Gov. Fayemi, Ekiti Assembly Speaker Mourn Jimoh Aliu
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has mourned the passage of renowned theatre arts practitioner and a prominent indigene of the state, Chief Jimoh Aliu, who passed on yesterday at the age of 85.
Dr. Fayemi in a statement by his chief press secretary, Mr Yinka Oyebode said the death of Chief Aliu was a huge loss to the state and Nigeria in general going by his contributions to the development of performing arts and the state.
The governor described Chief Aliu as a rare and extraordinary talent whose impact was felt in the entertainment industry locally and internationally.
Dr. Fayemi said Chief Aliu’s worth had been recognized by the Ekiti State Government during his first tenure when the late theatre practitioner was honoured with the Ekiti State Merit Award, and by the Federal Government as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).
He described the deceased as a multi-talented personality, who functioned as an actor, dramatist, playwright, singer, film maker, producer, director, costumes and location manager and sculptor.
He noted that the late culture icon was a promoter of Ekiti brand and was proud of his state of origin in the course of his 61-year-long career on stage.
Dr. Fayemi said Chief Aliu had etched his name in the sands of time and immortalized himself in the hearts and consciousness of the global theatre audience.
The governor commiserated with the family and associates of the deceased, urging them to be consoled by the good life he lived.
Similarly, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr Funminiyi Afuye, has mourned the death of the Okemesi-Ekiti born famous actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu.
The Speaker, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Akogun Tai Oguntayo, described the veteran actor’s death as a colossal loss, not only to Ekiti State but the entire Nigeria and in deed, the black race.
Mr Afuye noted that “for several decades, Chief Jimoh Aliu who was born in Okemesi Ekiti took the centre stage of theatre industry in Nigeria during which he promoted the image of Ekitiland with his dexterity.”
He extolled the virtues of the late former national President of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), who, at one time or the other, was bestowed with numerous awards, including the national honour as the Member of Order of Niger (MON).
Chief Aliu, otherwise known as Aworo, was also installed as the Oba Asa of Yorubaland by the Orangun of Ila.
The Speaker, who noted that Chief Jimoh Aliu left behind a record that would be difficult to beat, condoled with his family in Okemesi Ekiti and the entire Ekiti people, praying that “the Lord will give the state fortitude to bear the loss”.
Chief Aliu, who celebrated his 85th birthday in Ibadan last year amidst pomp and pageantry, started his early life in Okemesi Ekiti as an itinerant Ifa boy following around his father, an Ifa priest from one town to another before he learnt tailoring and later driving.
He went into acting in 1959 when he joined Ogungbe Theatre Group in Abeokuta.
Among the numerous plays that gave him fame were; Arelu, Irinkerindo, Fonpomoyo, Iku Mare Eda, Agbaarin, Yanpanyanrin.
Also, the Ekiti State Commissioner for Arts and Culture, Professor Ojo Bakare has described the late Chief Jimoh Aliu as father of all performing artists in Nigeria.
In his reaction to Chief Aliu’s death, Professor Ojo told Radio Nigeria that the deceased was the oldest artist in the country until his death.
The commissioner, who trained under Chief jimoh Aliu as a performing artist, said the ace actor would be greatly missed.
Professor Ojo has since visited the house of Chief Jimoh Aliu in Adebayo area of Ado Ekiti to commiserate with the family he left behind.
Sympathizers have continued to the house of the late actor.
Meanwhile, the late actor, Chief Jimoh Aliu will be buried today in his country home, Okemesi Ekiti according to Islamic rites.