Saturday 20 April 2013

Royal burial for Oluwole Awolowo •Jonathan, Tambuwal, govs, ex-govs, others bid him bye in Ikenne

Culled From: Tribune
AMID encomiums, the remains of the Publisher and Vice Chairman of the African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, Chief Oluwole Awolowo, were on Friday, interred in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State, after a funeral service at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church.
The ceremony, reminiscent of the burial of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was graced by dignitaries from all walks of life, including a delegation from the Presidency, Speaker of the House of Representatives, state governors, former governors, members of the National Assembly and many others. More pictures after the cut....

In a sermon entitled ‘Don’t Wait; You May Not Get Another Chance’, the Bishop of Remo Anglican Diocese, Right Reverend (Dr.) Michael  Olusina Fape, said that unlike many who profess to be Christians today, the late Chief Oluwole Awolowo lived a fruitful life and never sacrificed integrity on the altar of self-interest.
The bishop recalled the lofty achievements of the deceased as a councillor in Apapa and later a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, stressing that the deceased publisher never soiled his family’s name in the various public positions that he held.
He said people like Chief Oluwole Awolowo, who prioritised the welfare of the people and identified with people in their lowliness of stations, were becoming endangered species in a country that had been taken over by insincerity, corruption and moral recklessness.
Fape likened all mortals to fig trees in the vineyard of God, and stressed the need for all to bear good fruits, lamenting that there are many Christians today who are not bearing fruits, particularly those in positions of public trust.
“While God has taken this initiative to restore life back to man, it is unfortunate that many have continued to reject the free gift of life; thereby remaining unfruitful. The consequence of this is that while they claim to be Christians, there is nothing in their life to show the world around them that they are fruit-bearing Christians.
He said: “Just like that fig tree, Christ is seeking fruits of new life devoid of moral laxity and recklessness from many Christians today, but he has not found any. There is no doubt that many people troop to the church on Sundays, and many of our mid-week programmes attract huge attendance.
“Today, God has searched through the rank and file of the Christians in this country looking for the fruit-bearing Christian politicians, whether in opposition or ruling parties, but disappointedly, many are fruitless; nothing to show for the great investment God has made in them.
“Thank God for the volume of tributes to the memory of Chief Oluwole Awolowo. He touched lives; he impacted his generation positively and his foot-prints are on the sands of time for whoever cares to notice them.”
Fape also lamented the level of insincerity and hypocrisy in the country today.
“Fellow Nigerians, insincerity is the bane of this country. We eat deceit as food and drink falsehood as water. Those who seek to kill and destroy while alive because of their immoral life and shady characters will suddenly become angels at death. Those who destroyed our economy and turned politics to theatre and arena of bloodletting will suddenly become heroes at death.
“Those who have instituted corruption and are fuelling the embers of terrorism, political crisis and instability today might one day be celebrated as the best heads of state to rule in Nigeria. Which way Nigeria?
“Indeed, in the present political dispensation, politics has become a means of personal enrichment as against being a tool for serving humanity as rightly opined by Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“Many of these people are company chief executive officers, politicians at the national, state and local government levels; yet, their lifestyle betrays their profession of being Christians, because there is nothing to show for their Christian faith. Is it unlikely that some of us at this service are in these groups?
“Christians are supposed to be the salt in the world, bearing spiritual fruits to bring healing to all the decay and rottenness in our society. Unfortunately, they are adding more to the problems of our nation today.
“Are there Christian contractors in this country today handling some of our road constructions? Are there Christian legislators in this country today saddled with the responsibilities of making laws that will lighten the burdens of the poor masses? Are there Christian politicians in this country to use politics as a tool to develop this country?”
The cleric noted with satisfaction that the late publisher followed in the footsteps of his father by caring for the masses, touching lives and impacting his generation positively.
The leader of the Federal Government delegation and Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, in a tribute to the deceased, said President Goodluck Jonathan cherished Chief Oluwole Awolowo for not losing his family tradition throughout his lifetime for self-aggrandisement, describing him as a good example in this regard.
“Throughout his life, despite the fact that his family name could have opened doors for him at the corridors of power, (Chief Awolowo) maintained a very healthy relationship that is based on honour and family tradition, and he lived on the principles this family has taught Nigeria. Those attributes are embedded in the motto of the Tribune titles – truth, courage and fairness.
“(He) has made his mark in the service of this nation. The Tribune newspaper has continued to keep the legacy alive because of this vision, courage and leadership of Chief Oluwole Awolowo,” Maku said.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, said eminent personalities from different walks of life gathered to bid the publisher farewell because he was born into greatness but remained humble, despite all that was around him.
 “He lived a life of philanthropy, simplicity and service to the community. We can see many people from various walks of life who gathered here to bid farewell to this man. It is not how long you live but how well,” Tambuwal said on behalf of the 360 representatives in the House.
President of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and Publisher of ThisDay newspaper, Chief Nduka Obaigbena, also affirmed the humility of the deceased and his positive impact on the newspaper since he became its publisher in 1984.
“He has re-bore the Tribune newspaper, having it digitalised so much so that at the time of his death, the Tribune has at least 150,000 Facebook ‘publishers.’ Today, we are here to bid him farewell and salute him for the work he has done,” he said.
Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in another glowing tribute, recalled how the late publisher prayed for him and declared that he (Amosun) would win the 2011 election because of his declaration that he would work for the people of the state.
Amosun prayed to God to grant the family the strength to bear the monumental loss and uphold the aged mother of the deceased, Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo.
In a vote of thanks on behalf of the Awolowo family, the deceased’s younger sister, Dr Tokunbo Awolowo Dosumu, thanked all Nigerians, irrespective of political or religious affiliations and stations in life, for standing by the family in their moment of grief.
She specially thanked President Jonathan for “stepping into the bridge when the situation got worse for our brother. He did not stop there; he sent Chief Edwin Clark to visit him in London twice.
“The governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, had been in contact, even before the situation became serious,” she said.
The former Ambassador to The Netherlands solicited prayers for the Awolowo dynasty from the gathering, and acknowledged the care that the deceased’s first daughter, Mrs Yejide Awolowo-Badmus, gave her father during his illness.
The children of the late Awolowo wept openly and uncontrollably as the remains of their father were lowered into the vault. Even Dr Awolowo Dosumu fought back tears at the graveside as she watched her brother’s body was being interred.
Other dignitaries at the event include presidential delegation led by Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru; Communications Minister, Mrs Omobola Johnson; FCT Minister of State, Chief (Mrs) Jumoke Akinjide; Senior Special Adviser to the President on Policy, Strategy and Documentation, Mr. Oronto Douglas; Special Adviser on Media to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati; Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and ex-governors Olusegun Osoba, Olagunsoye Oyinlola,  Gbenga Daniel and Segun Oni.
Ekiti State delegation was led by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye.
Also at the event were Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Adekunbi;  Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Chief Tola Adeniyi, Chief Alex Duduyemi, Senator Anthony Adefuye, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Mr Ayo Opadokun, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, Chief Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, Chief Kola Oyefeso, Otunba Abiodun Adesoye, Chief Niyi Adegbenro, Prince Segun Aderibigbe, Chief Jide Osinubi, FERMA Chairman, Engineer Jide Adeniji; Mr. Folu Olamiti; Chief (Mrs.) Abba Folawiyo; Hon. Bukola Buraimoh, among many other dignitaries.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have any video of that? I'd want to find out
    some additional information.