By Israel Afolabi
The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has commiserated with the Adejumo Abogunloko family of Ijoka Ilesa, on the death of its patriarch, Apostle Moses Olaiya.
Aregbesola said the death of Pa Moses Olaiya Adejumo, whose popular stage name is Lamidi Baba Sala, ends an era of flowing and successful theatre career.
Baba Sala, who was reported to have died of age-related illness, held the Nigerian theatre stage spellbound for more than five decades.
In a statement 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 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 Moses 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 has been in our prayers since he battled with ailments arising from old age for some time now. His death is significant 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.
Similarly, the Speaker of the State of Osun House of Assembly Dr. Najeem Salaam described Baba Sala’s death as an end of an era in the entertainment industry.
Dr. Salaam made this known in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary Mr. Goke Butika, where he described Late Moses Olaiya as an enigma who defined comedy and brought many people to work in the entertainment industry.
He lamented that the State of Osun has lost another icon in the entertainment industry whose impact will be difficult to recover for years.
He said that the way and manner Baba Sala unleashed his talent from 60s was so maverick that Nigerians in thousands will continue to remember him for bringing them therapeutic laughter and lessons of life.
Salaam expressed gratitude to the late Apostle Olaiya for putting Nigeria, State of Osun, Ijesa in particular in a good map through his inedible exploit as a comedian of international standing.