Tears flowed yesterday as remains of the originator and writer of Nigeria’s National Pledge, Professor Felicia Adebola Adeyoyin, were laid to rest in Lagos.
The retired Professor of Education whose article was accepted as the National Pledge in 1976, died on May 1, 2021 at the age of 82.
Her funeral service held at the Yaba Baptist Church attracted friends and well wishers including the Overseer of The Citadel Global Community Church and activist, Pastor Tunde Bakare and his wife, Mrs Layide Bakare.
Pastor of Yaba Baptist Church, Rev Dr Bayo Sola Aremu in his message titled; Live Well to Die Well, said Prof. Adeyoyin was an example of someone that lived well and died well as she contributed immensely to this nation and the church.
“It is one thing to die, it is another thing to die well. It is important to die as a righteous person as your spiritual state of being is very essential. We have seen Mama (Adeyoyin) as one who lived well to please God and impact lives,” he said.
Pastor Tunde Bakare and his wife joined the family of the departed when Rev Aremu was asked to pray for the children of Adeyoyin.
In his tribute, Bakare said, “Auntie, you remain an unforgettable helper of my destiny. I lived with your family in 1980/1981 while in the Nigerian Law School, and in your unique selflessness, you adopted me into your family. Your four children, Adebola, Adedeji, Adedapo and Oluwaseyi have since become my very own bonus nieces and nephews.”
Prof Adeyoyin was a woman who devoted her life to Christ at a young age and was guided by people she met on her journey.
In her autobiography, she shared how she was able to write what is now known as the National Pledge.
“A family effort of writing led to my writing the article which was accepted as the National Pledge in 1976 for which I received the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2005,” she wrote.
Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in his tribute, said her death was a great loss.
“From school days, I had the opportunity to know her and Solomon Adeyoyin, my classmate, who Felicia married later. She was a patriot. Felicia influenced me when I was military Head of State to bring about the National Pledge which has become one of the enduring values we have to live by,” he said.
In her vote of thanks, Mrs Adebola Ogunremi, Prof. Adedoyin’s first child, thanked Obasanjo for his moral support to the family and announced that he would have been at the ceremony but could not make it.
While thanking the leadership and members of the church, Adebola noted that the family was there months ago for the burial of their father, Solomon Adeyoyin.
Other groups that honoured Prof Adeyoyin include Gideon’s International, students of Baptist High School, Baptist Women Missionary Nigeria and others. The remains of Adeyoyin who had worked in the University of Lagos were interred at the Atan Cemetery, Yaba, Lagos.