…We lost a great man – Kwara Gov.
By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
A chieftain of the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC Chief Rex Olawoye is dead.
Olawoye was at the head of ‘O to ge’, a political campaign that torpedoed the immediate past Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his entire structure from the political turf of the 2019 general election in the State.
The Pharmacist-politician who passed on at the age of 71 was for more than three decades active in the politics of Kwara State as a disciple of Late Dr. Olusola Saraki but went their separate ways when Bukola, Saraki’s son became governor of the state.
Olawoye was under Saraki a chieftain of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Congress of National Consensus (CNC), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and All Peoples Party (APP). Later, he was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and until his death, a member of the ruling APC.
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who is the biggest beneficiary of ‘O to ge‘; the political change mantra of the duo of Rex Olawoye and Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, the two factional chairmen of the APC in the state as well as the Chairman of the State Assembly Commission mourned the demise of the politician.
In a statement by the governor, he described Olawoye “as a patriot and a pillar of the struggle that enthroned the ‘O toge’ administration in Kwara state.
“Baba Rex Olawoye was a delight to be with, a soft-spoken gentleman and orator, a lover of younger generation, a dogged fighter, and certainly a statesman who played a pivotal role in the political development of the state over the past few decades.
“We will miss his clarity of thought, his brilliance, and his constructive advice on governance. His words of wisdom even on his sickbed when I last spoke with him were quite reassuring as we were earnestly expectant of his recovery,” the Governor added.
Also, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, the State Caretaker Chairman of the APC, described the demise of Chief Olawoye as “the exit of an icon from the political firmament of Kwara State.”
He added: “Baba Rex was a political trail blazer, one of the very best. His sojourn in politics was enriching and edifying. He exemplified the ideal of speaking truth to power.
“He never minced words; you knew where he stood in any matter. As one of the forebears of O to ge, Baba did not seek any pecuniary gain as he joined others in the trenches to attempt to institute a new order and a Kwara of his dream.”
Hon. Femi Yusuf, Chairman of the House of Assembly Commission, in tears told this reporter: “I still can’t come to term that Baba mi (Chief Rex) is gone). He was a father, teacher, mentor and guardian. He was everything to me.
“During the struggle, I remember, the days of our radio program when he was the state publicity secretary and I was his assistant, the threats to our lives during our or our weekly radio programme at Idifan, the days we were locked up together both at DSS office and the Police Headquarters.
“The day he was spiritually attacked right in the studio during one of our radio programmes or the day we were attacked by hoodlums inside the radio station or his guiding words on how to make presentation on radio.
“The warlord is gone; the father of modern Kwara, the one who spent his money, resources, his time and above all, the one who died for Kwara State is gone”.