The icy hands of death came calling yesterday to snatch the nonagenarian mother of Ondo State Governor, Lady Evangelist Mrs Grace Akeredolu.
Evangelist Akeredolu died in the early hours of Thursday at 90 years and is survived by many children including the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
Already, sympathizers have thronged the Kopindogba residence of late Mrs Akeredolu in Ibadan where Governor Akeredolu, the eldest child has been receiving guests.
No date has been fixed for her burial, The Hope learnt yesterday, as arrangements have begun in earnest for a befitting burial.
Meanwhile, encomiums have continued to pour in for the late Lady Evengelist Grace Bosede Akeredolu.
Mrs Akeredolu died peacefully in her sleep at 90.
The deceased was described as an exemplary mother that will be missed by everyone who was privileged to have contact with her.
Those who sent messages include, Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, Minister of State for Transport, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu, former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko.
Others are: Ondo NLC, NUJ, Chairmen Ondo State Signage and Advertisement Agency, Akinwande Akinrodoye APC chieftain, Prince Jimi Odimayo, former OSOPADEC chairman, Mr Gbenga Edema, Labour Party chieftain, Kunle Adeyeri and Chairman of Owena Press Ltd, Sir Ademola Adetula.
Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola in his condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ismail Omipidan, on Thursday in Osogbo, prayed God to comfort the governor and the entire family on the loss of their matriarch.
The governor described the late Mrs Akeredolu as a respected community leader and great mother, who raised her children with the fear of God and also instilled in them sound moral character and discipline.
He urged Governor Akeredolu and the rest of the family to find solace in the fact that Mama lived a long and fulfilled life that was dedicated to the service of her creator and humanity.
Oyetaola added that the deceased lived long enough to witness and share in the successes of her children.
Prince Ademola Adegoroye in a condolence message signed by his spokesman, Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan said Mama was so loved and was so good to everyone who knew her. She will be missed by so many.
“Her passing is a great loss, not just for the family but for the many lives she touched during her glorious sojourn on earth. She was a gem, and will be greatly missed.”
The Minister urged the governor to take solace in the fact that Mama lived a worthy, fulfilled life that every one of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be proud of.
“Iya Olorire ni…a woman who was a special breed and produced great children. She extended the love she had for her children to the children’s friends and indeed to all.
Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun described the governor’s mother as a kind-hearted woman who devoted her life to God and humanity while on earth.
Oleyelogun in a release signed by the Spokesperson of the House, Akogun Olugbenga Omole thanked God for the meaningful and impactful life she lived as they sympathized with the Governor and the entire family of Akeredolu for the loss and prayed to God to grant her eternal rest.
Secretary to Ondo State Government, Princess Catherine Oladunni Odu described the death of Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu as shocking and a colossal loss to the Akeredolus’, christendom and the State, in general.
Princess Odu, in a statement made available to newsmen, said Mama Grace Akeredolu was a peace loving and caring mother who dedicated her entire life to the service of God and the benefit of humanity.
The SSG who noted that death is inevitable and dealing with it not easy, observed that Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu devoted her resources and time to the training of her children and left a footprint that is adorable and worthy of emulation.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Digital Communication, John Paul Akinduro, former Governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko described the late Evangelist Akeredolu as one who devoted her time to the service God and humanity.
“I just learnt of the passing of Lady Evangelist Grace Akeredolu the mother of my friend, the Governor of Ondo state. Though, a painful exit, mama lived a life of selfless service that is worthy of emulation. I pray that God grants her eternal rest,” Mimiko in the statement said.
He added that he has fond memories of Mama as an “industrious, accommodating matriarch who opened her doors to friends and acolytes of her children and made all who came in contact with her feel loved.”
The former governor expressed his deepest condolences to the government and people of Ondo state and the Akeredolu family of Owo.
Ondo State chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Sunday Adeleye in a statement said “we share this moment with you and urge that, we all should be comforted by the good life and legacies Mama led and left behind.
As they say, no one wish his or her aged dead, the age of Mama notwithstanding, we will surely miss her and all that she stood for while here with us.
From all of us and especially, the NLC Chairman, Com. Oluwole Adeleye Sunday, we pray for the repose of the soul of Mama and may God grant her blissful rest. Good night Mama Grace Akeredolu.”
Ondo Council of NUJ in a condolence message jointly signed by the Chairman, Prince Leke Adegbite and the Secretary, Olaoluwa Meshack enjoined the Governor to take solace in the fact that Mama lived a fulfilled and eventful life.
The union described Evangelist Grace Akeredolu as a loving, dutiful and prayerful mother mother who was loved by his children and family members.
Ondo NUJ notes that Mama has come, saw and conquered, and left worthy children and grandchildren behind, therefore her exit on earth, though painful should rather be celebrated.
House of Representatives Candidate on the platform of APC for Irele/Okitipupa , Prince Jimi Odimayo, however appreciated the Almighty God for an exemplary lifetime, devoted to serving God and humanity, especially in evangelising and philanthropic gestures of late Lady Evangelist Grace Bosede Akeredolu.
“She was truly a wonderful woman that all of us will always remember how amazing she was, her motherly advice, free gift of wisdom, generosity and agape love.”
Chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State, Princess Omowunmi Olatunji-Ohwovoriole in her condolence message said late Evangelist Grace Akeredolu was a great grandma who tirelessly worked to train up her children in the way of the Lord described her as a loving, caring, and industrious woman who left an indelible mark on the sands of time.
While also noting that she will be greatly missed not only by her biological children and family members, Ohwovoriole said Ondo State will miss her graceful motherly role just as she prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
The Chairman Ondo State Signage and Advertisement Agency, Akinwande Akinrodoye in his condolences message said the deceased lived a life of fulfillment with great accomplishments in service to God and humanity. It is our belief that she is resting in a better place.
May God grant Grace to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, his siblings and the whole family to bear the loss within this period and beyond.
A chieftain of the Labour Party (LP) Kunle StephenAdeyeri described Lady Evangelist Akeredolu as a model of chastity who dedicated her life to the service of mankind through her immeasurable benevolence to the downtrodden. Adeyeri said, “Though Mama joined the Saints at an advanced age (90), her children, relatives and acquaintances will miss her greatly.”
The immediate past Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, OSOPADEC, Mr Gbenga Edema in a condolence message urged the Governor to take solace in the fact that his mother lived a good and fulfilled life during which she made priceless contributions to humanity.
According to Edema, the family should be consoled in the fact that their matriarch lived to witness the successes of her children who rose to the peak of their careers.