Tinubu Mourns Close Political Associate,  Surajudeen Ayilara

Tinubu Mourns Close Political Associate,  Surajudeen Ayilara

President Bola Tinubu has mourned his close political associate of over two decades, Alhaji Surajudeen Tokunbo Ajilara.

In a two-page condolence message entitled “Tribute to Alhaji Surajudeen Tokunbo Ayilara”, personally signed by him at the weekend, the President described his former Special Adviser and former Permanent Secretary in Lagos Civil Service as a trusted associate, friend, brother and dependable partner.

President Tinubu, who also described the deceased as an integral part of his 2023 presidential team, said Alhaji Ayilara was a true progressive who believed in his shared vision for Nigeria.

The President, in the condolence message stated, inter alia: “Alhaji Surajudeen Tokunbo Ayilara lived a life of unwavering dedication, loyalty, and service. 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.

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

“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.

“I must express my deepest gratitude for his services to Lagos State and to my family, as well as his unwavering support throughout my 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 ving others and giving generously to those in need. He was a humanitarian who embodied the spirit of selflessness.

“I will never forget Alhaji Ayilara, nor will 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”.

Deji Elumoye

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