Honour Akinkunmi with State Burial, Family Urges FG

The family of late Taiwo Akinkunmi, designer of Nigeria’s national flag, on Friday in Ibadan urged the Federal Government to honour him with state burial.

Akinremi, the eldest son of the late Akinkunmi, told the News Agency of Nigeria 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 younger Akinkunmi noted that the demise of his father was a great loss to the entire family because he left them with a vacuum only God could fill.

He described his father as a brilliant man and an intellectual from childhood, saying such qualities earned him a scholarship to study overseas and brought him other recognitions.

“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.

Meanwhile, Mr. Olaniran Shofela, a family head and community leader from Abiodun’s Compound at Oke Ago-Owu in Abeokuta, said the late Akinkunmi was not from Ibadan or Ekiti as speculated.

Shofela said Akinkunmi remained the pride of his family among the people of Owu in Abeokuta because 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.

Shofela urged youths to emulate the useful and contented life of Akinkunmi by not placing money before service, hard work, and integrity.

He noted that Akinkunmi left a legacy of service, humility, and integrity, which made people celebrate him 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

Pa. Taiwo Akinkunmi died on Tuesday at the age of 87 after a brief sickness associated with old age.

He was survived by three children, Akinremi, Folake Oloyede, and Akinwumi.

The late Akinkunmi attended Baptist Day Primary School in Ibadan for his primary education and Ibadan Grammar School for his secondary education.

He started his career as a civil servant at the Oyo State Secretariat in Ibadan, before travelling abroad to study Agricultural Engineering at the Norway Technical College.

It was during his stay abroad that he came across a newspaper advertisement in 1958 calling for the submission of designs for the Nigerian national flag.

Nigeria, then under British Colonial rule, was at the threshold of gaining its independence to become a sovereign country.

Akinkunmi’s entry was adjudged the best among the numerous entries submitted, and on October 1, 1960, the flag was officially hoisted to replace the British Union Jack.