The remains of the former Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Sports, Deji Tinubu, were laid to rest amid wailings on Tuesday, at the Vaults and Garden, Ikoyi, Lagos, just as dignitaries poured encomiums on the deceased.
Tinubu died on Thursday last week in Epe during the Lagos State government’s retreat for its officials, while playing a novelty football match with other officials.
Speaking at the burial ground, Pastor Agu Irukwu of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus House, London, advised the gathering to be of good behaviour and remember the day death will come, adding that the deceased’s wife and the children should not see their father as dead, but “alive, only gone to rest with his father in heaven. The Deji we knew who was full of life is not dead but alive.
Yemisi, your husband, he is with his father in heaven. The only thing we are going to miss about him is handshake, inability to see his children grow in age, but Deji is alive.”
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, who is uncle to the deceased, described him as a man who had over the years inspired the youth through his profession, but expressed worries that Deji left too soon.
Tinubu further described the late Deji as a rare and special person, who died while playing the sport he loved from childhood, saying that the deceased had a zest for the game of football just as he had a special zest for the game of life.
“I cannot even begin to describe how deeply I shall miss him,” he said.
Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, while eulogising the deceased who was member of his cabinet, who he described as a rare breed, stressed that frigid hand of death might have taken a special member of his cabinet, but quickly noted that his story had not ended.
While speaking, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who was apparently short of words, said the deceased was an easy going person who didn’t seek fame but happiness, declaring, “To say he will be missed will be an understatement.”
Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in his speech at the church service, described the late Deji Tinubu as a fine gentleman who lived all his life for football.
According to him, “we met last year in Abeokuta during Segun Odegbami’s ceremony and he was to see me this year because we discussed a lot about football all through.”
In his remarks, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, while speaking with Tribunesport, described the late former chairman of the Lagos State Sports Council as a thoroughbred administrator who impacted many lives.
“Deji led an exemplary life and impacted positively on many people around him; not only those working with him. To me that is good enough,” said Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Ghana.
Other dignitaries at the church service included the wife of the vice-president, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo; Dele Momodu, Lagos White Cap Chiefs, former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ike Shorounmu, Group Managing Director, Oando, Wale Tinubu, the deceased’s brother and other family members.
Others were former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Mr Femi Pedro; President, Dangote Group of Company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora.