opinionBy Toba Suleiman
Among the locals in Ado-Ekiti, where she hailed from, she was called Moremi. In government circles in the state, she was known as the Amazon. The late Ekiti State Deputy Governor Funmi Olayinka bonded well with her boss, Governor Kayode Fayemi, and even more with the governor's wife, Olabisi, called Erelu Bam Bam.
Olayinka came on board with the state Governor Fayemi on October 16, 2010 after months of struggle for their mandate.
With their inauguration, she became the second woman in the history of Ekiti to occupy the position of Deputy Governor of the state. She was a very passionate member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and a strong believer in the ethos and principles of the party.
Mrs. Olayinka possessed a charming outlook that always presented her as a good ambassador of the government, wherever and whenever she was out there to represent her boss. Her courage, doggedness and ability to manage crisis had emerged since she and Fayemi were in the trenches fighting for their mandate.
She would be remembered as one of the few deputy governors across the country today who never rubbed shoulders with her boss or attempted to rock the boat.
A proven technocrat and seasoned professional banker, Olayinka (née Famuagun) was born in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria on June 20, 1960.
She attended Holy Trinity Grammar School, Ibadan, where she obtained her first school leaving certificate with distinction. She subsequently proceeded to Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo, where she obtained her Higher School Certificate (HSC).
She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing) from Central State University, Edmond, Oklahoma, United States, which she obtained in 1981 and 1983, respectively.
She was three times winner of the Dean's Honour roll.
Olayinka was also a Marketing Analyst & Strategist who started her career in banking with First Bank of Nigeria Plc in 1986. She later worked as Relationship Manager for Corporate Accounts in Access Bank, the now defunct Merchant Banking Corporation (MBC) and United Bank for Africa Plc.
In August 2002, she proceeded to head the Corporate Affairs Division, United Bank for Africa. She later became Head, Brand Management & Corporate Affairs of the United Bank for Africa.
Until her election as deputy governor, Olayinka was Head of Corporate Services, Ecobank Transatlantic Inc.