The remains of Oyo State and Southwest Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde (aka Fele), were interred yesterday according to Islamic rites at his Elebu, Ibadan home.
The burial, which was held amid tears and wailing by his family, colleagues, associates, was witnesses by officials of the union from different parts of the country, security chiefs and government officials.
Dignitaries at the event include the Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Security, Mr Segun Bolarinwa (who represented the government), Police Commissioner Abiodun Odude, Kehinde Subair, Akeem Ige, Sunday Adeyemo (aka Sunday Igboho), some Nollywood actors and musicians.
NURTW’s National President Najim Yasin announced Fele’s death in a radio broadcast on Tuesday night.
The body of the union leader, who died at an Abuja hospital of kidney-related ailment, was led by the Osun State Chairman of the union, Mr Folorunso Olalekan (aka Lekan Salam).
It arrived Ibadan at 9.20 am in a white Toyota Hiace ambulance, with registed as (Abuja) RAHIS 8.
The ambulance was piloted in a convoy from Ire-Akari junction to his house amid tears.
The body was handed over for Islamic Janazah (pre-burial rites).
It was returned at 10.07 am for a special prayer, led by Sheikh AbdulRosheed Babalamunigun, with other Islamic clerics.
The body was shrouded in a light lemon coloured mat and taken to a garage in the compound for interment at 10.12 am.
The funeral rites were accompanied by panegyrics and shouts of continual Allahu Akbar! (Allah is Great) as the body was lowered to the grave.
There was an outburst of emotions when Fele’s wife, Alhaja Kemi, and the children were led to perform the dust-to-dust rites.
Fele’s eldest son, Alhaji Afeez Oyerinde, thanked the people for their love and support for his father.
He said: “My father was a soft personality who loved to help people until his death. I do not know him by any wicked act. His death was surprising, shocking and painful to me. My prayer is that Allah should forgive him of his sins.
“I want to appeal to everybody, because I know he was a man of many people, to let us mind our utterances. No one can kill anybody. Allah, in his infinite mercies, gives life to human beings and He is the only One who can take it. I am of the strong opinion that Allah gave us my father and the same Allah took him away from us.”
Also, the past Deputy Secretary General of the NURTW in Southwest, Alhaji Moshood Ajao, who led the union’s members from Abuja, described the late Oyerinde as “the best state chairman the union ever produced.
He said: “Today is a sad day for our union in Nigeria because death plucked the best rose from our garden.”
NURTW’s Lagos State Chairman Tajudeen Agbede said Oyerinde’s death was a great loss to the union and the nation.