Osinowo: Senate’s one death too many

For the fourth time in six months, the Nigeria’s Ninth Senate had cause, last week, to mourn yet again another of its own, Senator Adebayo Osinowo, a first time senator from Lagos state. The upper legislative chamber had earlier lost Senators Benjamin Uwajunogu (Imo North), Ignatius Longjan (Plateau South) and Rose Oko (Cross River North) to the cold hands of death between December, 2019 and June, 2020.

In quick succession, Senator Uwajumogu died on December 18, 2019, Longjan followed on February 10, 2020, Rose Oko died on March 23, 2020 and Senator Osinowo died barely three months after. Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege have expressed shock and sadness over the news of the death of Senator Osinowo. This is just as family sources said Senator Osinowo, who hails from Ijebu Ode, Ogun state, died from complications arising from Covid-19 pandemic in the morning of Monday, June 15, 2020.

Lawan, in a statement, condoled with Senator Osinowo’s family, friends, political associates as well as the government and people of Lagos state over the loss. According to the Senate President, Osinowo, popularly called Pepper, served his country creditably as chairman of the senate committee on industries at the Ninth Senate which marked its first anniversary only last week.

He said the pains of Senator Osinowo’s untimely departure will be felt by his colleagues and the National Assembly in general. Lawan prayed for the sweet repose of his gentle soul and for God to grant those he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss. Senator Osinowo, who, until his death, represented Lagos East, first made his mark at the Lagos civil service and at the Lagos state House Assembly where he served four terms before his election to the Senate.

On his part, the deputy senate president described late Senator Osinowo as a passionate populist who represented Lagos East Senatorial District and his state with unflinching commitment. Recalling the late lawmaker’s patriotic disposition, Omo-Agege noted that the people-focused agenda of the All Progressives Congress and national interest were key ideals held dear by the late Senator.

He said: “It is a rude shock to receive the sad news of Senator Adebayo Osinowo’s transition to the eternal realms; he was one of my colleagues whose passionate commitment to the grassroots I find uplifting and truly commendable.

“He was Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, Industries and Investment, working with us towards actualising our party’s progressive manifesto. After earning his two degrees in Building Technology from two Italian universities, he returned home and started his political career at the grassroots as Youth Leader under the tutelage of the current National Leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the now-defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP).

“Obviously, his robust connection and passion for the grassroots lasted a lifetime and I deeply commiserate with the people of Lagos East Senatorial district as well as the Lagos State government over this irreparable loss.I pray that the grace of God Almighty will sustain and comfort all members of Senator Osinowo’s family in this hour of grief, and I also offer my heartfelt condolences to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the entire people of Lagos State,” he stated.

Senator Rose Oko, who was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing Cross River North Senatorial District, died on March 23, 2020 at the age of 63 in a London hospital. She was a second term member of the National Assembly and until her death, the chairman, senate committee on trade and investment. The late Oko was born on September 27, 1956.

She was a member of the House of Representatives (Yala/Ogoja Federal Constituency) in the Seventh National Assembly. She was elected into office as the first female representative from her constituency in June 2011 and was Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Education. She was elected as the first female representative from her Senatorial District in June 2015, and re-elected in 2019.

Senator Uwajumogu died at the age of 51 in the wee hours of Wednesday, December 18, 2019, in Abuja after taking ill for several weeks. Uwajumogu was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He was initially treated in the United Arab Emirates for his protracted illness, but he returned to Abuja after showing signs of recovery.

Shortly after Uwajumogu’s demise, the senator representing Plateau South Senatorial District of Plateau state, Ignatius Datong Longjan, died in a Turkish hospital. Longjan who was elected on the platform of the APC, was former deputy governor of Plateau state and had replaced Senator Jeremiah Useni.

Blueprint condoles with the families of the deceased senators and the Ninth Senate over the loss of these distinguished Nigerians. It is sad that these illustrious patriots passed on at a time Nigerians were settling down to enjoy the dividend of the harmonious and cordial relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government, which had been frosty in the four years of the previous dispensation.

It is our fervent prayer that the senate will be spared of this unsavoury spate of deaths to enable this critical arm of government to concentrate on the discharge of its core constitutional duty to make laws for the good governance of Nigeria.

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