From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said on Saturday that his late mother, Evangelist Bosede Akeredolu, who passed away last on Thursday, September 15, in Ibadan, chose the right time to die.
He made the disclosure when he played host, along with his wife, Betty Akeredolu, and some his siblings, to an enlarged cabinet members of Ondo State, led by the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, at his mother’s house, Orogun, Ibadan.
Apart from the enlarged cabinet members, comprising commissioners, special advisers, special assistants, permanent secretaries from the state and so on, the Akeredolus also received on condolence visit, the Oniju Odo of Iju Odo in Ondo State, Oba Festus Olumoyegun; and organized labour in Ondo State, led by Mr. Oluwole Sunday, as well as vice chairmen of local government councils in Ondo State.
The callers to the residence also included, a former First Lady of Oyo State, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi; Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr. Adebowale Williams, and members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). The list also comprised the Bishop of Ibadan North Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Right Rev’d Williams Aladekugbe; and Vicar of St Matthias Anglican Church, Orogun, Ibadan, Ven (Dr) S.K. Olawoyin, which is the church the deceased attended during her lifetime.
According to Akeredolu when he addressed the enlarged cabinet members, “If I have died before her, forget it, I won’t see anybody here. Nobody would come. Also, if she has waited till 2026, most of you won’t be here. It is life and that is how life is. So, my mom chose the right time to go, and that is why I am seeing so many of you. So, many people have come here. She has chosen a very good time to go.”
The governor, who stated that he has never been a tenant in his life because of the foundation that her mother laid for him and his siblings, paid glowing tributes to his mother, saying: “She was a woman, who lost her husband 40 years and one month. Papa died in 1982. August 9, 1982, and she died September 15, 2022. It was about 40 years and one month, and they must have met over there now. What they do there, I don’t know.
“As at that time, I was the only graduate among the children. She sponsored other six on her own, struggled and raised them. We are proud to have judges among us, professors among us; so what else? All the children usually gather here first of January of every year. When we come together to meet. We were always very happy.
“We appreciate her for her efforts. The fact that God has taken her at this time, to me, I am convinced, is a product of her prayerful life. When you called her, the first thing you would hear was prayer. When we came here, he would always pray for us. Even, my children are finding a way to mimick her because when you called her, she would always say ‘God bless you.’”
Akeredolu stated that after the celebration of her mother’s life in Ibadan, her remains would be taken to Ondo State for final celebrations of life. He told the people of Ondo State, “I can assure you, we will bring her back to Ondo State. We will have time then to celebrate together. We are going to celebrate her. And God sparing our lives, we are all going to be there.”
The deputy governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who spoke on behalf of the cabinet members and the permanent secretaries, said: “We are here, first of all, to commiserate with you on the loss of Mama, Lady Evangelist Grace Bosede Akeredolu at 90. The second is to also thank God for you, members of your family, your siblings, and the entire Akeredolu family, for surviving your aged mother. We therefore commiserate with you on the loss of Mama, a nonagenarian.
“The death of an aged mother comes with a mixed feeling; the feeling of loss, grief, pain, that one would not have the opportunity of daily interaction anymore. It can be so painful. And we identify with you. We pray that the vacuum that she has left can only be filled by God himself, who has taken her home himself because the death of a saint is precious in the sight of God. As human, we would be grieved, but God has taken her home. We pray that God will console you and your siblings and your entire family, and grant you the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“The other feeling is some levels of thanksgiving and joy that you and your siblings were able to survive your aged mother; not too many people have that opportunity; a nonagenarian that was able to live a fulfilled life, seeing all her children doing very well when she was alive, enjoyed what parents should enjoy from the children. It is a thing of joy and it is a fulfilled life, not only that the children are alive, and doing very well, not too many mothers can rival what Mama had achieved in her lifetime, to have produced seven wonderful children, who are doing so very well in their areas of core competence, and to even have produced a two-term governor of a state; not to many mothers have achieved that alive, not after their deaths.
“Mama produced a two-term governor of Ondo State, Chairman of South West Governors’ Forum, Chairman of Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum and one time President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and not just a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), also a senior advocate of the masses. It is a rare feat that any mother can rival. So, Mama has lived a fulfilled life, and that is that aspect of the joy. It is a mixed feeling. So, we commiserate with you, all of us from the cabinet members, the permanent secretaries and the entire people of Ondo State that we are representing here. We also thank God for your life…”
The Oniju Odo of Iju Odo in Ondo State, Oba Festus Olumoyegun, who also paid tributes to the governor’s mother, commended Akeredolu for naming Ondo State University after Dr. Olusegun Agagu, a former governor of the state, and for appointing Agagu’s son as a commissioner, apart from other laudable projects being wzecuted by the present administration in his kingdom.