PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the Ogunleye family, government and people of Ogun State on the passing of former Deputy Governor, Alhaji Rafiu Ogunleye.
The President, who acknowledged the immense contributions the late Ogunleye made to the growth and development of Ogun State, described him as “a loyal, disciplined politician and renowned administrator”.
President Buhari, in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, enjoined the Ogunleyes, friends and political associates to be consoled by the ex-deputy governor’s remarkable political career and outstanding contributions to the unity and stability of his fatherland.
He prayed Almighty God to grant peace to the soul of the departed septuagenarian.
Similarly, the Ogun State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have also expressed sadness over Ogunleye’s death.
The Ogun State PDP Chairman, Engr. Adebayo Dayo described Ogunleye’s death as a huge loss to his family, the political class, Ogun State and indeed, Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Abeokuta, Dayo described the Itele-born politician as a frontline figure in the annals of Ogun State, adding that the deceased led a life of service.
“Alhaji led a life of service. He was a former Deputy Governor of Ogun State under Chief Segun Osoba administration. He was a former governorship aspirant of our party (PDP). He was a consummate statesman who played several defining roles in the political history of Ogun State.
”We pray that God will comfort his family and associates and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” he said.
Ogunleye died in the early hours of Monday, 29th July, 2019, at the age of 79.
The Ogun State chapter of the APC described Ogunleye as a “consummate politician, passionate community leader and pious Muslim”.
Publicity Secretary of its Caretaker Committee Tunde Oladunjoye said the late politician’s death was described as “a painful exit of a political heavyweight and bridge-builder”.
The statement reads: “The news of the death of our political leader and former governor of Ogun State, Asiwaju Abdul Rafiu Ogunleye, came as a painful reality. No matter the old age, the loss of a dear one is always saddening; but we give glory to God for the life of the consummate politician, passionate community leader and pious Muslim.
“The late Asiwaju of Ijebu Itele gave a good account of himself at various times and in various capacities when the state demanded of him. He served as a very loyal deputy governor, bridge-building and successful state party chairman; and prudent chairman of the Ogun State Properties and Investment Corporation (OPIC), whose leadership translated into the prosperity of the state-owned investment conglomerate.
“Alhaji Ogunleye, the soft-spoken political strategist, who was also the Asiwaju Adinni of Ijebu East Local Government of Ogun State, was reputed for his humility, accessibility and political sagacity. His leadership style was communal, collegiate and participatory, cutting across party, religious, cultural and tribal lines.
“While expressing our genuine sympathy with his immediate and extended family, political associates, mentees, and the entire sons and daughters of Ijebu Itele on the painful loss, the Ogun APC prays that the Almighty God will give his family and those he has left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”