By Demola Atobaba
It was a celebration of life when the remains of the late Chief Mrs Raliatu Esther Adedeji, the Yeye-Oba of Okemesi in Ekiti West Local Government Areas of Ekiti State, were intered with pump and pegeantry, just as the top echelons personalities stormed the ancient town to give the departed soul a beifiting burial.
The wake keep programme took place on Friday September 11, 2020 at the Royal Gate Events Hall, while guests were later moved to Mama’s residence at Okerena areas of the town for the Artistes Night with fanfare as a standby musician, Ayowole Emmanuel – ‘Wolly Melody Singer’ and other traditional dancers were on ground to thrill the guests till day break.
The late Chief Mrs Raliatu who had been a pillar to the family of Adedeji joined her creator in Lagos on Monday 1, June 2020 at her first daughter’s house after a protracted illness. She was survived by many children among them is the reigning Owa-Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Michael Gbadebo Adedeji, JP, CON, Mrs Foluke Adedeji Adesegun, a successful business woman in Lagos, Mrs Adeseeni Adedeji Alabi also a successful business woman and Prince Adewumi Adedeji, a fellow of Prestigious Institute Executive Officer, Sweet Speechless Nigeria Limited and many grand and great grand children.
She lived a good life and she got a remarkable funeral in Okemesi community on Saturday September 12. Mama Raliatu Adedeji, a business woman on note, died at 90. Her funeral was a celebration, with who’s-who across the Southwest states and Nigeria at large gathered to pay her last respect. They rallied round HRM Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, the present Owa-Ooye of Okemesi who happened to be the first child of the deceased and other relations for an outstanding burial.
A visitor would have mistaken it for a meeting of first-class traditional rulers and other dignitaries.
The Executive Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi was ably respresented by his Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state; Barrister Olawale Fapohunda. While the Chairman of Ekiti State Traditional Rulers and the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, HRM Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi – Afuntade I, led other Monarchs at the occasion.
Prominent among them are Arinjale of Ise; HRM Oba Dr Adetunji Ajayi, Attah of Ayede; HRM Oba Mumini Adebayo Orisagbemi, Olojudo of ldo-Ile; HRM Oba Aderemi Obaleye, Olupole of Ipole Iloro; HRM Oba Babatola Oladele, Onikogosi of Ikogosi; HRM Oba Elijah Abiodun Olorunnisola, Owa-Ajero of Ijero; HRM Oba (Dr) Adewole Adebayo respresented by his Oloris, Olohan of Erijiyan; Oba Omosebi Adegoroye, Onipere of Ipere-Ekiti, Ewi of Ado-Ekiti; HRM Oba (Dr) Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe represented by his High Chiefs, Alaaye of Efon; Oba Alayemero Aladejare, Onisan of Isan-Ekiti and Elerio of Erio; HRM Oba Johnson Bamigbade.
Other dignitaries include veteran journalist; Chief Dare Babarinsa, Chairman House Committee on Inter-Parliamentarty Relations, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Johnson Oyekola Bode-Adeoye, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University; Prof. Adekunle Adegun, Special Adviser to the Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly; Akogun Tai Oguntayo, former Managing Director Newswatch Newspaper; Mr Moses Jolayemi, national president of Nigerian Town Planners; Chief TPL Bisi Adedire, former Lagos State Chief of Staff; Oluomo Samuel Kunle Ojo, FOIU executives, captians of industry, political officeholders, religious leaders among others.
Preaching at the outing service held at Saint’s Michael Anglican Church, Okemesi-Ekiti in a sermon titled; “There Is One Important Thing”, (1 Corinthians 5:10), the Lord Bishop Diocese of Ekiti West, Rt. Rev’d Dr Ajileye Adepoju praised the deceased for living a good life. He described her as a meticulous woman who always wished others well.
“Her life is a lesson for us all to learn. We are here to bid her farewell and to pay the last respect to the matriarch.”
He gave message of hope saying, “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a pointer to our resurrection as children of God on the last day. Our history begins with the cross and ends well the resurrection,” he stressed.
The religious leader said death was inevitable as every human being would submit to it at one point or the other.
He enjoyed all to live a life of triumph, faith, victory and resurrection. “The most important thing was for everyone to live a life of Christ and prepare for the judgment day. Everything does not end here. Life is continuous just as Mama Raliatu has gone after a glorious life to rest with Christ.
Th cleric described the deceased as a humble, peaceful and diligent person who was committed to the service of God and humanity.
According to him, “I salute the courage you’ve demostrated today especially our Kabiesi Oba Adedeji. Mama did not die in vain. You have nothing to fear because the presence of God will always go with you all.” Rev Ajileye affirmed.
Speaking with EKITI STANDARD at the event, the national president of the Federation of Okemesi Improvement Unions (FOIU), Chief Alhaji Bayo Ajijola described the death of Mama Raliatu Adedeji as painful, with a prayer for God to accept his soul and grant the monarch, other children and family members left behind the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Ajijola urged them to take solace in God who knows all things and as well can do all things when He likes.
It would be recalled that late Mama Raliatu had been under intensive care of her first son, Oba Michael Adedeji for over the years before she was allowed to be taken to Lagos by her first daughter for “proper” treatment after which she gave up the ghost years after.
HRM Oba Gbadebo Adedeji in his appreciation note on behalf of the family at the event disclosed that “Mama shoe’s are too big for anyone to wear but we will try our best to bring all together as she did all her life. She never discriminated among all her children and even in the larger society.
“I grew up to know her as a hard-working woman. She engaged in all kinds of trades to support the family and her husband in the upbringing of their children. My mother was a devoted Christian, thought she came from Muslim background, she became a Christian as a result of her marriage to my father Pa Adedeji Adisa.” Oba Adedeji disclosed.
The monarch described her as an epitome of beauty and complete pleasant personality who was full of love and godlyh characters.
Highpoint of the occasion was the special prayers for the families of the deceased and for all the monarchs in attendance, while a supperlative reception was held at the newly commissioned Royal Gate Events Hall built by Oba Gbadebo Adedeji along Ikoro road in Okemesi.
Shades of pink colours rented the atmosphere as most of the guests turned out in sparkling beautiful attairs with nice headgears for women and cas for men. The hall itself was a harbour for relaxation, as the colours in which it was decorated complemented guests’ attaires.
The lavishly decorated hall was inviting, as guests stepped out from their chauffeur-driven Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and other exotic cars to take their seats.
They had a swell time with scintillating music by two popular music icon, first with Highlife Juju maestro, Dele Bravo and Evang. Elijah Akintunde (Olorun Kosobee), wafting in the air. They both thrilled the guests to stupours as their band’s dexterity and beautiful rhythms combined to give guests a perfect weekend delight as they danced around till mama called.
The guests, besides loosing up, exchanged pleasantries and engaged in small talks.
The late Raliatu Adedeji popularly known as Mama Onipako, the nickname she derived from her last line of business was born in Okemesi in 1930 to the family of Pa. Bolarinwa Babayemi Ajao of Odunmorun compound and Mrs Odeniun Amope Olagunju of Ile Loriawo both in Okemesi-Ekiti. She was a renowned business woman in the community and was until her death the Yeye Oba of Okemesi-Ekiti.
It was indeed a glorious and honourary passing away of a woman of virtue, an epitome of hardwork, perseverance and humility.
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