gone.”
In his condolence message, Aregbesola said: “I received with shock and indescribable grief but submission to the will of Allah the passage of my friend, brother and political associate of many decades, Senator Dhikrulahi Adebayo Osinowo.
“Vivacious, didactic, ebullient, engaging, witty and more: these are befitting epigram for the extraordinarily energetic senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District at the National Assembly. There was no dull moment with Osinowo. He was zestful and full of life.”
The APC commiserated with the government and people of Lagos State on Osinowo’s death.
The party described the senator’s demise as a “big blow”.
In a statement on Monday in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the ruling party said: “We join other Nigerians, the entire National Assembly, the good people of Lagos East in particular and Lagos State in general to mourn the passage of a democrat, who contributed immensely to the development of Lagos State as a lawmaker in the House of Assembly and Nigeria as a senator.
“Though his tenure in the Senate was brief, our great party appreciates the loyalty of Senator Osinowo to the cause of the APC-led government.”
The Lagos State APC family commiserated with Osinowo’s family, the party’s National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and party members on “this shocking loss”.
A statement by its spokesman Seye Oladejo recalled that the late Osinowo was at the forefront of the battle to entrench democracy.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who was the late Osinowo’s predecessor in Lagos East, expressed sadness at the demise of fellow party chieftain.
“Senator Osinowo was a committed leader in the APC as he always placed the interest of the party before his. He was also deeply passionate about his constituents, initially in Kosofe I Constituency, which he represented in the Lagos State House of Assembly for 16 years, and then later as the foremost voice representing Lagos East at the floor of the Ninth Senate.”
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi described Osinowo’s death as shocking and unfortunate.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode, the governor said the deceased was a thoroughbred professional and successful businessman who had a career in the public service before joining politics.
He prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Former Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Alhaji AbdulLateef AbdulAkeem, also commiserated with the family of the deceased, the House of Assembly and the late senator’s constituents on the sad loss.
Hundreds of mourners on Monday thronged the Ogudu GRA, Lagos home of the late senator, weeping profusely about the demise of their benefactor.