Fidelis David in Akure
Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, led dignitaries from all walks of life, including governors, former governors and ministers to Igbara-Oke in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State yesterday to witness the burial of Mrs Morenikeji Komolafe, the mother of THISDAY Newspapers’ Ombudsman, Mr Kayode Komolafe and his younger brother, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe.
Governors Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Dapo Abiodun (Ogun); former Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), as well as the Chairman of THISDAY/ARISE Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena were present at the event.
Other eminent Nigerians who graced the event were: Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uche Ogah; the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Omotayo Alasoadura (representing the Senate President); Senator Albert Bassey; Chairman of Southern Senators’ Forum, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele; Senator Ayo Akinyelure; and the pioneer Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
Others were: a former Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar; Chairman of Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspaper, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi; Chief Olusola Oke; Speaker of the Ondo State House
of Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun; Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi, Odundun II; the Olowa of Igabara-Oke Kingdom, Oba Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede Ilufemiloye (Ogidi III); and some captain of industries among, other well-meaning Nigerians.
The Ombudsman of THISDAY Newspapers and his younger brother, Gbenga, led the Komolafe dynasty, alongside their younger siblings, friends, well-wishers and colleagues to bid their mother, Madam Victoria Komolafe, a final farewell.
Madam Victoria Komolafe, a mother of seven, died at the age of 87 late last year.
She began her final journey home with a lying-in-state at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Igabara-Oke and was finally laid to rest at her family compound.
At the funeral mass, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo, Most Rev. Dr Jude Ayodeji Arogundade, described the deceased as a woman who contributed her quota to the development of the country.
“Today, we have come to testify that Mama Morenike Victoria Komolafe fulfilled her Christian obligation in her earthly journey and we have come to entrust her to the love and mercy of God. Death is not the end of life. It is the beginning of the new life of heaven. May her soul and the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.
“For us Christians, the question of life and death are answered and settled in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who follow him and live according to his teaching will inherit eternal life. This teaching is basic to our Christian faith and was at the centre of the life of Mama Morenike Victoria Komolafe. It was her motivation as a mother, a community leader and a philanthropist. She joyfully, courageously and faithfully followed the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the discipline of the Catholic faith and the ideals of the Yoruba’s mantra of Omoluabi,” the Bishop explained.
The Bishop said the deceased was a good woman and honest Christian, an embodiment of all that makes one noble and honourable, stressing that
her deep sense of satisfaction played out in her desire for perfection, modelling Jesus’ example in dealing with the joys, hopes and anxieties of the family life of today.
“The impact of her beautiful life on her family, on Igbara-Oke community and the church is the reason why people from all works of life, top government officials, friends and associates of her sons and daughters and even the Bishop are all here to celebrate her.
“The story about how Mama Victoria Komolafe distributed food to people in this community, took care of the less-privileged and contributed to the needs of the church will not be forgotten in a hurry. This is because it is the expression of her Christian faith, and has become the story of the unity she sought for the people of Igbara-Oke and the story of all those who knew her – men and women of goodwill. The gospel passage presents the kindness and love we give to our neighbour as the condition for entering into the kingdom of heaven.
“Mama looked out for the welfare and wellbeing of everyone as her responsibility and many times taxed her children to provide the means to accomplish her passion for charity. In embracing the value of love, hard work and truth, she left for us the legacy that is worthy of this celebration. Her audacity of faith and her gut to hope and love selflessly is shaped by her Christian upbringing.
“Today is not just a day for Mama’s funeral, it’s also that of celebrating her successful life. A life with great and noble accomplishments that cannot be ignored or faulted because it impacted many and will continue to be an example for many people to follow for many years to come. This is the testimony of the people of Igbara-Oke and it is for us the pride of the Catholic family system.
“A few weeks before her passing away, her son Engineer Gbenga requested her to ask for whatever she wanted and mama asked him to increase her allowance so that she can do more charity to the needy.
This is a clear indication that her heart was always with those who needed her assistance and care.
“All of us who have risked travelling long distances to be here need to learn a big lesson from this funeral. And it is about the kind of legacy we will all live behind after our earthly lives. We have all come here to witness a grateful family of Komolafe celebrate the beautiful life of their matriarch. Let everyone examine his or her conscience on how you treat your parents and senior members of your families,” Bishop Arogundade added
In his tribute, Mr Kayode Komolafe said his mum was a mother and friend to him, in the true sense of the word, noting that she was a brilliant woman with a terrific power of recall.
According to Komolafe, his mum was a solid rock and courageous woman who despite the travails of life, fought a good fight of faith till death, stressing that she had laid enviable foundations for all to follow.
“I am very thankful that my mother lived her life in such a way that as her son, I remain proud of her memory given the generous testimonies to which I have listened since she died.
“Mama, of course, related to all her children as a dutiful mother. She could sacrifice anything for the well-being of her children,” he explained.