The Oyo State Government has confirmed the death of its Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Kehinde Ayoola.
The late Ayoola, who was Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, under the defunct Alliance for Democracy between 1999 and 2003, died on Thursday, after brief illness.
The governor, who confirmed his death, wrote on his Facebook wall, “I received with deep sadness, the news of the death of my dear friend and colleague, Rt. Honourable Kehinde Ayoola.
“Up until his death this morning, he served as the Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources in Oyo State. I met the late Rt. Honourable Ayoola in 2002, when we worked together as members of the Fortune Group for the election of Senator Rasheed Ladoja. He also served as the Director General for my 2015 campaign and the Deputy Director General for my 2019 campaign.
“He was a loyal friend with dedication to duty that cannot be questioned. He will be sorely missed for his great oratory skills and his love for the people of Oyo town and Oyo State. May his soul rest in peace.”
The Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin expressed grief over the passage of the deceased, saying, he was a hard-working man and a selfless personality who was ever ready to offer his time, expertise and resources when needed.
In a statement in Ibadan by its Chairman, Prince Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria lamented the commissioner’s death, describing it as too shocking to believe.
The statement partly read,
“What an unexpected transition of a complete gentleman intellectual in politics, a role model and bridge builder who saw his participation in politics as service to the cause of humanity!
“As a former Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Ayoola brought elegance and sense of duty into the House, in its debates, public interest bills and oversight functions.
“Ayoola maintained elegance in politics with foresight for his goals. Rather than being crude or belligerent, he went for politics of issues, development, friendship and unity in diversity.
“He was never a violent street fighter for power or ambition, but a cerebral promoter of politics without bitterness.