Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, at the weekend eulogised Ekiti born retired Bishop of Akure Anglican Dioceses, Rt. Rev’d Michael Ipinmoye, during his 80th birthday thanksgiving held in Ado-Ekiti.
He described the retiring clergy as a special gift to his generation.
The governor spoke just as Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, former Governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko, ex-Governor Segun Oni and Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, hailed the celebrant at the well-attended service.
Oyebanji, who described the Bishop as a very proud Ekiti man who proudly carries Ekiti identity everywhere, appreciated him for his years of meritorious service to God and to humanity.
Speaking during the thanksgiving service which held at the Emmanuel Cathedral Church, Ado Ekiti, Oyebanji described the octogenarian as a builder of men, a model and a man of God to the core.
While congratulating the bishop, the Governor prayed to God to grant him long life and prosperity and that he will live as long in good health to reap the fruit of his labour of love.
“Daddy, I bless God for your life, to be 80 in Nigeria is not by accident, it can only be God. In a Country where life expectancy is between 45 and 55years and you are 80 and strong, we give God all the glory.
“I thank you for your service to mankind and service to God, I thank you for being a very proud Ekiti man and I thank you that you never change your Ekiti identity anywhere you are, thank you so much.
“Well, there is nothing to say other than to congratulate you and as you journey in life my prayer is that you live as long as you want. The Governor prayed,” he said.
Oyebanji, who also acknowledged the presence of Oni, said beyond partisan politics, the former Governor remains a brother to him.
In his own goodwill message, Oni congratulated the celebrant for witnessing his 80th birthday in great health.
He also appreciated Oyebanji, whom he also described as a brother. In apparent reference to his case against the election of Oyebanji, Oni said political contest was a normal thing in democracy just as seeking the intervention of the judiciary in determining knotty issues.
He prayed for God’s continued support to enable the Governor achieve a successful tenure.
Mimiko, in his brief remarks, said he was not surprised at the developmental strides of Oyebanji’s administration. He said he had known the governor as a young man and was convinced he had the right training, preparation and capacity to excel as Governor of Ekiti State.
In his sermon, a retired Bishop from Osun State, Revd James Afolabi, described the celebrant as a simple but firm man of God, and enjoined him to continue to live his life for God as it’s the only was he can respond to God’s faithfulness at all times.