A second republic minister and former senator from Ekiti state, Dr Bode Olowoporoku, has passed on at age 76.
Olowoporoku who represented Ekiti South Senatorial District between 2003 and 2007 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), according to family sources died on Wednesday night after a brief illness.
The Ilawe-Ekiti born politician and astute administrator was a minister of Science and Technology in 1938 under the administration of late Shehu Shagari.
He contested the 2018 governorship election in Ekiti state under the platform Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP).
Confirming the demise of the elder statesman, one of his son, Ayodeji Olowoporoku, said he would be greatly missed for his fatherly role and philanthropist gestures in the state and beyond.
He said, “He was consumed with the idea of Ekiti emancipation and development, and so had to painfully partway with the UPN in 1981 because of what he and other Ekiti compatriots who served in the Government of Chief Adekunle Ajasin as governor of Ondo State perceived as an injustice to and marginalisation of Ekiti people then.
“He later politically aligned with the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and was appointed Federal Minister of Science and Technology under the Shagari regime before the military took over the government in 1983.
“He was at the forefront in the agitation for the creation of Ekiti State, providing extensive funding, and also playing a prominent role working with the Council of Ekiti Obas and the committee for the creation of Ekiti State, and utilised his robust network through his close friends Olusola Saraki and Adamu Ciroma to meet the Late Abacha for the creation of Ekiti State.
“He was a nationalist, a proud Ekiti elder statesman and philanthropist. We will miss him dearly for his irreplaceable role as a caring father.”
The Southern Senators Forum(SSF) has commiserated with the people of Ekiti State over the demise of the former minister and senator.
In a statement by the chairman of SSF, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, the forum described Olowoporoku as a nationalist, statesman and politician of note, who believed in the unity of the country during his lifetime.
“Going by his records, the late Senator was perceived to be one of the most active Senators during the fourth National Assembly. His brilliant contributions to topical issues of national interest were found to be superb, outstanding and beneficial to the progress of the country.
“His de-trabilistic mien manifested in his chequered political sojourn, as a member of many political parties at different times in history, which were largely assessed to be products of good conscience and principle, rather than one anchored on ethnic considerations.
“Senator Olowoporoku was a through-bred community man , which propelled him to site his industries in his Ilawe Ekiti country home to provide gainful employment to jobless youth,” Bamidele said.
The Speaker of Ekiti state House of Assembly, Honourable Funminiyi Afuye has described the late Olowoporoku as an astute politician who contributed immensely to the creation of the state.
The speaker in a release by his media aide, Tai Oguntayo said, ” as a prominent leader of Ekiti and of course Nigeria, he played his role in his own way while alive.
“Apart from being highly cerebral, Dr Olowoporoku was also an astute politician who contributed immensely to the creation of Ekiti State.”
The Speaker extolled the virtues of Olowoporoku whom he described, ” as bold and a man of his conviction. He pursued his beliefs with doggedness and focus.”