The Ayetoro Gbede Descendants Forum, (AGDF), Lagos chapter has described the death of Major General John olu Irefin as a monumental loss that will be hard to forget in a hurry.
The group, the umbrella body of indigenes of Ayetoro Gbede, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State resident in Lagos, stated this in a statement on Friday by its President, Rufus Douglas Bello, adding that the town has lost an illustrious son and a rising star in the Nigerian Army.
While bemoaning the death of the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, the group said though it has its reservations over the cause of death of Gen. Irefin, it does not support plans by youths and students of the community and adjoining ones to protest the decision of the Army to bury him without conducting an autopsy.
The statement read in part: “The death of Major General John Olu Irefin is a great loss not just to his family, the Ayetoro Gbede community but to Kogi State and the nation in general. The GOC 6th Division of the Nigerian Army was a fine and thorough bred officer that even the army will miss.
“We are pained that we lost General Irefin, who in his lifetime identified personally with our course as a group and contributed to its activities.
“While we mourn him, we will like to make it clear that we, as an association, do not support the planned protest by students and youths of the community and adjoining ones. We will not support any recourse to violence or any form of lawlessness in the pursuit of any agitation for a thorough investigation of the cause of death of the late General.
“Though we appreciate the decision of the military to release his corpse for burial in Ayetoro Gbede as against COVID-19 protocols, we still do not wholeheartedly accept COVID-19 as the cause of his death. We shall however align ourselves with any decision taken by his family on whether an autopsy should be conducted or not.
“While we pray for God to console his family and the community at large, we call on all our brothers and sisters at home to maintain the peace and not allow this painful experience to degenerate to unnecessary scuffle with the military or any security agencies.
“The best we can do at the moment is to mourn our brother quietly, pray for the repose of his soul and comfort for the family he left behind.”