The family of the late designer of Nigeria’s flag, Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, has called on the Federal Government, to honour him with a state burial.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Akinremi, the eldest son of the late Akinkunmi, made this call while speaking with newsmen in Ibadan on Friday.
The younger Akinkunmi, urged the Federal Government to honour his father with a befitting state burial, noting that such an honour would go a long way in making Nigerian youths better.
”It will make the Nigerian youths believe in hard work, integrity, and selfless service to the nation,” he said.
The eldest son of the deceased revealed that the demise of his father was a great loss to the entire family, noting that the late flag designer had left them with a vacuum only God could fill.
He described his late father as a man who was brilliant and an intellectual from childhood, noting that such qualities earned him a scholarship to study overseas and brought him other recognitions, while alive.
“I believe that we don’t need to mourn him because he played his part well. He got to his bus stop ceremoniously in life and got down peacefully.
“But we want the Federal Government to give him a befitting burial.
“Also, we are going to miss his fatherly advice, friendliness, and kindness to everyone around him,” Akinkunmi said.
Similarly, the family head and community leader from Abiodun’s Compound at Oke Ago-Owu in Abeokuta, Mr. Olaniran Shofela, who spoke about the virtue of the late flag designer, said the late Akinkunmi was not from Ibadan or Ekiti as speculated.
Mr Shofela said the late Akinkunmi remained the pride of his family, among the people of Owu in Abeokuta, noting that he made his mark and did something unique in the history of Nigeria.
“Nobody will write the history of Nigeria today without mentioning his name because his effort had made him occupy a conspicuous place in the history of Nigeria as a whole.
“His ingenuity came to bear when his national flag design emerged as the overall best out of numerous designs in a competition that was devoid of corruption,” he said.
The family head however urged youths to emulate the useful and contented life of Akinkunmi by not placing money above a service to humanity, hard work, and integrity.
He explained that the late Akinkunmi left a legacy of service, humility, and integrity, which made him celebrated during his lifetime and even after his demise.
“Our youths nowadays worship money too much, as if money is everything.
“If the late Akinkunmi had also worshipped money like our youths, many people would have forgotten him today because he would have just belonged to a class for a short period before being consigned to the trash bin.
“The younger generation should take things easy and imbibe the spirit of patriotism and humility. They should be content, show respect, and be ready to learn from elderly people,” Shofela added
Reports revealed that the late Akinkunmi died on Tuesday, at the age of 87 after a brief illness, associated with old age.
The well-celebrated flag designer was survived by three children, Akinremi, Folake Oloyede, and Akinwumi.
He attended Baptist Day Primary School in Ibadan, for his primary education, as well as Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education respectively.
However, he started his career as a civil servant at the Oyo State Secretariat in Ibadan, before travelling abroad for further study in Agricultural Engineering at the Norway Technical College.
While studying abroad, he came across a newspaper advertisement in 1958, calling for the submission of designs for the Nigerian national flag, which he also submitted his design.
However, his entry was chosen as the best among the numerous entries submitted, and on October 1, 1960, the flag was officially hoisted to replace the British Union Jack.