Ayo Fayose, Ekiti state governor, says former military governor Adeyinka Adebayo was always after Nigeria’s unity and was fundamentally opposed to the civil war of 1967.
The governor said this on Friday as the corpse of the late Adebayo arrived Ado Ekiti, the state capital, for his lying-in-state.
Fayose, who paid glowing tributes to Adebayo, said: “We are celebrating General Adebayo today because he had paid his dues. He had done Ekiti and Nigeria proud as a disciplined military man.”
“Baba in his lifetime did his best. He was a symbol of hope for the present generation, the coming one and the one yet unborn,” he said.
“My person in particular, I benefited from his counsels which had helped in the governance of this state. He was a dedicated and hardworking man, who sees Ekiti as a project that must succeed.
“The works of a man speak for him after death. General Adebayo truly never wanted civil war and he fought on the side of the country for Nigeria to sustain the unity of our dear nation.”
The body of the late elder statesman was received by Fayose from his Osun counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, at the Itawure boundry.
The remains were conveyed in a motorcade to the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti where a large crowd had converged as early as 7am.
Fayose, who had earlier declared a public holiday in honour of the late general, also directed that shops and markets be closed as long as the lying-in-state lasted.
In compliance with the directive, NAN reports that markets and shops were closed as residents trooped to the Oluyemi Kayode stadium to give their last respects to the elder statesman.
The remains of the late general will be interred in his house at Iyin-Ekiti after a funeral service at All Saints Anglican Church in the town on Saturday.
Highlights of the occasion included the paying of tributes and a 21-gun salute for the departed general by local hunters.
Former governor of Ekiti state and son of the late general, Niyi Adebayo, led the family members to the venue of the programme.