One of the sad news that rocked Lagos a few days ago was the sudden death of popular Lagos East Senator, Bayo Osinowo, popularly called Pepperito. He died as a result of Covid-19.
What many didn’t know about him was the fact that though he was a Lagos Senator until his death, he had great links with Ijebu Ode, where he hails from. Many do not know that he is from that ancient town. Many do not know that not only is he from there he has done a lot for his people. He is a great supporter of the annual Ojude Oba Festival.
City People gathered that a few years back, he decided to give back to the indigenous of Ijebu-Ode by empowering hundreds of people and had put in place to empower more in the coming months.
As you read this, he is constructing a high rise hotel with more than 100 rooms with a big event hall, to create employment for many Ijebu youths.
He will be missed by many. One of those who will miss him most in the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who said that the sudden, unexpected passing of Senator Bayo Osinowo has deeply hurt him and Lagosians.
In a statement on Monday, Tinubu stated that the deceased Senator was more than a close friend and political associate.
“Over the years he became like a family member and brother in so many ways,” Tinubu said. He added; “Bayo and I have come a long way, dating back to our days in the pro-democracy struggles. We both enlisted in the Social Democratic Party where he served so well as the Youth Chairman of that party during the Third Republic and later in the Alliance for Democracy in 1998 after the restoration of democracy. “Bayo’s contributions to the return of democracy were significant and enduring. As a prominent political figure in Lagos, he served our state with dedication, passion and concern for the common man.
“In the Lagos State House of Assembly, where he was a four-time member from 2003 to 2019 representing Kosofe Constituency 1, he was more than a member of that House. He provided leadership. He was a stabilising figure. He worked hard and tirelessly to make Lagos a better place. He cared for all Lagosians.
“His election in 2019 to represent Lagos East in the Senate demonstrated not only his immense political skills but also the affection the people have for him and his popularity. Thus far in the National Assembly, he discharged himself creditably as Chairman Senate Committee on Industries.
“Like the committee he headed, Bayo was extremely industrious. Bayo was not born with riches. He rose from a modest background to the great heights that he attained.
“His death hurt all who know him. Bayo was more than an excellent politician. As great a politician he was, Bayo was an even better person. He was a man of a kind heart and ready smile. His loyalty and enthusiasm was legendary, just as his generosity. People loved him. So many tears have been shed. However, we must summon strength to carry on as he would want us to do. “My thoughts are with his immediate family. May Almighty Allah comfort and give them the solace that only He can provide. May Almighty Allah grant him eternal rest and admit him to Aljanna Firdaus. Senator Oshinowo died Monday in Lagos after he suffered from cardiac arrest.
The Minister for Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has also reacted to the death of his close friend, Senator Bayo Osinowo (Pepperito). The Minister mourns the late lawmaker while narrating how they met and his contributions to his success.
“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.
We met soon after his release from prolonged detention with the winner of June 12, 1993, presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, an experience that, according to him, was close to death.
Bayo never finished regaling us with snippets of his gulag experience that could best be described as harrowing and life-threatening, yet he survived.
He was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Kosofe1, State Constituency. He served in that capacity for 12 years before his election into the National Assembly. He was a solid pillar of the house, mobilizing, coordinating, and enforcing party policies, objectives, and decisions.
Senator Osinowo was a core loyalist to our cause and tendency in all spheres and climes and a bold and courageous defender of the MANDATE GROUP. Osinowo was versatile and lived the conviction of his beliefs and courted political engagements with relish. He never shied away from polemics and debate. He told whoever cared to listen that he was an unapologetic Tinubu man. I can never fully requite the debt of service, favour, and commitment I owe Senator Osinowo. He gave me overwhelming support for the Osun Governorship project. As a matter of fact, he took it personally.
He engaged and was responsible for the 12-man bodyguards that provided water-tight security for me from 2004 to 2010. He mobilized resources from far and wide for the elections and legal tussles.
To be sure, Bayo recruited Prince Adelowo Adedeji (OBAFOOT) to our circle. Obafoot then donated his palatial country home for our use in Ilesa as a residence and operational base till today.
The resources, both human and material, rallied by Senator Osinowo for that cause were legendary. Only Allah SWT can adequately reward him for kind gestures.
His demise was unforeseen. He was not known to suffer any illness. The news of his indisposition was brief and unserious till 1430 hours today when his painful transition was announced by one of us over the phone.
What does this teach? We are reeds in the hands of fate. No one knows the time and hour but God. My heart is with his wife, children, and family. I beseech them to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.
All members of the political family are enjoined to be calm and forbearing. Friends and associates should know that a leaf will not fall off a tree branch outside the Knowledge of God. May Allah SWT forgive our brother and accept him to Aljannah Fridaous. Aamin.