Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has commiserated with the Adejumo Abogunloko family of Ijoka Ilesa in Osun State on the demise of its patriarch, Apostle Moses Olaiya, fondly called Baba Sala.
Aregbesola said the death of Nigeria’s veteran comedian whose popular stage name is Lamidi Baba Sala had ended an era of flowing and successful theatre career.
Olaiya who reportedly died of age-related illness on Sunday night at his Ilesa, Osun State, home, held the Nigerian theatre stage spellbound for more than five decades.
In a statement in Osogbo yesterday by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, Aregbesola said the death of the comedy legend would create a huge hiatus in the thespian trade in Nigeria.
The governor said that every Nigerian who grew up in the South-West would attest to the prowess and productivity of the late Pa Olaiya either on the television series and later the celluloid at the cinema.
Aregbesola noted that Olaiya was unarguably the greatest comedian around for more than 50 years, which made him the darling and delight of every home.
The statement read in part: “I received the news of the death of Pa Moses Olaiya, aka Baba Sala, with a deep and irreplaceable sense of loss.
He had been in our prayers since he battled with ailments arising from old age for some time now. His death is significant in here in that he has gone to rest with his Lord permanently.”
“Nevertheless, his exit signified an end to his own brand of comedy, which no one can rival or beat. His death has therefore left a yawning gap in the theatre arena in the country.
“Pa Moses Olaiya Adejumo was undoubtedly a theatre veteran, a comedian par excellence and a humour merchant of no mean feat.
“He was a multi-talented artiste whose works straddle music, theatre and comedy. He had a travelling theatre troupe, performing in concerts, got his works recorded on vinyl and LP albums, cassettes, cartridge, celluloid, CD, video CD and DVD. He was also an entrepreneur, with significant investments in entertainment, hotels and recreation.
“He would forever be remembered for his creativity, dramatic simplicity, far-reaching and rib-cracking humour.
“His humour is clean, elevating, uplifting, philosophical and borne out of wisdom. You can hardly watch him without laughing and getting highly elated. He was a harbinger of good fortune: he made people forget their sorrows through his talent.
“His death certainly has left a gap too huge to be covered in the immediate subsequent years without him.
“On behalf of myself, the government and people of Osun, I send our heartfelt condolences to the immediate and extended family of the late dramatist, the paramount ruler of Ìjẹ̀sà Land, His Royal Majesty, Oba Dr. Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, and the association of theatre practitioners in the country.
“we pray that his gentle soul finds solace in and rest eternal with his Lord.”