Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Namibian President, Hage Geingob, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.) and other notable Nigerians, were among prominent personalities, who bade the pioneer Chairman, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Professor Adebayo Adedeji, farewell on Friday, at the funeral service of the late African renowned economist.
At the funeral service held at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, the former Archbishop of Lagos Ecclesiastical Province of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Reverend (Professor) Adebayo Akinde, in his sermon, described Prof. Adedeji, as a selfless statesman who had left a legacy of service for Nigerians to emulate, adding “he was indeed a great nationalist”.
The retired Archbishop, who noted many Nigerians who are in position of authority had failed their generations because of their greedy nature, also submitted that the late Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) impacted positively on his generation.
Akinde said Adedeji, who lived for 87 years sojourn was a blessing to the world, the continent of Africa and his state, Ogun in various capacities he had served.
“As mankind, we should start asking ourselves of the kind of legacy we are going to leave behind. It is important that we give serious thought to the kind of legacy we are leaving behind.
“Our late Professor Adedeji was a great man. He was an enigma. He was a world class economist and renowned academic. He was a top flight diplomat.
“He believed in the unity and oneness of Nigeria. He lived a world of service because he served the Africa continent, his country and state. He has left everyone of us a life of legacy,” the cleric added.
In his tribute, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, acknowledged the contribution of the late Adedeji in the reconstruction of the nation’s economy after the civil war.
He described him as an unusual human being, fair minded and objective personality, whose death was announced in several languages based on the various capacities he had served at different times.
Osinbajo said, “Professor Adedeji was an outstanding Africa. He was deeply involved in the integration of Africa. He did a great work in projecting Africa. We are proud of all that he achieved in his lifetime. He was one of the very unusual human being.”
Also speaking, The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said the state had lost one of its icons in the late Adedeji.
“Papa was a colossus in his own right. He was one of we the younger ones are very proud of. He was a great son of Ogun State. He has done brilliantly well in all the capacities he had served. In all facets, he did well,” Amosun said.
The President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, also said that the late Adedeji was an advocate of economic independence of Africa, saying “he was a true African. He has fought a good fight for Africa.”
Other notable personalities at the funeral service include, the Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, former Justice of the World Court, Hague, Bola Ajibola, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief Anthony Anenih among others.