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Life, times of Emmanuel Adesanya, government Dapo Abiodun’s father

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• Bishop Michael Fape of Remo Anglican diocese; his wife, Mrs Toyin Fape; Pa Adesanya, his wife and their son, Dapo during his 85th birthday celebration at Iperu


• Funeral Holds From Sept. 6 – 9 In Iperu-Remo

Tributes have been pouring in from all walks of life since Pa Emmanuel Adesanya, father of Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, passed away in the United Kingdom on August 2, at the age of 89.

Political leaders, faith-based and gender-based organisations, traditional leaders, private sector drivers, administrators, civil society organisations, professional institutions, trade organisations, students, traders and ordinary people alike have been paying condolence visits and sending commiseration messages to Gov. Abiodun and his family over the demise of their late patriarch.

Pa Adesanya, during his lifetime, was an educationist and life coach par excellence. He was a statesman, pedagogist, community leader and role model. Thus, as the heartfelt condolences poured in, it is understood that some of the sympathisers may not have had an encounter with the late Pa Adesanya.

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However, those who had come in contact with him, whether through biological and familial connection, impartation and moulding as his former students, or as life’s co-travellers, would attest to the values and virtues Pa Adesanya lived and died for.

Undoubtedly, one of the most qualified chroniclers of the life and times of the late statesman is his governor-son himself, whose comments about what his late father stood for have resonated globally.

On what his father stood for, Governor Abiodun has said, on several occasions since the death of his father, that he learnt humility and love for education from his late father.

“My father taught at different levels of education. Education was his first love and teaching his ministry. He was disciplined and focused. He used his profession to affect lives positively. I learnt humility from my father because he always believed that life is transient and that we must impact positively on others.”

As regards the advice his father gave him that stuck, the governor often narrates how the late Pa Adesanya counselled him on looking after the welfare of workers and retirees.

“When he came for my swearing-in ceremony, he said to me, ‘These pensioners, ensure that you make their payment on time. These teachers ensure you give them an opportunity to excel in their profession; provide for them that enabling environment, he said.’ And thirdly, he said, ‘The civil servants, ensure you pay their salaries as and when due, even before the end of the month.’ Those were the three my father asked of me and those things I take seriously.”

Perhaps, one of the most thought-provoking messages during his condolence visit to Prince Abiodun was rendered by former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

“The lesson from this is that one day we will be no more. It does not matter how long we live, but how well we lived. What will people say about you? Baba lived a life of service to his community, God and his family. From what we have heard and what we know of Baba, we can testify that Baba gave his life to service. He gave his life to service to his family, his community, his country and to God,” Obasanjo said.

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Indeed, through the teaching profession, Pa Adesanya helped in shaping the society by producing eminent personalities who contributed and are still contributing to the socio-economic development of the country and the world at large.

For President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr Abiodun, fondly called “Baba Teacher” lived for the principles of living for God, good of others and the country, and sharing knowledge that greatly impacted on entire Western Nigeria and the country.

The President expressed the belief that Dr. Abiodun’s passing, leaves “a strong legacy of service to humanity, further stirs the need for reflection and making of right choices for living, particularly in working for the betterment of mankind.”

As the living continues to remember his family in prayers as the burial plans are being finalised, the Abiodun family of Iperu-Remo, Ogun State, has announced that the burial activities of their late patriarch, Dr. Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun, which will hold from Monday, September 6 to Thursday, September 9, 2021 in Iperu-Remo.

Born to the family of Pa Isaac Abiodun Okanrende and Madam Alice Olubowale Abiodun in Itasanyin, Iperu Remo on February 23, 1932, Dr Adesanya attended St. James’ Anglican School, Iperu between 1948 and 1950, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He then proceeded to St. Paul’s Grade III Teacher’s College, Abeokuta from 1951-1952.

Having started his teaching career as a Grade III teacher at St. Paul’s Anglican School, Odogbolu in 1953, Pa Adesanya then went to St. Luke’s Grade II Teacher Training College, Ibadan between 1955 and 1956. Three years later, he joined the Joint Provincial Grade II Teacher Training College, Sagamu as Tutor. He had a stint as teacher at Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Iperu, before returning to Joint Provincial College in 1962.

Between 1963 and 1966, Pa Adesanya attended the Obafemi Awolowo University (then University of Ife), Ile-Ife on Western Region scholarship, where he studied English Language and Literature. Upon graduation, he became Education Officer at the Comprehensive High School, Ayetoro between 1958 and 1970.

His classmate and friend of over 60 years, Otunba F.O. Abiona, also 89 years of age said of the late teachers’ teacher: “I will cherish the memories, I have with Emmanuel, I remember meeting Emmanuel for the first time as a co-candidate in the GCE Advanced Level at Moslem Modern School, Isolu, Ijebu-Ode in 1962. I also remember my relationship with him at the University of Ife (Ibadan Campus) in 1963, sharing the same dormitory and as a member of the First Eleven in the Dining Hall, where we were always part of the First Eleven Students to arrive in the Dining Hall to eat our food.”

Abiona, a retired College Principal, who is the Sooko of Idowa in Odogbolu local council of the state surmised: “Emmanuel has lived well. He loved his children and loved them so much. He has lived and accomplished his task.”

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In 1971, Pa Adesanya went beyond teaching in the Secondary School as he became a lecturer at the Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, where he spent the next 28 years, imparting knowledge and moulding future leaders before retiring in 1999.

At Adeyemi College of Education, Baba was Head, Department of English; Dean, School of Arts; Head, Department of Education Foundation and Counselling; Dean, School of Education; Director, Institute of Academic Extension Services; and Head, Department of Educational Foundation and Management.

Baba also held Master of Arts in Education (MA.ED) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Education (Guidance and Counselling), both from OAU.
Until his death, the late Adesanya was a committed member of several professional and religious organisations, including: the Nigerian Association of Educational Psychologists; Counselling Association of Nigeria; Educational Foundations Association of Nigeria; Parish Church Council, St. James Church, Iperu; High Society of Fellows, Remo Anglican Diocese and Remo Anglican Diocese Board.

Baba also served his community in various capacities, including as Secretary, Iperu Palace Building Committee (2002-2003); Member, Governing Board, Remo Anglican College, Isara Remo (2004-2008); Member, Ikenne Local Government Scholarship Board (2001); and as Synod Delegate (2002-2005).

As he makes the final home journey on September 9, the world has utterly changed for his amiable wife of 65 years – Victoria Olaitan and children – Dapo, Sade, Seye and Seyi and grandchildren. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
• Somorin is Chief Press Secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State

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