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Tinubu pays tribute to late aide, Ayilara

President Bola Tinubu has paid tribute to Alhaji Surajudeen Tokunbo Ayilara, his aide, who died on July 1.

In a tribute personally signed by the President, released on Monday, he said Ayilara lived a life of unwavering dedication, loyalty, and service.

He said that despite his frailty towards the end, he refused to give up, demonstrating his unyielding spirit and determination to carry on until his very last breath.

“Ayilara lived a life of remarkable achievement, one marked by hard work, endurance, and perseverance.

“He was selfless, loyal to his work, and a dedicated public servant. His commitment to serving Lagos State and humanity knew no bounds.

“Our paths crossed when I was elected governor of Lagos State. He was a top official in the state’s civil service, serving as Director of the Abuja Liaison Office.

“Prior to that, he had worked in the military administration of Colonel Buba Marwa as Sole Administrator of Agege Local Government.

“One of his earliest assignments was to complete the then-abandoned Lagos Liaison Office in Abuja, which he accomplished within six months,” said the President.

He said Ayilara’s career in the Lagos Civil Service was distinguished by his exceptional leadership skills and dedication.

Tinubu said that Ayilara rose through the ranks and eventually became a Permanent Secretary, excelling in matters of protocol and administration.

“After retiring from public service, I appointed him as my Special Adviser. He continued to serve in this capacity even after my tenure as governor.

“Throughout my political journey, including the formation of our progressive political parties, Action Congress and Action Congress of Nigeria, Ayilara was a constant presence.

“He played a key role in registering both parties in Abuja and was an authoritative voice on those events,” Tinubu said.

He stated that as a true progressive at heart, “Ayilara believed in our shared vision for Nigeria. He was an integral part of my presidential campaign team, visiting numerous campaign stops with me and serving as my liaison with influential political figures.

“His primary responsibility was managing our campaign accounts during the intense campaign period.

“To describe Alhaji Ayilara as merely a staff member or Special Adviser would be to significantly understate his importance to me. He was a trusted associate, friend, brother, and dependable partner.”

The President expressed gratitude for Ayilara’s services to Lagos State and to his family, as well as his unwavering support throughout his political career.

“It is possible that many of our achievements would not have been possible without his guidance and partnership.

“Ayilara was equally devoted to his family and friends, spending most of his life serving others and giving generously to those in need. He was a humanitarian who embodied the spirit of selflessness,” Tinubu said.

He said he would never forget Ayilara, neither would Lagos State or anyone who knew him.

“May I, on behalf of myself, my family, the government and all the good people of Nigeria offer heartfelt condolences to his loving wife and children.

“I also extend my condolences to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the people of Lagos State on the loss of this outstanding public servant.

“May Almighty Allah grant Alhaji Surajudeen Tokunbo Ayilara Aljanna Firdaus,” the President said. (NAN) 

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