The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, on Sunday condoled with family and relatives of veteran broadcaster and actor, Adebayo Faleti.
The late Mr. Faleti died in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Sunday. He was aged 86.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Yomi Layinka, the governor described the death of Mr. Faleti as shocking and devastating, saying the deceased was a repository of Yoruba culture and tradition, and a good ambassador of the state.
“Even though Baba Faleti died at the ripe age of 86, his passing away is very unfortunate, disheartening and sad. Part of the things that endeared him to my heart was his simple lifestyle, his dislike for material wealth and commitment to the progress of the Yoruba race,” the governor said.
“Instead of allowing his humble background to serve as a barrier for his career progression, Chief Faleti defied all odds and ensured that he trained himself up to the university level even at a time when education was not too attractive.
“As a pioneer staff of the first television station in Africa, Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), he exhibited his dexterity in broadcasting, while he imparted morals in the younger generation through his various books, poems and acting.
“It was in recognition of his contributions to the development of Yoruba culture and tradition that the Federal Government conferred on him the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON).’’
Similarly, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, described the death of the veteran broadcaster and actor as sad.
The governor described the deceased as a zealous promoter of culture, noting that his works would always be cherished.
Mr. Amosun in a condolence message issued on his behalf by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adedayo Adeneye, also stated that the poet and writer would be remembered for his contributions to the birth and growth of the broadcast industry, particularly the television.
“His role as one of the pioneers of the Western Nigeria Television, the first television station in Africa and a consistent television personality, made him a pride to broadcast industry,” the governor said.
“Baba Faleti, as a broadcaster, poet and writer targeted his energy at the promotion of culture and his death at this time is regrettable.
“His sound wisdom would have been valuable now that we are all battling to restore our fading traditional values.
“He will be missed by all Nigerians, especially broadcast and theatre practitioners, who regard him as a role model.”
The late broadcaster was a Yoruba translator, TV exponent and a pioneer staff of the first television station in Africa, Western Nigeria Television, WNTV, Ibadan.
He was also responsible for translating Nigeria’s National Anthem from English to Yoruba.