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Late Hamzat demonstrated uncommon courage – Lagos lawmaker

A Lagos lawmaker, Mr Tunde Braimoh, on Monday described the death of Oba Olatunji Hamzat, father of the state Deputy Governor-elect, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, as the end of an era.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oba Hamzat was, until his death on Sunday evening at 86, the traditional ruler of Afowowa Kingdom in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun.

Reacting, Braimoh (APC-Kosofe II) at the Lagos State House of Assembly told NAN: “The demise of His Royal Majesty Oba Mufutau Olatunji Hamzat is indeed the end of an era.

“The late iconic and prolific politician represented and manifested uncommon courage, candour, vigour and honour in the practice of his calling as a politician.

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“He was a leading light in NADECO; a coalition of Democrats that stood out to repel the dreaded and despotic Abacha regime at a huge cost to their liberties and even some lives.

“Perhaps I must not fail to underscore the sterling and clairvoyant qualities of compromise and sacrifice for common goal characteristically epitomized by the departed role model.’’

The lawmaker, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, eulogised late Hamzat’s contributions to the greatness of Lagos State.

He said: “From humble beginnings, the late monarch metamorphosed from a senior bank official to a state party official and later in 1979 to an elected member of the first Lagos State House of Assembly; a position which he was compelled by the party to resign to serve as commissioner for public transportation under the famed LK Jakande regime from 1979-83.

“He continued in the position for another term from 1983 until that term was truncated by the inglorious military coup of January 1984.

“The undue incarceration and other tyrannies meted out to the late quintessential leader by the then military junta notwithstanding, he remained unperturbed, unwavering and resilient in his avowed cause.

“His cause was to obtain and retain democracy and the rule of law for the country.’’

According to Braimoh, in the advent of the present democratic dispensation, Oba Hamzat aligned with other compatriots of common persuasion to form the Alliance for Democracy.

He said that Hamzat alongside his colleagues in the political pressure group – the Justice Forum – have since been in the forefront of enthroning and supporting people-based populist governments across Nigeria’s political hegemony.

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“Essentially, the late astute politician turned monarch lived a life of principles, hard work, justice, religious piety and ultra-high moral rectitude.

“His exit will therefore create a wide vacuum which shall be difficult, if not impossible to effectually fill.

“Death is however an inevitable end and to exit leaving behind illustrious offspring and successors is not to die.

“It is therefore my prayer to Allah to grant Papa an eternal rest, and his political and biological families the fortitude to bear the colossal loss,’’ Braimoh said.

Oba Hamzat died following a brief illness, 17 days to the inauguration of his son, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, as deputy governor of Lagos State. (NAN)