By Babatunde Ayedoju
Last week Tuesday was a sad day for the good people of Akure North Local Government area, Ondo State, as the council chairman, Mr Bankole Ogbesetore, gave up the ghost on that day. Mr Ogbesetore, who lost his wife, Mrs. Tiwalade Ogbesetore, in a ghastly motor accident in Alagbaka four years ago, was said to have battled an undisclosed ailment for over a year.
Though his death sent shock waves across the local government area, to prevent a vacuum in the leadership of the council, his Vice, Mr Anthony Adebusola, stepped in as acting Chairman. Hardly could anyone have believed that Adebusola would not be able to complete his boss’ tenure, as he also died four days later, precisely on Saturday.
Such unprecedented but colossal loss of two leaders within four days has left the Local Government and the State at large, such an unimaginable sorrow. A Prominent indigene of the area, a former Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Ondo State who is currently a member of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Saka Yusuf, was among the first set of people to break the news online.
He said, “It is on a sad note, painful and pathetic that I’m here again to announce the tragic death of our council vice chairman Anthony Adebusola. This unfortunate death occurred yesterday after a brief illness. Painful that we lost both our elected council chairman and his amiable loyal vice chairman within one week. Like a bad movie so sad a story. Ko ye mi oo. I urge you all to pray for us and the family members of the two of them left behind.”
When The Hope visited the local government secretariat in Iju-Itaogbolu on Tuesday, the atmosphere was very solemn, with most of the staff on ground dressed in black. In one of the blocks within the premises of the secretariat, there was a condolence register on a table, with the pictures of both Bankole Ogbesetore and Adebusola Anthony placed close to the register.
However, the council can not move forward with such vacuum, therefore at the end of a the local government legislative council had just completed a crucial meeting yesterday the leader of the house, Mr Korede Folorunso emerged as the new chairman.
Speaking with The Hope, Folorunso noted that the deaths of his predecessors were saddening, considering the fact that nobody expected anything like that to happen, but concluded that nobody could question God.
He said, “we are talking about chairman and vice-chairman. Definitely, their deaths have left vacuum in the hearts of the people of the area who are not happy with the incident. In the history of this country, such a thing has never happened, for the chairman and his deputy to die within a week. However, as I said earlier, no one can question God.”
Folorunso who noted that he had been leading the legislative house for three years assured that he is not new to leadership but prayed for God to give him wisdom to pilot the affairs of the local government. He, however, disclosed that there is no new vice-chairman yet.
Press officer of the local government, Chief Oluropo Ogunsakin, also described the deaths of Ogbesetore and Adebusola as pathetic, saying that it has left the people in a sorrowful state. He added that he had never witnessed anything like that before but prayed that God would repose the souls of the departed in perfect peace.
Mrs. Adejoro Morenike, head of local government administration, noted that the incident was quite sad, adding that it met everyone unprepared. She said, “It is unprecedented and is quite strange for the chairman and his deputy to die within the same week. The news came to us as a rude shock because we were still ruminating over the death of the chairman and making plans towards his burial. Unfortunately, we never expected the matter to take this dimension.”
While stating that God knows better, she said, “who are we to query God? We have no choice but to take it the way it has come.”
Mrs. Adejoro who said that her spirit was down, admonished the people of Akure North to take solace in the word of God, saying, “He is our creator. He knows better than us and at his own time, He can call anybody home. So, we need to encourage ourselves in God and take solace in him, because he is the only one who can console us.”