Comrade Abiodun Kolawole, renowned former student activist and the executive director of the Ola Oni Centre in Oshogbo, Osun State, has passed away at the age of 45 in a road accident.
He died instantly along with his wife of 15 years as a 14-seater bus he was driving from Ifako Ekiti reportedly hit a huge crater and then somersaulted. His assistant was also critically injured.
The former student activist at the University of Lagos rose to the position of Secretary General of the National Association of Nigerian Students under the leadership of Olusegun Mayegun during the vibrant years of the national student body.
Read the press release by former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu below.
Another Patriot and Martyr Gone, Comrade Abiodun Kolawole in Ghastly Road Accident, Behold and Share Our Agony
Barely seven months of mourning for Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde have gone by, as we stumble again at the close of this tragic year, this time, come, behold the agony of our hearts at Yuletide when our dancing was suddenly turned into mourning at Christmas by another infrastructural negligence committed by the Nigerian State with the tragic and numbing news of the death of Comrade Biodun Kolawole, along with his wife of 15 years in a ghastly road accident.
In the global news of the past few days was this tragic drama of negligence, as Nigeria records 94 deaths in 191 road accidents in 5 days of Yuletide 2012, as reported by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Biodun Kolawole, a patriot, a fighter and a revolutionary for change. Executive Director, OLA ONI CENTRE, Central Committee member of the Apapo Oodua Koya, (AOKOYA), former Secretary General of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS), pioneer leader of the Oodua Youth Movement, (OYM). I remember vividly as I acknowledged him four years ago during June 12 celebrations as one of our youth heroes who lost their youth and suffered many other losses in the fight against military dictatorship, and for democracy. His harrowing death is one loss too much to bear by us.
I tremble at the accelerating loss and wastage of our Nigerian youths who have been left out of a governance that would have otherwise impact the lives of the masses, but at whose expense some recycled politicians who are the architects of our dilapidated roads which they gleefully turned into the corridors of the highway tragedy and mourning. The ruling party and President Jonathan continue to insult our collective memory by recycling such political buccaneers for plum Federal jobs till date.
A few years ago, I said this much about Biodun Kolawole: “We must salute the journalists, the mighty men of the pen who wrote and reported, who stood up to the underbelly of power. They risked their lives as they were banned, harassed, sent out of job. But they understood the value of democracy. We salute them. We should remember Abiodun Kolawole, a.ka. Arole, who lost a lot for the struggle. We cannot forget the other hefty men of the struggle…”
We dare to ask the former President Obasanjo and current President Goodluck Jonathan, as well as their serial Ministers of Works and Controllers of Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), over the past 13years of PDP-rule this question: For how long will bad roads continue to claim lives in Nigeria? Our perilous roads, which have become per-second, per-second killers, drinking the blood of the masses of our people. Nigeria is fast becoming one huge cemetery of our people’s dreams for a just, transparent, fair and egalitarian democracy.
The transformation agenda of Mr. President promised to achieve improved road sector infrastructure for Socio-Economic Transformation. The lifeless bodies of Biodun Kolawole and his wife, lying at the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Ido Ekiti, and that of other 92 victims across Nigerian mortuaries are the testimonial of this transformation agenda which has translated them into the world of spirits now.
I condole with families of other 92 victims, Nigerians who lost their lives in road carnage all over the country in this Yultide season, may God comfort you and wipe your tears and sustain you throughout these painful period and beyond. May Allah grant their souls of the dead eternal repose.
Finally, the death of Biodun Kolawole is a clarion call to all ACN state governments to continue to work harder to actualize the dream of effectual governance in infrastructure, education, health, and welfare of the majority of the citizens as they prepare to vote out the regime of complacency and bring an era of truly progressive government in Nigeria. This is the only testimony that would make the spirit of Biodun Kolawole to truly rest in peace.
Eight days before your birthday, you were forced to accept the ugly birthday “gift” of death and waved bye-bye to us, to continue the struggle for a just and egalitarian society in Nigeria.
Arole ooo, may your spirit continue to propel us to fight for the true democracy and just society. May your spirit haunt those who preside over this negligence, gloom and despair so that they would quickly vacate the thrones of power which in 13 years of their rule, they have not used for the common good of the masses.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Because Biodun will not die in our hearts, he lives forever more in our memories.
Abiodun Simeon Omo Kolawole, Arole Oodua, Sun re o.