Tears flowed freely during the funeral rites of Deji Tinubu, a special adviser to Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state.
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, 2018.
Among those who witnessed the funeral service which took place at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Victoria Island were the Lagos governor; Ibikunle Amosun, his Ogun counterpart; Tunji Bello, secretary to Lagos state government.
Others were Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the vice-president; Aliko Dangote, billionaire businessman; Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra; Olorunnimbe Mamora, a former senator and members of the Lagos house of assembly.
In a special tribute in memory of the deceased published in the funeral service brochure, Bello described Tinubu as a great professional who devoted time to the service of humanity.
“He was an engineer, but he was also an engineer of sports. He was both 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,” Bello said.
“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. He pointed out weaknesses and strengths. He saw flair, he saw style, he celebrated goals. He delighted in them and infected all who listened or watched him with his full vigour and vitality about living.”
Speaking at the service, Amosun described the late 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 will answer the final call on January 25 which happen to be my birthday. Deji was full of life and had a deep passion for football,” Amosun said.
He commiserated with Ambode and the state government, adding that Deji’s call to glory was an act of God.
“God’s ways are not our ways, when it happens like this, we have to thank Him. With all what has been said about him clearly shows that we have to be thankful to God for his life in the 54 years he spent with us,” Amosun said.
Osinbajo’s wife prayed for the family of the deceased, urging them to take comfort in God.
In his sermon, Idowu Iluyomade pastor in charge of RCCG, City of David, said Deji was a quintessential gentleman and a pillar, who 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 everyone 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 the almighty God.