Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ekiti State, Chief Jide Awe, on Monday said the late Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka’s battle with cancer became manifest in 2009.
Awe said this at a briefing in Ado Ekiti on Monday.
Olayinka, 52, died of breast cancer on Saturday in Lagos.
Awe said, “Her travail with sickness (cancer) became manifest in 2009 precisely. She has been in and outside the country for one medical treatment or another.
“One thing that is very unique about this woman is that you would not know. Unless you were very close to her, you would never know her condition.
“There were times when she returned from her medical treatments and the next bus stop would be Ekiti and the next assignment would be on the rostrum to campaign to the people.
“She was always with us, and from 2009 to 2010 when we retrieved our mandate, she was very strong.
“What she went through was enough to terminate life. As a liberator, she became a force among Ekiti women and she was always at the forefront. In Africa, particularly in this part of the world, when things like this occur, they would say the wicked ones have done their worst. They would say someone somewhere is responsible for this. Funmilayo Olayinka battled cancer and finally succumbed to it.”
Awe said the late deputy governor was instrumental to the establishment of a branch of United Bank for Africa in Ado Ekiti when she was working with the bank.
Also, the ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed described the news of her death as “a thunderbolt”.
Mohammed said the fact that she left her footprints on the sands of time in banking and in politics, provided all those left to mourn her with some consolation.
He added, “Mrs. Olayinka’s showed her strength of character and rare courage during those years that our party battled to reclaim its stolen mandate in Ekiti. She was in the forefront of the battle, despite the risks to her personal safety. She never looked back, never regretted leaving the comfort of her previous job and never wavered.”
ACN in Lagos State in a statement by its Publicity Secretary Mr. Joe Igbokwe, described the news of her death as a “dagger in the heart”.
The party added, “The death of our beloved, adored and celebrated Deputy Governor of Ekiti State whose parents are still alive and kicking is like a dagger in our hearts, the pains are deep and the wounds will take years to heal.”