Eminent citizens extol Lady Otedola’s virtues at 90
As she walked gracefully into the nonagenarian phase of her life, celebrating with family, friends, acquaintances and well wishers at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Odoragunshin, Epe, Lagos State on April 3, 2022, Lady Christine Doja Otedola also dedicated a church to God for attaining 90 years of age.
The wife of the late former governor of Lagos State, Michael Otedola, has been into selfless and charitable works in the country and state.
Born on April 3, 1932, Lady Doja is well known in Epe, a suburb of Lagos, for being a steadfast, devoted and dedicated woman who put her entirety in service of God and humanity.
She lost her mother as a child and was raised by her grandmother who gave her all the love and attention she needed for a beautiful childhood and to flourish in life. Lady Doja met her husband Michael Otedola while teaching at the Baptist School, Ereko, Ijebu Ode. She has six children that she raised with Christian values.
For Lady Doja at 90, it was a time of gratefulness and thanksgiving to God as the mother of the Nigeria business mogul, Femi Otedola, who is known as a dependable role model for both the high, mighty and ordinary people, got a magnitude of dignitaries, royalties and high profile personalities trooped into Epe town to celebrate with her.
During the church service, Archbishop Adewale Martins said the value and dignity of a person does not diminish when he or she has grown old as it flourishes timelessly. “This is why children should learn to take care of their parents and make their life more comfortable so that they can bless them.”
The Bishop who appreciated Lady Doja for funding the building of the new church and wished her a happy life at 90, advised those who worship in the new church to create an avenue where everyone is valued and supported.
In his remarks, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo described Lady Doja as a woman of remarkable excellence whose life of service has been passed on to her children and grandchildren as their charitable personalities precede them.
Congratulating the celebrant at the event, former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, who was also the chairman of the occasion, narrated his first acquaintance with Lady Doja in 1965. “It was 57 years ago, when I did a course in Journalism at the University of Lagos where she was then a senior officer of the institution. About 27 years after, I was reelected the governor of Ogun State in 1992 alongside her husband, Sir Michael Otedola, who became Lagos State governor. An instant bond was developed between our families when my wife and Lady Doja became ‘First Lady’ of our states respectively. It is a great joy for me and my wife Beere to see her attain age 90, in joy, happiness, and good health,” Osoba said.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo did not miss in action as he described Lady Doja as a dependable mother, a woman of royalty and virtue. “Lady Doja’s life has been a source of blessing and tremendous inspiration to many generations of Nigerians who came in contact with her, especially the womenfolk.”
Addressing her directly, Obasanjo said: “As former First-Lady of Lagos State, you were a deeply committed patriot who deployed enormous organisational skill and talents in support of your revered husband, Sir Michael Otedola of blessed memory, in the service of Lagos State in particular and the nation as a whole. Your memory will remain evergreen in Lagos State and beyond for performing your duties with integrity and quiet efficiency as well as with generous disposition, magnanimity, and love for the people. I pray that the rest of your life on earth be spent in peace, joy, and blessed with good health and contentment.”
With a cake that descended from the sky, the birthday celebration climaxed at the reception which took place at St. Patrick’s Senior Secondary School, Odoragunshin Epe, very close to the church.
Anchored by Dare Art Alade, the reception venue was filled to capacity with high profile personalities. The children and grandchildren of Lady Doja rendered graceful performances on the stage to celebrate and honour their grandmother whilst entertaining the guests.
Specifically appealing to the emotions of the guests was the daughter of Femi Otedola, Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, professionally known as DJ Cuppy when she addressed her grandma in Yoruba as ‘Iya Baba mi’ (Mother of my father) requesting the guests to make some noise for “Iya baba mi.”
Dressed in Adire, DJ Cuppy played and performed Weird MC’s ‘Ijoya’ with dance performers. Then she switched to Dr Sid’s ‘Pop Something’, Lagbaja’s ‘Konko Below’ 9ice’s ‘Gongo Aso’ amongst others as guests who danced to the beats were thrilled to see the grandmother danced to the stage as her daughter performed ‘Sweet Mother’ which she specially dedicated to her.
Also performing at the event was King Sunny Ade who started with songs of worship such as ‘Olorun to da awon oke igbani’ (God who created the ancient Hills), ‘Oluwa e tobi’, (God is great) ‘Congratulations -Happy Birthday’ amongst others.
The event was attended by Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Ibijoke; Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Tony Elumelu; President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina; Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki; former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel; Mrs. Aderinsola Osoba; former Delta State governor, James Ibori; Dr. Abubakar Saraki and his wife; former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro and Chairman of the Board of Fidelity Bank, Mustafa Chike-Obi.