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LASG, council disagree over cause of Onigbongbo chairman’s death

By Ibe Wada

The Lagos State Government and Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) have disagreed over cause of death of the council Chairman, Babatunde Oke, who was reported to have died on Wednesday after a brief illness linked to coronavirus.

While the LCDA debunked media reports that the late chairman died of coronavirus complications, the state government insisted that Oke died from coronavirus complications.

Although, both Lagos government and the council have not come to the public with any certification to prove if the council chairman died of coronavirus or not, and not even the family of the deceased had made comments on the cause of death.

Until his death, he was said to be receiving treatment at the Gbagada Isolation Centre and later moved to St Nicholas Hospital where he breathed his last.

Reacting to the reports, the council’s Chief Press Secretary, Ishmaeel Akerele, said that contrary to reports circulating online, the late chairman who was serving his second term in the council, died after brief illness.

While urging Nigerians, particularly the LCDA residents to disregard the reports, Akerele through a statement released to newsmen on Wednesday, cautioned rumor mongers from distracting political associates and immediate family from peaceful mourning.

‘’Sequel to the widespread rumour that Hon. Babatunde Oke died of COVID-19 complications, I wish to state emphatically that the former executive chairman of Onigbongbo LCDA died after a brief illness.

‘’While we reflect on the passing of a great leader and astute politician, rumor mongers must not use this medium to distract his immediate families and political associates from the peaceful mourning the late Hon. Babatunde Oke deserves,’’ the statement read.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Sanwoolu, has expressed sadness over what he described as sudden demise of the council boss, saying his death was a big loss to the council and state in general.

Sanwo-Olu, through a condolence message issued on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, enjoined Lagosians to use Oke’s death as a reminder that coronavirus was real by obeying basic safety rules and regulations.

“Hon. Babatunde Oke, a second term Chairman of Onigbongbo LCDA, died in the early hours of Wednesday (August 12, 2020) from complications arising from COVID-19 infection.

“The death of Oke is a painful and great loss to the State. We must however not allow the death of Hon. Oke to deter us from forging ahead in our quest to finding a lasting solution to the dreaded coronavirus, which is ravaging the world. In fact, the best way we would preserve the memories of those we have lost to the virus is for the world to find a solution to the pandemic.

“Needless for me to say that I am saddened by the death of this fine gentleman; a loyal party man and committed democrat, who had a deep understanding of local government administration and the political landscape,” the statement read.

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