Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu; Governors Kayode Fayemi and Godwin Obaseki of Ekiti Edo states respectively as well as other eminent Nigerians, on Thursday, bade Pa Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun, father of the Ogun State governor, farewell.
The funeral and thanksgiving service which held at St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu-Remo, also had in attendance, the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; former governors of Ogun State, Chiefs Olusegun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel; Leader of the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; 120 bishops and clerics, captains of industry, and top political functionaries.
In his sermon at the service, the Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos and Diocesan Bishop of Remo, the Most Rev. Dr. M. Olusina Fape, noted that death is a debt every mortal must pay, urging people to prepare well to meet their Creator.
He pointed out, saying, “Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people”, even as he urged the people to live a life in expectation of making the heaven.
“Nobody has ever escaped the cold hands of death. And nobody gets to heaven’s prepared place by chance; you must work to get there.
“We must prepare to meet our Creator. Inheriting the beautiful mansion is not automatic. If you don’t live and die in Christ, there is not peace for you after death.
“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.
He described Pa Abiodun as a great teacher and committed Christian who dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity.
“Papa worked and distinguished himself in his career and service to humanity. He also passed the torch of the Christian faith to his children. He was a loving father and husband. He was a 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 did well and never preoccupied himself with earthly possessions, but dedicated himself to the services of God and humanity. 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 added.
While calling on the congregation to emulate the exemplary life of the deceased, Fape prayed the Lord should strengthen the widow of the deceased, Mrs. Victoria Abiodun, his children, and other family members.
Speaking, Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the service was to celebrate Pa Abiodun whom he described as “an exemplar and a great teacher”.
While noting that the deceased lived a good life, Fayemi urged the congregation to reflect on the message by the cleric and prepare very well in order to make heaven.
Delivering the message of President Muhammadu Buhari, VP Osinbajo noted that Pa Abiodun enjoyed the grace of God, but did not take the grace for granted by giving back to his community via the teaching profession and service to God.
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, whom he further described as his cheer leader and hero.
While thanking dignitaries who attended the funeral service, Abiodun submitted that 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 Razaq; his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; deputy governors of Nassarawa and Borno States, former governor of Edo State and the immediate past National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomole; Chairman of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd); President, African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina; Chairman, Dangote Groups, Aliko Dangote, among others.