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Tears as colleagues bid slain Oyo Assembly member farewell

By Ismaila Akanji, Abuja

Lawmakers in Oyo State House of Assembly have paid their last respect to their slain colleague, Hon Gideon Aremu, at plenary on Thursday.Aremu who was elected on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) representing Orelope State Constituency was killed by unknown assailants on July 1 in front of his resident at Alakia area of Ibadan.

In his valedictory speech, the Speaker of the House, Mr. Michael Adeyemo, described the deceased as a promising and dedicated lawmaker who contributed meaningfully to the emergence of quality bills.

“Gideon was a gentleman who used his experience as an ex-military man to brilliantly carry out his duty as the Chairman House Committee on Information, Public Relations and Security.

“He was committed to the development of the state and sponsored public interest bill like the Anti-Kidnapping Bill.

“He demonstrated true nationalism and patriotism, a gesture that cannot be easily forgotten, he is dead but he lives on and so his legacy,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Musah Abdul-Wasi, (Saki West/APC) said that Aremu was a bridge builder and an advocate of due process.

“I have only known Aremu a little over a year and we have come to form a great bond beyond mere comradeship.

“We had a rare dream of catapulting this friendship beyond the floor of this honourable house; this has become an aborted dream.

“Oorelope will go on to elect a new member, but Aremu is irreplaceable and the society has lost a father and a great friend,” he said.

Mr Solomon Ajanaku (APC/Ibadan South-West II) said that the late Aremu was a gentle and quiet member of the assembly who had never been found wanting in his responsibilities as a lawmaker.

Ajanaku, the Chairman House Parliamentary Caucus, said Aremu was an intelligent young man whose contributions both at plenary and state development were immense.

Mr Gbenga Oyekola (LP- Atiba) said that the assassination was gruesome and one too many.

According to him, the deceased a man of integrity and a highly refined lawmaker who was a shining example to others.

The representative of the Labour Party, Mr Kazeem Adedeji, said that the deceased was a consummate lawmaker whose life would remain an inspiration to all.

Adedeji, a former Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Investment, said that Aremu’s assassination opened another sad chapter in the history of the state.

“He had an impeccable record of objecting to violence as instrument of policy. He rose to prominence through hardwork and selflessness.

“He served meritoriously in the Nigerian army and also fought gallantly in the peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone and Liberia in 1997,” he said.

Adedeji called for a thorough investigation into the killing to ensure that Aremu’s death was not in vain.

According to him, Aremu was a shining light in a society that is fast losing its grips in promoting people of impeccable character into politics.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Mr Moses Adeyemo, said that the state government would do everything to make sure that the perpetrators were caught.

“The apex of our governance is security. This act of wickedness has brought sorrow to the family, people of his constituency and the sate in general,” he said.

The tribute session was attended by members of the House, Alhaji Sarafadeen Alliance, a former SSG, Oyo State; Dr Kola Balogun, a former Commissioner for Commerce, Oyo State and Mr Lowo Obisesan, a former Commissioner for Environment and Habitat.

Others were Mrs Janet Adeyemo, wife of the Deputy Governor, Mr Olu Abiala, a former NLC Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Apampa and former members of the House of Assembly.

Aremu is survived by a mother, wife and four young children.

Meanwhile, activities for the transition of the politician continue today at his hometown, Igboho in Oke-Ogun Area of Oyo State

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