The younger brother of the late ex-Foreign Affairs minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, Bimbo, has said he never expected his elder brother’s death, because he visited him in the hospital in South Africa last week, and “he was responding to treatment.”
Bimbo, who is the Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, told our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday that he visited his late brother in company with his (Bimbo’s) wife.
Bimbo said during that visit the deceased was conscious of the things around him.
He said, “I visited him a week ago, my wife and I travelled to South Africa together to see him. He was responding to treatment. He was conscious of things around him, so it was shocking for us to hear the sad news of his death.”
Bimbo, who described his brother’s death as not only a loss to the family but to the nation, said the late minister was his “brother, friend and confidant.”
He said the late Ashiru was a peace-loving gentleman, who he said, never quarelled with anyone.
“He was a perfect gentle man. I never saw him quarrelled with anyone. He was such a gentle soul,” he added.
When prodded on when the late Ashiru’s corpse would be brought back from South Africa, he said currently the family was working on how to get all the documents that would be required by both the Nigerian and the South African authorities.
Also, Bimbo said the family had yet to determine the final resting place for the departed diplomat.
He said, “Ours is a liberal family, the family would have to meet with the wife and the children, and whatever they decide would be respected.”
Ashiru died on Saturday in a South African hospital after a long battle with a terminal disease said to be brain tumour. He was aged 66 years.