By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—The Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday announced his administration’s plan to build a museum in honour of Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, a music maestro known for his Juju music gendre.
Amosun announced this at the interdenominational church service held at the Chapel of Christ The Glorious King, inside the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta marking the 75th birthday of the music icon.
The state governor noted that the Obey-Fabiyi’s music taught totality of life and it has moved beyond Nigeria to the entire global community.
He said when he travelled to the United States of America, he saw the works of the Ogun State-born music displayed in a shop in New York.
Amosun said he never failed to listen to his music every morning before setting out for the office, because there was always a prayer or a philosophy, which could serve as driving force for the day.
He said, “All I see in him at 75 is the awesomeness of God in his life.
“There is always something to learn from your music. I play Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi’s music every morning (he also rendered some of the musician’s lines).
“Your music teaches the totality of life, it teaches essence of life and living. Your music has moved beyond Nigeria to the global community.
“We will establish a museum where all your works will be kept for generations yet unborn to know about you and other legends from the state.”
I use his music as sleeping pill – Obasanjo
Also, at the event, former President Olusegun Obasanjo described the Juju and gospel music maestro, Chief Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi as “a musician of international repute, a revered evangelist and businessman of note.”
Obasanjo said whenever he was finding it difficult to sleep or while doing a serious work, he would have Obey-Fabiyi music playing slowly at the background.
He spoke at the reception held inside the marquee located in the Presidential Library, Abeokuta, after the thanksgiving service,.
The former President also noted that the musician in his over three decades on the Nigerian performing stage had taken Nigerian music to the global platform.
He said the music legend has maintained decorum and decency in his conduct and content as an artiste and musician adding that he has elevated God through his music and impacted positively on the society.
He said, “His life on one hand depicts the grace of God and on the other hand, it teaches determination, hardwork and perseverance.
“One of the important lessons to be learnt from his life is that there is no height a man cannot attain once he is focused.
“His life as taught the lesson that irrespective of one’s background, one can get to the pinnacle of one’s chosen career.”
He commended Obey-Fabiyi for his initiative to give back to the society through Ebenezer Obey Music Foundation and Training Institute, which he inaugurated at the reception.
Adeboye, Wale Oke, others eulogise him
Meantime, the General Overseer,Redeemed Christian Church of God worldwide,Pastor Enoch Adeboye said he has followed the musical career of the music icon right from his miliki days.
He explained that both himself and Chief Obey-Fabiyi became born again christian at about same period.
Pastor Adeboye said he was happy that he has been winning souls for God through his gospel music.
He later prayed for the celebrator and members of his family.
The Deputy National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Bishop Wale Oke who delivered the sermon at the ceremony, described the celebrator as an epitome of humility whose music “is philosophical and preaching morals encouraging people to do good.”
While using some verses from Psalms 71 and 73, he asked for God’s guidance, protection and strength for him as he said King David asked God when he was getting old.
The cleric who’s also the General Overseer, Sword of the Spirit Ministries, said in every human being’s life, there were three seasons – morning, afternoon and evening, adding that all mortals would want their evening to be better than morning.
He said that King David realised his vulnerability at old age and begged God “not to cast him off nor forsake him when his strength fails and for God to continue to use him for his generation and generations yet unborn.”
Bishop Oke prayed for God’s guidiance and strength for the music icon even at his own old age, “so that he will finish well.”
Responding, the host, said God had endowed him with musical talent and sent him on a mission as a musician with message of love, peace, hope and progress.
Obey-Fabiyi said to fulfil this mandate, he formed his first band, the Royal Mambo Orchestra, in Idogo in 1957.
The musician who gave all glory to God for what he described as ‘unending success’ in his life, also paid tribute to his late wife, Olaide, and late Pa Oye Ande of Melican Publicity “who when nobody believed in me, he gave me money to buy the latest guitar at the UTC then.”
Another musical legend, Sunday Adegeye, popularly known as King Sunny Ade, entertained guests at the reception with his brand of Juju music.
Others like Evangelist Bola Are, and Tope Alabi, performed for about five minutes each during the church service.
Personalities at the event include former governors of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and Otunba Gbenga Daniel, speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adekunbi and his Lagos counterpart, Mudashiru Obasa, wife of Lagos State governor, Bolanle Ambode, and Iyalode of Yorubaland, Alaba Lawson.
Others were royal fathers, captains of industry,top gospel and Juju musicians among others.