Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti capital, stood still on Friday as the corpse of the late former governor of the defunct Western Region, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, arrived for his lying-in-state.
The body of the late elder statesman was received by Gov. Ayo Fayose from his Osun counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, at the Itawure boundry.
The remains were conveyed in a motorcade to the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado Ekiti where a large crowd had converged as early as 7. a.m.
All activities stood still from Itawure, through Aramoko, Ilawe to Ado Ekiti, as the motorcade meandered through the crowded capital.
Fayose, who had earlier declared a public holiday in honour of the late general, also directed that shops and markets be closed as long as the lying-in-state lasted.
In compliance with the directive, markets and shops were closed as residents trooped to the Oluyemi Kayode stadium to give their last respects to the elder statesman.
Fayose, who paid glowing tributes to the former military governor, said: “We are celebrating General Adebayo today because he had paid his dues. He had done Ekiti and Nigeria proud as a disciplined military man
“Baba in his lifetime did his best. He was a symbol of hope for the present generation, the coming one and the one yet unborn.
“My person in particular, I benefited from his counsels which had helped in the governance of this state.
“He was a dedicated and hardworking man, who sees Ekiti as a project that must succeed.
“The works of a man speak for him after death. General Adebayo truly never wanted civil war and he fought on the side of the country for Nigeria to sustain the unity of our dear nation.’’
In his brief sermon, the Ekiti Government House Chaplain, Pastor Seyi Olusola, urged the people to learn from Adebayo’s death.
“Everybody will die at the appointed time no matter how great, connected or influential you are, so you must be good to humanity.
“You should change that your bad attitude because if you die today, what will the people say about you, good or bad?
“And immediately you die, you will face judgment. If you have problem in court, you can hire good lawyers and wriggle your way, but in heaven, such is impossible,’’ he said.
The remains of the late general will be interred in his house at Iyin-Ekiti after a funeral service at All Saints Anglican Church in the town on Saturday.
Highlights of the occasion included the paying of tributes and a 21-gun salute for the departed general by local hunters.
Former governor of Ekiti State and son of the late general, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, led the family members to the venue of the programme.
Other dignitaries at the event included legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola, former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, Secretary and chieftain of the Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide.