By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Dignitaries made up of political, business moguls, clergy and other walks of life converged on Iperu Remo on Thursday to bid the late father of Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Pa Emmanuel Abiodun farewell.
Recall that Pa Abiodun died on August 2, 2021 at the age of 89.
Among the galaxy of dignitaries at the funeral and thanksgiving Service held at St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu-Remo, were the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Mustapha, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
Others include a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, Governors Kayode Fayemi and Godwin Obaseki of Ekiti and Edo states respectively, former Governor of Ogun State and leader of All Progressives Congress, Chief Olusegun Osoba, as well as other eminent Nigerians.
Also in attendance were the immediate past governor of Ogun state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, the Acting National Leader of the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, captains of industry, led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele among others.
In his sermon at the service, the Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos and Diocesan Bishop of Remo, Most Rev. Dr. Olusina Fape, urged politicians to use their positions to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.
While he also drew attention to the nagging insecurity challenge in the country, which include banditry, kidnapping, killings, the cleric emphasised that there was need for urgent action by the government to halt this ugly trend.
He said, “The position we hold in life is given to us by God to wipe out tears on the faces of our neighbours.
“What will you be remembered for after leaving the office or position you hold on tightly to? If people are crying because you are a leader, God will judge you”, the cleric said
He added, “You should start thinking about your temporary existence on earth and start doing what will make you inherit heavenly mansions when you die”.
Bishop Fape said death is a debt every mortal shall pay, urging all mortals to prepare well to meet their creator.
He described Pa Abiodun as a great teacher and a committed Christian who dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity.
“Papa has worked and distinguished himself in his career and service to humanity. He also passed the torch of Christian faith to his children. He was a loving father and husband. He was an humble man. And because of this, God indeed honoured and rewarded Pa Abiodun’s humility and dedication to God’s way, with blessed children.
“As a Christian, Baba has done well and he never preoccupied himself with earthly possessions, but dedicated himself to the service of God and humanity.”
Delivering the message of President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo noted that the governor’s father enjoyed the grace of God, and did not take the grace for granted, rather he gave back to his community via the teaching profession and service to God.
Speaking on behalf of past and serving governors, the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, said the service was to celebrate Pa Abiodun who he described as “an exemplar and a great teacher.”
In his remarks, Governor Dapo Abiodun described his late dad as his “mentor, moral compass and teacher.”
He added that he would continue to miss his father, who he further described as his cheer leader and hero.
While thanking dignitaries who attended the funeral service of his late father, Abiodun said he would continue to hold on tightly to the morals and values inculcated in him by his father while alive.
Other dignitaries at the service are the Governor of Kwara State, Abdul-Rahman AbdulRazaq, his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, deputy governors of Nasarawa and Borno States, former Governor of Edo State and the immediate past National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, Chairman of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency Brigadier General Buba Marwa (retd), and the President, African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina among others.