By Mike EBONUGWO
It was indeed a sobering moment, one that evoked tears from those present. In fact, many could not hold back their feeling as evidenced by the wet handkerchiefs with which they intermittently dabbed at their teary eyes. The casket which contained the remains of the late Vanguard Chief Sub-Editor, Adedayo Aminu, was just about then being lowered into the cemented grave.
After a session of farewell prayers by the men of God present, the family members made up of the widow and her children were invited to perform the traditional earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes before the deceased was finally committed to mother earth. It was at this moment that the dam of emotion burst, releasing a flood of tears as many wept loudly while others struggled to rein in their tears.
This was in justifiable defiance of the exhortation of Bishop Thomas Amao to relations and friends of the deceased not to mourn like people who have no hope as the man had merely transited to higher calling and glory where he had found a place of permanent comfort in the presence of God.
It was almost an echo of an earlier exhortation by Reverend Bisi Bankole during the Wake-keep and service of songs for the deceased the evening of the previous day. The man of God had enjoined family members and other mourners not to allow their sorrow to erode their faith in God who in His divine wisdom had decided to call Dayo home at this time.
This was in agreement with Pastor Adebayo who earlier told all in the assembly that the essence of their being at the deceased’s home was not to mourn but to praise God who says His children should worship and praise Him in every situation and circumstance.
Bishop Amao, in his short exhortation which scriptural reference was taken from 1Thesallonians 4:14-18, lavishly praised the late Dayo Aminu, who was also a pastor of the Prevailing Word Bible Church, for living his life in a manner worthy of emulation. He described him as a true man of God who was devoted to his calling in this respect, saying that he set worthy examples for members of his flock, neighbours and professional colleagues. He said for all he did in the service of God and man, Dayo would certainly be rewarded with a place of rest in God’s kingdom.
For his listeners, he enjoined to strive to live a life acceptable to God so that they will be remembered after their exit for what is good for which they will be found worthy in the sight of God and man.
He also prayed God to continue to be a constant source of strength, comfort and wisdom to the widow, Olajumoke and the children: Oluwatobi, Ayo, Mercy and Kindness. He also did not forget to remind his listeners to endeavour to draw nearer to the family that Dayo has left behind, saying now was the time they needed the support of relations, friends and former colleagues of their late bread winner.
But the main prayer for the deceased family was to be led by Bishop Aniete Etukudo who prayed that God should protect and shower His blessings upon them.
In a touching testimony/tribute, Vanguard’s former Chief Sub-Editor and now Hi-tech Editor, Kunle Adekoya, went down memory lane to capture those endearing and unforgettable moments he shared with the late Aminu as a fellow student at the University of Lagos and professional colleague at Vanguard where they both manned the Sub-desk at a crucial point in the newspaper’s existence. He concluded by saying that as a person, Dayo was a very kind soul and as a colleague, a committed worker and loyal deputy.
Kunle obviously spoke the minds of several Vanguard staff who came for the burial as they nodded their assent to his claims of Dayo’s enduring qualities as a worker and his likeable personality that drew him to many.
The wake-keep the previous day also produced no less moving and touching testimonies. In fact, it was testimonies galore as relations, church members, friends and indeed many whose lives he had touched in one positive way or the other took turns to extol his virtues and qualities as a human being who left his mark in the sands of time.
Some of them even broke down in tears as they recalled some touching and unforgettable encounters they had with the deceased. He was described as benevolent, accommodating, tolerant, helpful, hardworking, and a highly devoted man of God.
Earlier before the testimonies, the deceased’s children, Mercy and Ayomide had respectively taken the first and second Bible readings for the exhortation of the word delivered by Reverend Bankole.
In his biography, he was described as determined, God-fearing, a friend and a source of encouragement to all and for which he will be remembered among colleagues and friends for his kind words and listening ears And as Pastor of the Breakthrough Parish of the Prevailing Word Bible Church, PWBC, Ipaja, his favourite slogan was said to be: “God Save Us”.