Tributes as VP’s mum, Mama Osinbajo, turns 90
At a church service, laced with singing, prayers, musical performances and biblical ministrations, Nigerians from all walks of life joined Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and the family in Lagos, to celebrate the grace of God in the life of his mother, Mama Olubisi Osinbajo, as she turned 90, yesterday.
During the thanksgiving at Cathedral Church of St. Jude, Ebute-Metta, which featured song ministration, an elated Mama Osinbajo, fondly nicknamed “Mumisco” by her many children, grand and great grandchildren, was full of appreciation, praying that everyone at the event would also grow up to be 90 in good health and prosperity.
Leading the special celebration messages for the celebrant was President Muhammadu Buhari, who wrote a personal letter to her.
The Nigerian leader, in a message earlier released by the Presidency, said: “On behalf of myself, my family and Nigerians, we rejoice with Mama and wish her continued grace and joy in the Lord all the days of her life. Amen.”
He thanked God for the gift of long life and all her accomplishments, particularly “for giving Nigeria the gift of your son, our Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) and his other illustrious siblings.”
Buhari also expressed happiness that “the matriarch of Osinbajo family had thought it worthy to establish the Olubisi Osinbajo Foundation, which caters for the wellbeing of widows and families of clergymen. It is an initiative I recommend to other endowed people in our society, as it has lofty rewards not only here, but also in the hereafter.”
On his part, Vice President Osinbajo said his mummy is so exceptional in many respects, listing four things he has learnt from her.
He said: “Four things I learnt from Mama. First, is her personal integrity, simply telling the truth always.”
“She simply did not tolerate lying, even seemingly white or innocuous lies! She also had a problem with excessive display of wealth, she felt it reflected poor breeding.
“Second is her insistence on proper behaviour, politeness and respect for elders. Third is how she had always believed I would be a lawyer. She always resisted every attempt to distract me. The fourth is her service to the gospel and her prayerfulness.”
In his sermon, Bishop of Lagos Mainland Diocese, Rt. Revd. Akinpelu Johnson, recalled the nonagenarian and family’s early days at St Jude’s Cathedral and devotion to the service of God.
He stressed the significance of thanksgiving and obedience to the will of God, noting that a birthday celebration is “an opportunity to take stock of one’s life.”
While praying for the celebrant, the cleric declared that even at 90, God will continue to work wonders in her owing to her devotion to His work and obedience to His will.
He emphasised the need for obedience and steadfastness among Nigerians, observing that the bane of development in many societies is lack of fear of God and the will to obey the creator’s command.
General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who also ministered at the event, prayed for the celebrant, thanking God for her life and asking for God’s blessings on her and everyone at the service.
Other prominent Nigerians at the occasion are Speaker of the House Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and his wife Salamatu, who represented wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari; Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), while Deputy Governor Lucky Ayedatiwa represented Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.
The list also included Senator Rochas Okorocha; Chief Olusegun Osoba; Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi; Abdulaziz Yari; president of African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, as well several ministers and representatives of state governments and senior government officials.
The business community had captains of industry, including Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote and investor/philanthropist, Femi Otedola.
Mama Olubisi Osinbajo was born on February 16, 1933 to Thomas and Victoria Aiyegbayo both of blessed memory.
She had her early education at Sagamu Girls School in the early 40s and thereafter attended the Sagamu Teachers Training College, where she graduated as a teacher.
On December 28, 1954, she got married to Opeoluwa Osinbajo and together with her husband, she successfully ran the first automated sawmill factory in Nigeria.
Mama is a devoted Christian and is actively involved in the activities of her church and charity.