Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the news of the death of former Senator representing Ekiti South senatorial district, Gbenga Aluko, as “shocking and devastating.”
Also, the Southern Senators Forum has expressed grief over the untimely death of Senator Aluko.
The Ode-Ekiti-born politician and businessman died last Saturday in Abuja at the age of 58.
Fayemi in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, yesterday, described Aluko’s death as a colossal loss to Ekiti State and Nigeria.
According to him, “I have lost a dear brother and friend. The death of Senator Aluko was not only a loss to the state but a personal loss to him, having had close and cordial relationship with the deceased spanning four decades.
The governor said late Aluko was not only a brother and friend but also a patriotic Ekiti indigene whose contributions to the development of the state cannot be overstated.
Fayemi described the former governorship aspirant as a successful private sector player, refined gentleman and a decent politician who made great impact in almost every aspect of life.
The chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) recalled how the deceased influenced the establishment of a Chest Clinic at the Oba Adejugbe General Hospital in Ado Ekiti, a project which he described as being of great benefit to the state health sector.
He also noted that the deceased served selflessly in the Ekiti State COVID-19 Response Committee.
The governor, who noted the deceased’s brilliance and generosity of spirit, said the Aluko served his fatherland diligently and made Ekiti State proud through numerous achievements.
Fayemi said: “On behalf of my wife, the government and good people of Ekiti State, I commiserate with the Aluko family, and pray God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Meanwhile, the senators described losing a promising and consummate politician with wide network like Senator Aluko at this time all hands are expected to be on the deck to salvage Nigeria from the brink, as a national calamity and one event that would linger for too long in the hearts of Nigerians.
The forum’s Chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, and General Secretary, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, sympathised with Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi, and the immediate family of the deceased over the devastating loss of the cosmopolitan politician and oil expert.
The forum said: “Senator Gbenga Aluko’s untimely demise was an incalculable loss to all of us in the Senate. He was one of the few young men that occupied the red chamber in 1999, representing Ekiti South on the platform of the All Nigerian People’s Party(ANPP).
“Senator Aluko winning election at barely 36 years on the platform of a party with scanty presence in the Southwest at that time lucidly confirmed how strongly connected he was to the grassroots.
“Added to the foregoing was the fact that he was at that era the only opposition figure out of the 18 lawmakers that represented the Southwest political enclave, suggesting that he actually mustered electrifying popularity and was deeply loved by his people.
“The late Aluko didn’t allow his young age and party to downplay his influence. He was a principal officer of the Senate occupying a strategic position of the Deputy Chief Whip.
“His love for his people had propelled him to take a shot at the Ekiti State governorship three times. The last was in 2018 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Though, he had died, but his legacies live on. We sympathise with his family and other loved ones, and we urge them to take this scorching death with equanimity, bearing in mind that it is a mandatory supreme price that all humans would pay,” the statement said.