Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, his counterpart in Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and wife of the vice president, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, yesterday led thousands of friends, family members, colleagues and well wishers to pay their last respect to the late Deji Tinubu, who passed on last Thursday.
At a well-attended lying-in-state and funeral service held at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, tributes, eulogies and tears poured in freely for Tinubu, who until his demise was the Special Adviser to Ambode on Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
Deji had slumped while playing a novelty football match with some members of the State Executive Council at the Jubilee Chalets in Epe on January 25.
In a special tribute in memory of Tinubu published in the funeral service brochure and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, the deceased was described him as a great professional who devoted his time to the service of humanity.
“He was an engineer, but he was also an engineer of sports. He was both a sports man and sports lover. But he was unforgettable as a sports administrator. Those who followed him knew him as a symbol of service to humanity.
“We had seen him enliven us on television screens and through radio waves. He was an enthusiast and an analyst. He probed the game and predicted it. He pointed out weaknesses and strengths. He saw flair, he celebrated goals and infected all who listened or watched him with his vigour and vitality about living,” the state government said.
Speaking at the service, Amosun described Deji as a man who had a deep passion for football and sports in general. “The last time I saw Deji was when he came to identify with Segun Odegbami’s 10th anniversary of his sports academy. Little did I know that Deji would answer the final call last week, which happen to be my birthday?,” Amosun said.
Wife of the vice president, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, who prayed for the family of the deceased, urged them to take comfort in God, while praying that God will sustain his wife and children.
In his sermon, Pastor in Charge of RCCG, City of David, Idowu Iluyomade, said Deji was a quintessential gentleman and a pillar, which contributed in no small way in building the house of God.
“I have known Deji for 22 years. He was a giver and a lover of football. To the family, I want you to take solace in the fact that every one of us will die or be raptured. Today we celebrate Deji because we know he’s in a better place. Nobody took his life, he died at the appointed time,” he said.
Taking his sermon from Isaiah 43 verse 2, Iluyomade urged the congregation to see Deji’s death as a reminder of the futility of life and the need to submit their lives to God.
Other dignitaries present at the service include president of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Obi; Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora; Mr. Dele Momodu; Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi; members of the Lagos Executive Council, body of Permanent Secretaries, members of the Lagos House of Assembly, sports aficionados, among others.