Commendation service: My wife was God’s special gift to me ― Prof Oyediran

Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor A.B.O.O. Oyediran, on Thursday, mourned the loss of his wife, Reverend (Mrs) Omotola Oyediran whom he described as God’s special gift to him.

Making his first public remark since the death of his wife, at a commendation service held at Tribune House, Ibadan, Professor Oyediran, said he was grateful for how Omotola made herself worthy of being God’s gift to him.

He described the late Omotola Oyediran as a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother to not only her biological children but virtually every human she came across.

Professor Oyediran particularly prayed to God to sustain all members of both the immediate and extended families that the late daughter of Chief Obafemi Awolowo left behind.

Oyediran said, “I want to thank the Managing Director, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, Mr Edward Dickson, and through him, all the members of Tribune family for this event and the various other things they have done to honour my wife who was a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother.

“Specially, I wish to thank everyone present particularly those who have spoken and very particularly the clergy for honouring her in this way and for all the things that they have said.

“Omotola was God’s special gift to me and I thank him for that gift. And I also appreciate very much the way Tola made herself worthy of being God’s gift to me.

“I pray that her soul may rest in eternal peace and I pray with confidence that the grace of God will continue to sustain all the members of our extended family as well as immediate families in Jesus name.”

President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Supo Ayokunle, in his message at the service, urged human beings to live with the consciousness that life is only a passing phase.

While on earth, Ayokunle harped on the need for humans to question whether each action of theirs is impactful and purposeful.

Represented by Vice President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Reverend Dr Dickson Madoghwe, the CAN President urged humans to take a cue from the impactful life of Chief Obafemi Awolowo which many politicians still use to drive their campaigns for public office.

He further warned against living as if the earth is the final destination, noting that the death of Omotola Oyediran again served as a reminder that this world is not the home of humans.

The commendation service also featured prayers for the Oyediran immediate and extended families by clerics as well as a rendition of tributes by various personalities.

Speaking on behalf of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Osun State’s Commissioner for Information, Mrs Funke Egbemode bemoaned the loss of a mother and leader for the journalism industry and influential personality for various spheres of human endeavour.

She also mourned the “painful” loss of a woman so strong, compassionate, caring and loving towards not just her biological children but virtually anyone who had contact with her.

Chairman, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Shareholders Welfare Committee, Alhaji S. A. Badru, in his tribute, pointed to the fact that the late Oyediran was driven by the belief that every problem had a solution.

With her soft voice, amiable, humble, gentle and easygoing personality, Badru said the late Oyediran always exuded positivity in handling matters.

In particular, Badru noted that the shareholders will miss Oyediran’s loving smiles, sense of entrepreneurship, forthrightness, tolerance and commitment to high standards.

On his part, Managing Director, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, publisher of Tribune titles, Mr Edward Dickson, said the Tribune House had suffered the loss of a boss, mother and prayer warrior.

From being a director to the chairman of the company, Dickson pointed out that Oyediran’s relationship with management and staff of the Nigerian Tribune was laden with compassion, forthrightness, motherly affection.

Just as she rejoiced with the company in moments of happiness, he noted that Oyediran’s gentle voice nudged the country to go the extra mile and surmount obstacles.

He noted that Oyediran was an embodiment of the finest qualities of her parents, Chief and Chief (Mrs) Obafemi Awolowo.

Dickson described the late Oyediran as so happy that she lived an impactful life, lived to make others happy and was a soldier of Christ.

“Mama Reverend Omotola Olubunmi Oyediran (nee Awolowo) is gone. We miss her firm decisions when it mattered. We miss her motherly care and disposition at all times. We miss her prayers and the warmth of her care,” Dickson added.

Speaking, Apostle Sunday Popoola, who is general Overseer of Word Communication Ministries, asserted that Oyediran will be remembered for her love for God and efforts to ensure that salvation is brought to everyone within the sphere of her influence.

Going by Oyediran’s zealous love of God and humanity, Popoola expressed the belief that the deceased was resting in peace and is crowned in heavenly glory.

He prayed for courage, strength for the widower, Professor Oyediran to bear the loss.

The service was attended by immediate and extended members of the Oyediran and Awolowo families; clerics including Retired Archbishop of Methodist Church in Nigeria, Archbishop Kehinde Stephen; Presbyter, Methodist Church in Nigeria, Oke-Ado, Ibadan, Reverend Yemi Oladele and Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Oyo State, Reverend Samson Ajetunmobi who was represented by PFN’s state Treasurer, Pastor Obafemi Olofin and General Secretary, Reverend Ojukwu Vincent.

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