BLESSED MEMORY OF A PATRIOT’S COURAGE UNDER FIRE
Dr. Kayode FAYEMI
Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria
In honour of
Sir Friday Aderemi
Former Acting Governor of Ekiti State, Nigeria
Friday, February 14, 2014
It is always difficult coming to terms with the passage of a loved one, more so
a patriot of the stock of our dear departed Sir Friday Aderemi, the former
Acting Governor of the land of honour, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Sir Aderemi belonged to the early generations of Ekiti political elite who
devoted their days to the pursuit of Ekiti interest. Though they were also
concerned about wider national developmental issues, his generation was
more fanatical about matters that concerned Ekiti.
They bequeathed to succeeding generations the tradition they equally
inherited from their forebears – our signature propensity to work together as
one in the pursuit of a common cause, regardless of our differing
backgrounds, as long as it is pursuant of Ekiti’s peace and progress.
He rose to prominence in the history of our dear state as providence thrust
on him the onerous role as one of those who frontally led the resistance
against the draconian leadership of the then Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose.
Though he was at the time a member of the People’s Democratic Party, his
progressive inclinations as a true son of Ekiti propelled him to work with
other progressive elements to cause the impeachment of Mr. Ayo Fayose.
The historic feat was not to be achieved by the lily livered as the forces we
then contended with were indeed oppressive and determined. It remains one
of the darkest points in our history as a state, which required character of the
texture and substance displayed by late Sir Aderemi and other co-missioners
– he deservedly earned my respect as an Ekiti patriot on account of such
demonstration of Courage under Fire.
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As one of those privileged by God to play a modest role in that phase of the
Ekiti struggle, yours truly was of the number that escorted late Sir Aderemi
along with Senator Babafemi Ojudu and other E11 comrades to the
Governor’s office to witness him occupy the seat as Acting Governor as fate so
occasioned; albeit for a brief period before the subsequent declaration of the
‘State of Emergency’ by the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. It was
on this momentous day that for the very first time I entered into the present
Governor’s office which by God’s grace I now occupy.
It should be noted, and as the holy scriptures affirm, that no man takes this
honour unto himself unless he is called of God. “For there is no power but of
God: the powers that be are ordained of God”, Romans chapter 13 verse 1.
Nobody can attain a position of power, even for a day, unless our God so
sanctions. This is particularly instructive to some of our politicians who are
willing to do anything and go to any extent to get to power – Power is from
our God Almighty. Late Sir Aderemi was anointed by God to play a crucial
role in our history, and he gave a good account of himself writing his name in
Accordingly, as the holy scriptures further instruct pertaining our earthly
leaders in Romans chapter 13 verse 6, “for this cause pay ye tribute also: for
they are God's ministers…”, I join family, friends and all lovers of goodwill to
pay tribute to one of our finest examples of the display of Courage Under Fire
in the person of our beloved former Acting Governor, Sir Friday Aderemi.
I would forever cherish the memories of the refreshing times spent with the
dear departed during my visits to his house behind Mobil filling station in
Ajilosun, Ado-Ekiti. However, while I mourn the painful exit of this great son
of Ekiti, I am comforted by the fact that he fully aligned with the progressives
by joining our great party before his demise, and worked closely with me as
Chairman, Ekiti State Education Trust Fund, pursuant of our
administration’s Education and Human Capital Development agenda.
In the words of Antonio Porchia, the late Italian Poet, “One lives in the hope of
becoming a memory”. Late Sir Friday Aderemi’s life and times have been
immortalised in the collective memory of all sons and daughters of Ekiti –
may this memory remain blessed and may his soul rest in perfect peace.
Dr. Kayode Fayemi
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