Tributes paid to late Fianna Fáil local election candidate Idowu Olafimihan
2017-09-01 02:50:00 -

By Chinedu Onyejelem

Idowu Olafimihan, a Fianna Fail immigrant candidate in the 2009 local elections, has died.

Metro Éireann learned that Olafimihan, who stood unsuccessfully in Dublin’s Mulhuddart constituency, died after a sudden illness in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos in the early hours of Wednesday 16 August.


Olafimihan has recently returned to Nigeria to run for office under the ruling All Progressive Party (APC). ‘Valid ID’, as he was popularly known, was an aspirant in the 2017 APC chairmanship election for the Mushin Local Government in Lagos State.


Friends and relations paid tribute on social media to Olafimihan, who ran his own security firm in Dublin for several years.


Taiwo Ibironke Lawrence, who met him hours before his death, wrote on Facebook: “You were fine, so full of life, nothing prepared us for the horror that we were to wake up to on Wednesday morning. Talking to you was like sitting at the feet of a sage, there was always something new to learn from you. We loved you, we love you still.”


In a heartbreaking message, another Facebook poster lamented not being able to help Olafimihan just before he died. 


“I missed your call at 1am not knowing it was a clarion call in order to take you to the hospital,” the poster wrote. “[I am] still in shock that you are gone. Your memory will continue to linger in my heart. You will be greatly missed, sleep on beloved brother till we meet again! May the Lord grant you an eternal rest.”


Emmanuel Bamigboye, who defeated Olafimihan to win the chairmanship of Mushin Local Government, issued a statement extolling the deceased’s virtues.


“Never was [there] any exchange of hot words between us. He was a good ambassador with large heart. Never was a single shot fired against co-aspirants. He was seen as an exemplary man to be emulated,” he said.


“Valid ID was indeed a great politician; a media man with an intimidating media team. The late Idowu Olafimihan’s work speaks volume through his innovations and use of technology in harnessing the reactions of people for the development of the community.


“Your legacies will forever remain valid till eternity,” added Bamigboye.


Olafimihan was one of the three prominent Nigerians who contested as election candidates in north-west Dublin’s Mulhuddart constituency. None of them, including Fine Gael’s Adeola Ogunsina and Ignatius Okafor, an independent candidate, was elected.


Speaking with Metro Éireann during his campaign, Olafimihan said he was “very proud to be identified with a party of hope, tradition, and vision such as Fianna Fáil, and I believe together we can progress and continue to leave a strong legacy for a future generation.”


Idowu Olafimihan is survived by his wife and children, and was laid to rest in Nigeria.

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