It was a solemn moment filled with tears at the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday as lawmakers held a valedictory session for their late colleague, Hon. Abdul-Sobur Olayiwola Olawale.
Before performing the ceremonial removal of his name tag from his seat, the lawmakers, who held a minute silence in honour of Olawale, also urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to assist two children of the deceased with jobs and scholarship for the one who is still in school.
Hon. Olawale died in Jos, Plateau State recently and was buried according to Islamic rites.
The lawmakers thanked Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State for standing by them till the body was moved to Lagos. They also thanked the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his wife, Ibijoke, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, his wife, Falilat and all those who stood by the family of the deceased.
Raising the lawmaker’s demise in a motion, Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, described Olawale as an angel who did not show his identity.
Agunbiade said: “At a time just before our trip to Jos, I had headache and he showed a lot of care. He even told someone that he would be in Lagos before dawn.
We got to Jos together, had our activity. He did not show any sign of illness.”
Hon. Victor Akande recalled how Olawale joined him and the others at the airport before the trip.
“I was the one that called Omititi that it was time for us to go to the airport. I was with Hon. Jude Idimogu. He immediately asked me if I had taken my drugs and even showed me where to get water. He even helped one of us to get his boarding pass,” Akande said.
The lawmaker denied a report that the late Olawale owed a local government chairman.
“He was a real friend. We were together in Jos till I told him I was going to use the restroom. He was even telling someone to come and meet him in the office the next day,” he added.
Hon. Rotimi Olowo described his late colleague as one who loved his family.
“His parents died early, but he persevered and went to school. He was preparing for his daughter’s wedding and inside the plane when we heard of the death of Iya Oniyan, (APC chieftain who died recently) he promised to visit her home when he returned not knowing that he too was left with a few hours.
“We must learn not to hide things from our wives. If you have money and your family does not know, strangers would feast on it when you’re gone. Let’s learn to love as Olawale did,” he said.
Hon. Kehinde Joseph, who said he and the late lawmaker were both planning for the wedding of the latter’s daughter, added: “We played football on Friday, we were at the retreat on Saturday to Monday and he died on Tuesday.
He was never an angry person. There was nothing he could not give for love. If you look at his death, you would want to ask what the essence of our toiling is.”
Hon. Nureni Akinsanya, while recalling the bond he shared with the deceased, said: “I stand here in sadness because while I represent Mushin 1, Omititi represented Mushin 2 and we were close. He was very accountable.”
Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu said the night before Olawale’s death, “We played and joked till 12 midnight and I even tapped him and told him I was going to sleep. I greeted him goodnight, not knowing that would be the final from me. He was a brother. He would call me every day to check on me.”
Hon. Temitope Adewale described the late lawmaker as one who was patient and never had time for quarrels. His position was supported by Hon. David Setonji, Yinka Ogundimu, Noheem Adams and others who spoke.
Meanwhile, the House also confirmed Saheed Adio, a former lawmaker, as Commissioner in the House of Assembly Commission.
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.