The Departure

First
Monday of March (March 3rd), 2014 started on a very interesting note
for the prominent Sodipo family of Abeokuta in  Ogun State, South West Nigeria as their
centenarian father, Pa Johnson Odetoki
Sodipo died after taking his
breakfast in the early hours of the day. The Sodipo patriarch was 104 years at
the time of departure. Since his demise, friends and associates has stared
paying condolences visits to the family through two of his prominent sons, Rotimi Sodipo, MD/CEO of Print
Temple Press Ltd
, Lagos and former OANDO PLC big boy Tolu
Sodipo
who is now the CEO R & J Oil and gas.

The Sodipo brothers are said to be planning to burry their father in a grand
style come April 23rd, 24th and 25th in Lagos.
The Sodipo Patriarch who always had his birthday every 25th of December was said to have added a drama to his
departure on the faithful day as he woke early in the morning and did his
prayers amidst hymnal songs.  ‘He later
had his breakfast of oats after which he went into his bedroom and passed
away’, Informed a family source to asabeafrika. Papa Sodipo in his lifetime was a founding member of the Methodist
Church, Palm Avenue, Mushin and was equally bestowed with the revered title of Knight
of John Wesley
. The late centenarian also worked with the Nigerian
Railway Corporation
for 34 years before he retired in 1976 after years
of meritorious service; from then he did no other job than to serve God  in the vineyard in several roles including
that of a treasurer of his local church for many years. The elder Sodipo who
was born by a Yoruba father and a Fulani mother was also a professional
organist in his life time. His own father, late Pa Sowemimo Sodipo was a
prominent farmer and Egba Chief of the 40s and 50s society while his mother, Fatima
Sodipo
was a Fulani by birth and a trader from Bida, Niger state. She
met and married her husband during her trade activities in Abeokuta in the
early 1900s. Baba Johnson Odetoki Sodipo who was born in 1912 is survived by
five children who include Mrs. Biodun Fadipe, Mrs. Abimbola Adeniya, Mr.
Akintunde Sodipo, Mr. Rotimi Sodipo and Mr. Tolulope Sodipo and several grand
children and great grand children.

The funeral

In
a release made available to asabeafrika yesterday, Baba’s
children outlined the funeral activities for their centenarian father which
promises to be a trumpet blast event. The event which promises to have the
A-list of society in attendance with King of World Beat, King Sunny Ade performing
will start with an interdenominational service of songs on Wednesday April 23rd
at Baba’s residence 95, Ladipo Street, Papa Ajao, Mushin Lagos, a stone throw
from The
Nation
Newspaper press house. 
The event is slated for 5pm. The train of event will continue with a
Christian Wake Keep the next day, 24th at Methodist Church Cathedral, Palm
Avenue, Mushin-Lagos by 5pm while the last day, Friday 25th will
witness a church service in the early hour of the day at Methodist Cathedral,
Mushin before pall bearers will move Baba’s body to a special vault at Atan
Cementary, Yaba which will be Baba’s final resting place. The interment is 5pm.
The later part of the day will see business moguls, titans and movers of
society converge at Harbor Point by Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria
Island, Lagos. The event which will start by 7pm will end at the wee hours of
the day with King Sunny Ade on the band stand. In his word, Rotimi Sodipo,
MD/CEO Print Temple Press Ltd who spoke on behalf of the entire Sodipo family
told asabeafrika
this “Our father is a fantastic
father, a loving grandfather; a great and tireless worker in the Lord’s
vineyard. We will never forget the trainings he gave us and that is the reason
we are organizing a befitting funeral in his honor. Every one that will be
lucky to be there will learn a thing or two from Baba’s life”
 

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