Saturday 4 November 2023

Erstwhile Oyetola's CoS Mum Laid to Rest ...Mama Modupe Akinola lived to the Glory of God Says Ephraim Ademowo (PHOTOS)

Mr. Charles Diji Akinola, former Chief of Staff to the immediate past governor of Osun State and present Minister for Marine and Blue Economy, His Excellency Adegboyega Oyetola State on Friday buried his late mother, Mrs Beatrice Modupe Akinola in Ilesa, Osun state at a well attended funeral service at the Cathedral Church of St. John, Iloro, Ilesa followed by internment at Emmanuel Anglican church, Oke-ola, Ilesa.

Quoting from Psalms 100:1-5 in his sermon at the funeral service presided over by Rt. Rev. Prof. Folorunso Dapo Asaju, the Diocesan, Ilesa Diocese inside  the Cathedral Church of St. John, Iloro, Ilesa, Archbishop Ephraim Adebola Ademowo who was elected Bishop of Ilesa in 1989, and translated to the Diocese of Lagos in 2000 as both Bishop of Lagos and Archbishop of Province and also a close family friend of Akinolas praised the late Mrs Beatrice Modupe Akinola, saying she dedicated her life to worship of God. Mama used her ability for the glory of God in her locality, she was always ready to help people he described her as full of  good works and acts of charity.

 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” Ademowo urges the congregation 

He said late Rev. Festus Akinyele Akinola died October 21, 1999 and Mama Modupe Akinola were both an embodiment of charity and generosity not only to their children but with the climax being the support for young clergymen and church works.

The burial ceremonies and the funeral funeral service in particular were not devoid of political coloration with the impressive attendance of notable politicians.

The burial ceremony, which lasted about three days started with the arrival of the body of Mama in Ilesa where she was received at the popular Ijoka, junction in a blend of emotional outbursts and fanfare on Wednesday. The procession led by the children, grand children, family members and sympathizers passed the long Ijoka streets with stopovers at the Ogidan family house and the first Akinola's residence at Enu-odi Ijoka before arriving at the Ago Oluwaseyi Abiola Avenue residence for lying-in-state followed by a service of songs organized by the Women Organization of the Ilesa Diocese also attended by Sen. Iyiola Omisore.

On Thursday there was a commendation service organized at Emmanuel Anglican Church, Oke-ola, Ilesa in the morning and the Wake -Keep tagged "Service of Meditation of Songs and Bible Readings" held at Damol Events and Conference Centre, Osogbo road, Ilesa in the evening.

Present at the occasion were: Rt. Rev. Prof. Folorunso Dapo Asaju , Archbishop  Ephraim Adebola Ademowo and Mama Oluranti Ademowo, Archbishop Abiodun Taiwo, Bishop of the Province of the Diocese of Ibadan and wife, Prof. Mrs. Olutayo Olumokaye, Rt. Rev. S. O. Egbebunmi, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Ilesa Southwest, Rt. Rev. James Akinola (Bishop of the Diocese of Igbomina West) and wife, Dr. Mrs. Felicia Oduntan represented the Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Oyo.

Others distinguished personalities included Mrs. Kafayat Oyetola, represented her husband the immediate past governor of Osun State and the Minister for Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, former Osun Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi Laoye Ponnle and husband, Mr. Segun Oni, forme governor of Ekiti state, Tola Odeyemi, the Postmaster General, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, Hon. Taiwo Oluga many serving and past commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Ambassadors to mention just a few.

Mama Beatrice Modupe Akinola, née Oyelayo, was born into the cherished family of Pa Samuel Afolabi Oyelayo and Chief (Mrs.) Patience Ayoka Oyelayo on September 26, 1929, in lkirun, Osun State. Affectionately known as Mama Akinola, she was a beacon of love, care, and dedication. Her early years were nurtured under the spiritual guidance of her father, a respected Missionary Catechist, and her mother, who later became the lya ljo of St. James' Anglican Church, Owode, Oyo. Beatrice, the eldest among six siblings, embarked on her educational journey in Ikirun, Esie, and Gusau, reflecting her father's missionary and catechist assignments.

Her pursuit of secondary education brought her to Kudeti Girls School (now St. Anne's School), Molete, lbadan. It was during these formative years, between 1942 to 1945, that she formed a close bond with her classmates, one of whom was fondly nicknamed "lle Hausa due to her frequent travels to the North and her fluency in the Hausa language. This classmate, known to many as Beatrice Modupe Oyetayo, was a cherished friend with whom she shared many memories, including their time in Margret house (yellow house).

Subsequently, Beatrice honed her pedagogical skills at the esteemed United Missionary College (UMC), Oke Ado, Ibadan, training as a Grade Il Teacher. Post-graduation, Beatrice's teaching career commenced at CMS Primary School, Wusasa, Zaria, from 1948 to 1950, followed by a tenure at St. George's Anglican School, Zaria.

In a serendipitous encounter during an Inter-Collegiate debate at UMC, Ibadan, in August 1948, Beatrice, then known as Miss O, met her future husband, Ven Festus Akinyele Akinola. Upon completing their training, their paths diverged briefly as they were posted to different schools. However, destiny intertwined their paths again in 1949, and after a period of courtship, they united in matrimony at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Kano, on December 29, 1951.

The couple's journey was a union of hearts and partnership in their professional endeavours. After their nuptials, they were transferred to St. Luke's College, Jos, where they welcomed their first child, lyabode. Beatrice relocated to Gusau during her husband's higher Teachers' Training Course in Bauchi, where their second child Olajumoke, was born.

Subsequent years saw them teaching at various institutions in Zaria, Owo, lbadan, and llesha, expanding their family with four more children - Akindiji, Olanike, Akingbola, and Akinboyejo.

Mama Akinola's legacy is not just limited to her immediate family. In the mid-fifties, she and her husband formed a close bond with Pa Alfred Olatunii and Mama Comfort Olatunji at St Peter's Teachers Training College in Samaru, Zaria. Such was the depth of their relationship that when the Olatunjis travelled abroad for a year, Mama Akinola graciously took care of their five children. This bond remained unbroken even after both families relocated to the Western region.

In a testament to her nurturing spirit, in Januarų 1958, two young boys, Olusoji and Olatunde, came to live with the Olatunjis in Zaria. Pa F.A. Akinola facilitated their stay, and when the Olatunjis moved to lbadan, Olusoji stayed behind with the Akinolas. Mama Akinola, then the Headmistress of St. Peter's College Demonstration School, took him under her wing until he completed his primary education.

Two decades later, Olatunde, now a university graduate, would cross paths with the Akinolas again when he became a Senior Lecturer at Oyo State College of Education, llesa. Mama Akinola, still in the field of education, had the privilege of being the Headmistress to two generations of the Ladipo family.

Known as "Miss O" during her early teaching days, an abbreviation of her maiden name, Mama Akinola's impact extended beyond her family. She and Mama Olatunji had the honour of teaching at St Bartholomew's School in Wusasa, Zaria, where they educated future leaders like General Yakubu Gowon and Professors Adamu Baikie and Audu.

Mama Akinola's life, just a few days short of 94 years, was a testament to her dedication to nurturing and moulding young minds. Her legacy is evident in the countless lives she touched, both in her home and in the schools where she served. As we remember Mama Akinola, we celebrate her beautiful and impactful life, grateful for the lessons she imparted and the love she shared.

May her soul rest in eternal peace.


Photos/Script by Oladimeji Lasore+2347035105413


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