“I will miss Funke so much, no one on earth can fill the space she has left in my life, that of the children and family.
“She is an easy-going person, good and dutiful, always committed to achieve whatever she wants to achieve, leaving no stone unturned.”
With this dirge amidst sobbing uncontrollably, Mr. Idowu Olakunri yesterday broke his long silence and mourned his wife, Olufunke, who was killed on July 12, 2019 along Benin/Ore/Lagos Expressway by unknown gunmen.
In the past six days since the killing happened, never had condolence visits been darker and gloomier than the look on the deceased husband’s face, whose marrows were writhing in pains over the loss of a beloved one.
Deeply in grief, his head was downcast, sometimes too weak to acknowledge the presence of sympathisers and crème-de-la-crème of society that came to commiserate with the bereaved family.
Though he was not allowed to talk with journalists, as friends and well-wishers fenced him off any interaction at the moment of grief, his facial expressions, mood and intermittent sighs portrayed emotional gashes that would take time to heal.
With hushed and inaudible tones, Stone, as Idowu is fondly called by his friends and peers, could not stop the torrents of tears that trickled down his cheeks, melting the man in him as he cried, supporting his head repeatedly with his hands, buried in grief.
According to people who know the couple very well, Idowu would sorely miss Olufunke, as they both made a good team in managing the political life and activities of the Afenifere patriarch and nonagenarian.
It was gathered that the monthly Afenifere meetings in Pa Fasoranti’s house, being sort of the national secretariat, over the years, had been a huge success due to the efforts of the deceased and her husband, who has become inseparable from the Fasoranti fold.
Idowu, an indigene of Owo town in Ondo State and younger brother of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) secretary, Pastor Simeon Olusola Olakunri, would no doubt get too much work in the saddle for himself, as his wife embarked on a journey of no return.
Like other sympathisers who had come and gone earlier, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noted: “This is a massive tragedy, as you can imagine. We have seen it replicated here and there, which is kidnapping, death and killings.”
On his part, National Vice Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Eddy Olafeso, and the Zonal Working Committee of the party, said in a statement issued to journalists in Akure, the state capital:
“We note that President Buhari has once again issued another in the series of condolence messages, commiserating with Pa Reuben Fasoranti, father of Olufunke. In the message, he whimsically rationalised this murder as an armed robbery attack.
“We, however, differ and now tell him it was a Fulani herdsmen action, as people in that area of incidence clearly said the location remains the criminals’ major theatre of operation.
“We want to remind the President that he was elected to be our Commander-in-Chief and not mourner-in-chief. It is his responsibility to make our nation safe from all strive and lawlessness, not to excuse and rationalise them.”
The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Adams, during a condolence visit to Pa Fasoranti on Thursday evening, declared that the recurring insecurity in the Southwest was being perpetrated to prod the people to rebel against the federal government.
He added: “We have to be careful not to go into their own trap. We don’t want a situation where we walk into their trap, because we realised that this ugly incident is being coordinated beyond our own scene. There are some forces behind them.
“How can ordinary herdsmen be holding AK 47? In our finding, AK 47 rifle goes for about N1 million and with many bullets. So, we are looking beyond ordinary herdsmen.
“We realised that there are some forces behind them in three phases. Those who strike in the bush, those who issue statement to back them up and those who are strategists and give instructions to those who strike and those who issue statements.”
He lamented that Yoruba people are not prepared and proactive to resist any aggression against their land, but rather preferred to react, despite the warnings and premonitions some of them had in the past.
“When we tell our people to prepare, they are non-challant to it. I have seen this signal, I have the information.”
He, however, disclosed that the region has been discussing with various security agencies in the country to find lasting solutions to the menace of insecurity, adding that Yoruba people are ready to support government at all levels.
“We are having different meetings with different organisations and we are planning to have a synergy with our state governments in the Southwest.
“But I can tell you authoritatively that we are meeting as a group, as stakeholders, to map out strategies that can complement efforts of the law enforcement agencies.”