Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. He can be reached on [email protected]
Alhaja Mariam Osinowo, the wife of Senator Bayo Osinowo who passed away on Monday, is recovering from the novel coronavirus, family sources told TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC on Tuesday. Her son, Dr. Tunde Osinowo, has fully recovered from the deadly bug, the sources added.
Previous sources which first informed this publication that the beloved senator had died on Monday had said his wife and son had also contracted the coronavirus and were getting worse.
But after our report was published, other family sources reached out and said they were doing better, not worse.
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Mariam and Bayo Osinowo had three children, two-twin girls and a son who is a medical doctor.
Family sources said Mariam who would be 62 years old in August this year, is getting better while her son, Tunde, has now fully recovered.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday offered his deepest condolences to the family of Osinowo and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the death of Senator Sikiru Adebayo Osinowo, the Senator representing Lagos East senatorial district.
As a member of the ninth senate and a key member of the All Progressives Congress, President Buhari recounted that Senator Osinowo as Chairman of Senate Committee on Industry and member of other committees, worked diligently to advance this administration’s objective of building a better and prosperous Nigeria.
The President affirmed that the Senator’s commitment to meet the needs of his community as a four-time member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, devotion to national development as well as insightful contributions at the floor of the Senate would be fondly remembered and missed.
The President prayed God Almighty to grant the family of Osinowo, friends and well-wishers the fortitude to bear the loss.
The President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said he received with shock and sadness the news of the death of Senator Osinowo.
Lawan condoled with Senator Osinowo’s family, friends, political associates and also the government and people of Lagos State over the loss.
Senator Osinowo who until his death represented Lagos East Senatorial first made his mark at the Lagos Civil Service and also at the Lagos State House Assembly where he served four terms before his election to the Senate, Lawan said.
Lawan said Osinowo served his country creditably as a Distinguished Senator at the Ninth Senate which marked its first anniversary only last week. Osinowo was the Chairman of the Committee on industries.
The Senate President said the pains of Senator Osinowo’s untimely departure will be felt by his Distinguished colleagues and the National Assembly in general.
Lawan prayed for sweet repose of his gentle soul and for God to grant those he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila described as shocking and saddening the passing of Sen. Bayo Osinowo.
Gbajabiamila described the late Senator as a fine politician who contributed immensely to the growth and development of Lagos State through his membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a condolence message by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker recalled his engagements with the late Senator all in an attempt to better the lives of Lagosians.
“Senator Bayo Osinowo’s death is a painful loss to Lagosians. Here was a man who dedicated himself to the service of his people. He was always at the forefront of delivering the dividends of democracy to the electorate.
“As a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly for many years, he endeared himself to his constituents through different laudable projects. And as a Senator from June last year until his demise, Senator Osinowo was already proving his mettle.
“At this moment of grief, my thoughts are with members of his immediate family, his constituents, the people of Lagos State in general and the Nigerian Senate,” Gbajabiamila said.
While praying for the repose of the soul of the late Senator, Gbajabiamila prayed God to give his family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Senator Osinowo, who represented Lagos East Senatorial District, died on Monday afternoon at the age of 65. He was the chairman, Senate Committee on Industries.
Former Governor of Lagos Bola Ahmed Tinubu also mourned Senator Osinowo, writing in a statement on Monday that his death “deeply hurt him and Lagosians”.
Osinowo represented Kosofe Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly while Tinubu was serving a second term as Lagos State Governor. Tinubu left office in 2007.
“Over the years he became like a family member and brother in so many ways. Bayo and I have come a long way, dating back to our days in the pro-democracy struggles. We both enlisted in the Social Democratic Party where he served so well as the Youth Chairman of that party during the Third Republic and later in the Alliance for Democracy in 1998 after the restoration of democracy.”
He said Osinowo contributed immensely for the return of democracy in 1999.
“Bayo’s contributions to the return of democracy were significant and enduring. As a prominent political figure in Lagos, he served with dedication, passion and concern for the common man.
“In the Lagos State House of Assembly, where he was a four-time member from 2003 to 2019 representing Kosofe Constituency 1, he was more than a member of that House. He provided leadership. He was a stabilising figure. He worked hard and tirelessly to make Lagos a better place.
“He cared for all Lagosians. His election in 2019 to represent Lagos East in the Senate demonstrated not only his immense political skills but also the affection the people have for him and his popularity,” Tinubu added.
Former Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, also mourned Senator Osinowo, writing in a heartbreaking condolence message: “I Have Lost A Dependable Political Ally”.
He wrote: “Almost 24 hours after the sudden death of my brother (whom I fondly called ęgbøn), my friend and political associate, Senator Bayo Osinowo (a.k.a Pepper), I’m yet to come to terms with the reality of his sudden passage.
“This is indeed a personal loss to me. Senator Osinowo was one political associate you could bank on and go to bed rest assured that he would watch your back and protect your interests.
“Even as I mourn the loss of my great friend, I’m comforted by the words of William Shakespeare who said “all the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances …death, a necessary end, will come when it will come”.
“I look back on the good times we shared. I remember our several trips to Ijebu-Ode while the house, which has now become his resting place was being built. It was in the course of these trips that Senator Osinowo introduced me to the best ęgusi joint: a testament to his unparalleled hospitality.
“During my 10-year tenure as the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Pepper’s political sagacity was a major factor in the stability and progress of that period.
“It is an understatement to say that the Lagos All Progressives Congress has lost a political heavy weight. Senator Osinowo was in a class of his own, and it is not surprising that he was loved and cherished by all.
“His shoes will be too big to fill; there was never a dull moment with him. Pepper was a political juggernaut, a rare breed and a political mathematician whose style of delivery was unique, and will always be remembered.
“We will continue to draw inspiration from his life and times, which he dedicated to the good of the people of Lagos State and Nigeria.
“I commiserate with the immediate and larger families of the deceased as well as his political families; and I pray for the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“We shall ‘not mourn like those without hope’.
“Inna lillah waina illay rajiuna.
“May the Almighty Allah forgive his sins and admit him to Firdaus Aljannah. Amin.
“Sun re o Bayo Osinowo, ęgbø mogun ara’jamø!