At Afternoon of Praise, Tributes: How Oyediran effected release of 10 prisoners recounted

Dignitaries from all walks of life were united in rendering glowing tributes for a life well spent at an afternoon of praise held on Tuesday in memory of the late daughter of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Reverend (Mrs) Omotola Oyediran.

From the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Mrs Florence Ajimobi, , Ambassador (Dr) Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, family and friends, it was all praise for Oyediran’s virtues of kindness, love, compassion, prayerfulness, courage, selflessness, resilience, humility and relentless service to humanity.

At the event held at International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Osinbajo said he always knew Oyediran to be a kind, welcoming aunt and then mother.

The Vice President added that the late daughter of Awolowo stood out for her remarkable kindness, generosity, prayers, counsel and love of God.

In the prerecorded video, Osinbajo said he was however consoled that Oyediran was with God going by her life of devotion to the word of God.

In his tribute, Head, Centre for Justice, Mercy and Reconciliation (CJMR), Pastor Hezekiah Olujobi noted that mama Oyediran lent her influential voice to effect the freedom of 10 prisoners.

With her influence, Olujobi said his centre was able to secure the freedom of three persons who had been imprisoned for 26years, 18years and 17years.

In the same vein, he noted that Oyediran intervened to effect the release of seven people held in Ijebu-Ode prison for seven years without legal advice or case file with the state Ministry of Justice.

Describing the late Oyediran as a silent freedom fighter, he said the deceased always lent her voice to such causes by writing relevant authorities.

Olujobi decried the loss of an intercessor, prayer warrior, epitome of humility, tireless giver and a good listener.

Senator Ibikunle Amosun who had his tribute read by his wife, Olufunke, remarked that Oyediran radiated exceptional grace, patience, humility, love for Ogun state and Nigeria at large.

He expressed deep and personal loss, adding that Oyediran lived so well in the service of humanity.

Mrs Ajimobi represented by the wife to former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Mrs Bolanle Alli, said she was awed that Oyediran took her as a daughter.

She noted that Oyediran had a large heart, touched lives, served God and humanity diligently.

First daughter of the deceased, Mrs Olukemi Aderemi described her mother as kind, generous, loving and a good listener.

She decried that her mother was sometimes misunderstood but noted that whatever was done was from a loving heart.

Pointing to mama Oyediran’s love for her family, Aderemi, in a recorded audiovisual, said her mother will never chastise publicly but corrected with love.

In a recorded broadcast, sister to the deceased, Ambassador Awolowo Dosumu expressed deep grief and devastation at the loss.

She described her sister as being gentle, dutiful, loving, extraordinarily resilient and one whose life and character was a magnet to the society.

Awolowo Dosumu also noted Oyediran’s devotion to family and siblings such that she made it a point of duty to be present at family functions.

Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mr Segun Awolowo lamented the loss of a businesswoman, homemaker extraordinaire, a prayer warrior.

He reminisced Mama’s mild answers in angry moments, wise counsel to alleviate troubles, compassion and empathy for everyone, pieces of advice to bear adversity with stoicism and courage and be temperate in prosperity.

Awolowo also pointed to Oyediran’s kindness, meekness, selfless generosity, care and prayerful nature.

Managing Director, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publisher of Tribune titles, Mr Edward Dickson decried that Tribune had lost a pillar.

Aside from being a mother and prayer warrior for the company, Dickson said Oyediran constantly exuded calmness even at times members of the management team fidgeted about the company’s fortunes.

Dickson however assured of sustaining the efforts of Mama Oyediran in ensuring continued progress of the Tribune titles.

In his exhortation, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo described as ignorant notions that death was the final bus stop of humans.

He harped on the need for good living urging humans to live, bearing in mind that the dead will rise.

Drawing from his personal experience of losing his wife about five months ago, Ighodalo particularly prayed for God’s comfort and strength for the husband of the deceased, Professor A.B.O.O. Oyediran.

The event also featured an avalanche of tributes from family and friends as well as gospel ministrations from Tope Alabi, Kunle Ajayi, Funmi Aragbaiye, Toluwalase Subair, Ibadan City Chorale.

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