Past and present African leaders, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, president of Namibia, Hage Geingob, former heads of states, Yakubu Gowon and Olusegun Obasanjo, were among the eminent personalities that converged in Ogun State yesterday, to bid farewell to the former United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Prof Adebayo Adedeji.
Late Adedeji, the Asiwaju of Ijebuland, who many described as a ‘colossus,’ died on April 25, 2018, at the age of 87. The funeral service was held at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, in company of members of the Christian community, who were also present at the funeral, agreed that the life of the deceased impacted positively on Nigeria and Africa.
Vice President Osinbajo, in his tribute, recalled the immense contribution of the late Adedeji in the post – war planning and reconstruction of the nation’s economy while submitting that he was an unusual human being. He described the former executive of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as a fair minded and objective person, whose death was announced in several languages because of the various capacities he had served at different times – nationally and internationally.
“Professor Adedeji was an outstanding African. He was deeply involved in the integration of Africa. He did great work in projecting Africa. We are proud of all that he achieved in his lifetime. He was one of the very unusual human beings,” he said.
Namibian President, Hage Geingob, described the late Adedeji as his mentor, brother and advocate of economic independence of Africa. He hailed the deceased as a true African who fought a good fight for the African continent.
Obasanjo in his tribute, stated that the deceased was a friend, brother, trusted ally and co – sojourner in the development vineyard. While for former head of state, Yakubu Gowon, the late Adedeji was a credit to Nigeria, Africa and the African race.
The former Archbishop of the Lagos Ecclesiastical Province of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev Adebayo Akinde, in his sermon at the funeral service, said Adedeji left a legacy of service for Nigerians to emulate. He said the renowned economist was truly a great nationalist.
The retired Archbishop said many Nigerians in position of authority have failed the country because of greed but the former executive secretary of UNECA impacted positively on his generation. “As humans, we should start asking ourselves of the kind of legacy we are going to leave behind. It is important that we give serious thought to the kind of legacy we leave behind.
Amosun in his tribute admitted that Ogun State had lost one of its icons. “Papa was a colossus in his own right. He was one of those younger ones like us were very proud of. He was a great son of Ogun State who has done brilliantly well in all the capacities he had served. In all facets, he did well.”
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