By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Comrade Yinka Odumakin’s death gives us pause. It makes us stop and re-evaluate our lives and values. It makes us think how much more we can do with our time and our resources.

Around 5 am US local Eastern Standard Time, while she was surfing the net for the latest headlines, my wife woke me up with the shocking news: “Yinka is dead.” I asked her: “Which Yinka?” “Yinka Odumakin,” she said with sick smiles. I jumped out of bed. I was lost in thought. I tried to clear the fog in my brain to actually process the news.

I didn’t have the pleasure of ever meeting Odumakin. The overwhelming sadness I feel today is just a fraction of that felt by those who knew him. Odumakin’s death is a devastating moment for Nigeria and especially so for Yoruba Nation at this time in our history as we are trying to disengage from Nigeria.

The evil people in Nigeria – the dictators, autocrats, and destroyers of Nigeria – are breathing easier today. The intolerant, the narrow minded, the scared, the defensive, the nepotist, the haters of justice, equality, liberty, freedom, and rule of law, are watching us mourn the man who never left them alone.

Like the anopheles mosquito on a hot African summer night, Odumakin buzzed around the heads of those who challenged our right to be treated decently, equally not only as Nigerians, but as human beings. They cursed him and tried to swat him away. But Odumakin persisted, circling, watching, and settling wherever he could to disturb and irritate them. Today, they hope they can rest a little easier, because Odumakin is gone.

Odumakin with energy, steel resolve, and stay power consistently fought for our rights. Solid, steady, undaunted, and unrelenting. When others were exhausted, Odumakin would keep going. When we wanted to give up, Odumakin would not let us. His passion for fighting social injustice, economic inequalities, political marginalization, nepotism, was unwavering and legendary.

Nigeria, indeed the Yoruba Nation, has lost a bright star in the fight for self-determination. But his life’s commitment to fighting the ancient evils Nigeria is reputed for, leaves a legacy that will inspire us to forge ahead in our struggle for Oduduwa Nation. His spirit joins Awo, Tai Solarin, Gani Fawehinmi, MKO, Ayodele Awojobi, Abraham Akinsanya, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Dele Giwa, and other heroes of our struggle, in a reunion of leaders to whom we owe so much.

Rest In Peace.

•Oluwasanmi writes from the United States of America


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