|The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has expressed sadness over the sudden death of a member of the Olubadan-in-Council, the Otun Balogun of Ibadanland, High Chief Olufemi Olaifa.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, the governor described the passing away of the Ibadan high chief as shocking and depressing.
Olaifa, a Veterinary Doctor and prominent member of the Olubadan-in-Council, died in the late hours of Thursday at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
He would also have been crowned as an Oba on Sunday (today) alongside other members of the council, who were recently elevated from high chiefs to beaded-crown wearing traditional rulers.
Ajimobi said: “I received the news of the passing away of High Chief Femi Olaifa with shock. I am greatly saddened and devastated by this unfortunate incident. He will be sorely missed.
“Chief Olaifa was bubbling with life when he and other members of the Olubadan-in-Council came to my office on a courtesy visit last Monday. There was no sign that I was seeing this ebullient and patriotic Ibadan leader for the last time.
“He was a consummate and highly revered royalty who played an active role at a meeting between the Olubadan-in-Council and the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters on Wednesday.
“His death is a personal loss to me, because he was an ardent supporter of our administration since inception. He was always offering useful advice; all of which have contributed immensely to the modest achievements we have recorded so far.
“Besides, the late Chief Olaifa was one of the high chiefs who threw their weight behind the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration review currently being carried out by our administration.
“Having been convinced about the merits of the exercise and our sincerity of purpose, he had insisted that we should not look back having been satisfied that the exercise was in the overall interest of Ibadanland.”
The governor commiserated with the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, members of the Olubadan-in-Council, the deceased family, friends, associates and the entire indigenes of the ancient city on the demise of the high chief.