Tears flowed freely in Ekiti State on Sunday following the announcement of the death of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, who died at 52 on Saturday after a protracted battle with cancer on Sunday.
The deputy governor’s parents, Chief Festus Famuagun, and her wife, Grace, were inconsolable when Governor Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Bisi, visited the bereaved family at Isato area of Ado Ekiti on Sunday.
The deceased’s mother, who is 80 years old, rhetorically asked the governor, “Kayode, where is Funmi? Kayode, where is your deputy?”
The governor, who was moved to tears by the question, intermittently removed his glasses to wipe tears from his face with his handkerchief.
While the governor tried in vain to console the father, his wife also made attempts to console the mother but it was in vain.
The governor, who was dressed in dark outfit, did not grant interview while leaving the residence of the Famuagun.
Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe, burst into tears during an interview with journalists at the residence of the deceased.
Awe, who had tried hard to fight tears, burst into tears as Olayinka was referred to as the late deputy governor. The ACN chairman described Olayinka as a pillar of support for the ACN and the government of the state.
Sympathisers have been pouring into the Government House to commiserate with Fayemi over the death of the deputy governor.
Some of the early callers at the Government House in include, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former Governor of old Ondo State, Bamidele Olumilua; and Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin.
Okonjo-Iweala said, “It is with deep sense of loss that we learn the passing of our beautiful, intelligent sister. She was a true representative of Nigeria’s womanhood.”
Meanwhile, Fayemi on Sunday declared a seven-day mourning to commence the mourning of the late deputy governor, who died of cancer in Lagos on Saturday.
Fayemi said this in a broadcast on Sunday.
The governor said it was sad that Olayinka lost the battle to cancer although she availed herself of medical treatment both at home and abroad.
The governor said, “I am pained by the exit of our deputy governor who was my ready partner in our collective quest to develop our dear state. As my dependable ally in the struggle to free Ekiti, she was a consistent bulwark of support, especially through the period of the judicial struggle to reclaim our mandate.
“She was a virtuous family woman and devout Christian, who served God practically and diligently, touching many lives in compassion and humility.
“In reflection of the mood of our state in this trying moment, a period of seven-day mourning shall commence from this moment during which all flags in the state will fly at half mast. During this period also, all state official ceremonies will be suspended.”