Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, is dead. She died at 52 after a protracted battle with cancer.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Tayo Ekundayo, confirmed this in a statement he issued in Ado Ekiti on Saturday night.
Our correspondent gathered that Olayinka died in a hospital in Lagos State where she was receiving treatment.
The statement read, “The Government of Ekiti State announces with sadness but with gratitude to God, the passing of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olayinka, aged 52, after a tough but courageous battle with cancer. She died on Saturday evening.
“Olayinka, an accomplished banker and corporate sector player worked in the financial industry for 21 years before heeding the call of service in her home state of Ekiti when she was selected to serve on the ACN governorship ticket in 2007. She demonstrated exemplary courage and dedicated service to Ekiti people both during the struggle to retrieve the stolen mandate and in her position as deputy governor.
“She is survived by her husband and children as well as aged parents and siblings. Further details shall be provided later.”
Olayinka, who ran alongside Governor Kayode Fayemi for the governorship position in 2007, was a prominent figure during the struggle to retrieve the mandate.
For over three years, she was always at the forefront of protest against the injustice done the party when INEC declared Mr. Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the election.
Fayemi and Olayinka were sworn in on October 16, 2010 after the Court of Appeal panel sacked Oni and declared Fayemi as the lawful elected governor of the state.
Olayinka took a sick leave about a month ago to enable her to attend to her health issue but lost the battle.
The deputy governor was rumoured to be in coma last December. She was also rumoured to have resigned her position but the state government denied the rumour.
Olayinka resumed her official duties in January but she did not say anything about her health.
A relative who claimed to be closed to the deputy governor’s family had said early in the year that the extended family members were worried about Olayinka’s deteriorating health condition.
According to Wikipedia, the deputy governor was born into the family of Famuagun in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on June 20, 1960. She attended Holy Trinity Grammar School, Ibadan, where she obtained her first school leaving certificate with distinction. She subsequently proceeded to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo State, where she obtained her Higher School Certificate. She bagged a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) from Central State University, Edmond, Oklahoma, United States in 1981 and 1983 respectively. She was three times winner of the Dean’s Honour roll.
A marketing analyst & strategist who started her career in banking with First Bank of Nigeria Plc in 1986, she later worked as Relationship Manager for Corporate Accounts in Access Bank, the now defunct Merchant Banking Corporation and United Bank for Africa Plc.
In August 2002, she took up a new challenge in corporate communications and promptly proceeded to head the Corporate Affairs Division, United Bank for Africa. She later became Head, Brand Management & Corporate Affairs.
She was also the 2nd Vice President of the Association of Corporate Managers of Banks between 2002 and 2004.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the people and government of Ekiti State as well as the family of the state deputy governor over her death.
He described her death as “sad and unfortunate.”