By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday attended the funeral of late Dr Frederick Fasehun, the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress(OPC) at the Cathedral Church of Saint Stephen, Oke-Aluko, Ondo, Ondo State.
The OPC chieftain passed on Dec. 1 at the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja (LASUTH).
Osinbajo was accompanied to the service by Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Gov. Kayode Fayemi, among others.
Former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko was also in attendance.
In his tribute, Osinbajo said it was a great honour to be at the service to express his own condolence on behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of Nigeria.
He said that Fasehun was exceptional in everything he did as he was medical doctor, a sociologist as well as a versatile acupuncturist.
“He studied acupuncture in 1977; and set up the very first acupuncture centre in Africa at LASUTH.
“ He was such a brilliant medical doctor; one would have thought that he would just restrict himself to practice of medicine.
“Of course, many of us know he was the proprietor of Bestcare Hospital, which catered for the poor; so many people were able to receive medical attention.
“But beyond that, I think that what he will always be remembered for is what he did with the OPC; of course, many of us know about the struggle.
“He was not really a politician; his first interaction that we know within the democratic struggle was when he founded the Movement for Social and Economic Justice.’’
Osinbajo said that when the deceased founded the OPC, he decided that it was not enough for the Yoruba people to be recongnised for their industry and for their enterprise, but to seek beyond that.
He said that the first set of members of OPC were artisans, who Fasehun taught excellence and integrity and also at the same time, teaching them democratic principles and activism.
The vice president said that he was happy that Fasehun lived a good life and knew God.
In his tribute, Akeredolu said that Fasehun would be remembered for excellence and for championing the cause of the Yoruba nation.
Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Archbishop of Abuja Province and Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, prayed God to comfort the family of the deceased and all he left behind.
Okoh, whose message was read by the Most Rev. Gabriel Akinbiyi, Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of Ondo and Lord Bishop, Diocese of Akoko, also prayed God to give Fasehun’s family the fortitude to bear the loss.
In his sermon, Akinbiyi said that from the tributes from family members and friends, it was evident that he impacted on lives.
He said that Fasehun remained faithful and committed to serving God in spite the post he held.
The bishop prayed that God would give Nigeria a leader after God’s heart as the “nation goes for elections.’’
He said that one of the lessons from Fasehun’s life was that one could face trials and difficulties and still maintain standard.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, also sent a condolence message.