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Obasanjo gives befitting burial to late friend, Olopade

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday gave a befitting burial to his close associate and friend, Chief Jonathan Obafemi Olopade, an OFR title holder who died September, 2021 at age of 95 in Lagos State.

Penpushing reports that, the widow of the deceased led the children and other family members to Chapel of Christ The Glorious King Church located within the premises of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta for a service on a final exit of Olopade.

The order of funeral service programme include opening hymn ‘I will Praise My Maker’, followed with opening prayer, praise worship, Bible reading, special benediction, special rendition, sermon, prayer for the family and thanksgiving.

Penpushing further reports, thereafter, the body of Olopade in a brown colour casket was conveyed in an MIC hearse accompanied by immediate family, friends which include Obasanjo and selected guests to the deceased private house in Abeokuta for interment.

The widow, children and other family members later moved to Marque Events Centre located within the premises of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta for a reception which was also attended by dignitaries across the country.

Penpushing also reports that Olopade was born in Lagos on the 31st of July, 1926, and started his professional career in 1963 at Messrs. G. Maunsel and Patners (Consulting Engineers) in the United Kingdom where he worked as a Junior Engineer on the White City/ Baker Street Road construction in London and was also involved the traffic survey in the new diversion of traffic from the Centre City in Chester, England.

The deceased subsequently took up appointment with Whesso Engeneering Limited, Darlington as a Design and Sales Engineer and in 1966 and was posted to the Nigerian arm of the Company in Port Harcourt, Rivers States where he was solely in charge of its Sales Department.

Penpushing reports that, during this period, he had the responsibility of visiting all the Ministries of Works in most State Capitals, such as Ibadan, Enugu and Lagos and scout for contracts to build storage tanks, both surface and underground primarily for the major Oil Companies, while such contracts included some of the steel structures and large storage Tanksat the Afam and Ugheli Power Station.

The profile of Olopade has it that, at the outbreak of the Civil War in Nigeria, Whesso Engineering decided to pull out of the country and the deceased decided to go back to the United KIngdom where he was re-employed by his previous employer G. Maunsel and Partners.

Penpushing reports that, this time around, Olopade spent more times on site rather than in the Drawing Office, including a stint Stag Place, Victoria, London, SWI, and soon returned to Nigeria having been offered employment with the Nigeria Railway Corporation under the late Engr. S.M.O. Denloye and was looking forward to serving the Nigerian governmen, as he had been a Federal Scholar who was bonded to serve on the completion of his studies.

The late Olopade, on seeing the workings at the Nigerian Railway, decided that he could not work there and he sets up on his own firm, supplying all the States and Federal Government with Bailey Bridges, while the Army Engineering Corp was his biggest customer, and all the war affected areas needed rehabilitation and with the service, he was able to offer, with the support of late Engineer Foli Kanyi and Engineer M.T. Usman,

Penpushing also reports that, his firm was able to meet the various demands by both the Federal Ministry of Works and the Army Engineer Corp, while one of such was the repairs to the damaged part of the Onitsha Bridge.

The deceased equally set up a small construction company that was primarily responsible for putting up residential accommodation in Victoria Island, while most of his customers got financing for their properties from United Bank for Africa (UBA).

Penpushing further reports that, before death came calling, at his ripe age, Olopade still finds time to be involved in all his companies, and these include 3 different companies at the Free Trade Zone in Calabar, Cross River State which produce disposable syringes, needles and condoms.

The notable dignitaries as the ceremony include Mrs Bola Obasanjo(wife of former President), Iyalode Alaba Lawson, Governor Dapo Abiodun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Donald Duke(former Governor Cross Rivers State), Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, Chief Kola Daisi, Olori Ogunleye, Adeleke Adewolu, Alhaji AyobamiAkande(former Chief Security officer of Obasanjo), Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji(founder Penpushing Media) and Senator Issa Muhammed

Penpushing reports that others are, Kayode Are,(former Director- General State Security Service), Chief Tunde Afolabi, (Chief Executive Officer AMIN Petroleum, Prof Oladapo Afolabi(former Head of Service of the Federation),Prof  Okebukola, Chief (Mrs) Nike Akande, Chief Doja Adewolu, Kayode Odunneye, Tunde Fagbemi and Chief Joop Berkhout(Executive Chairman Safari Books Limited) and Mrs Ayisat Eleshin among others

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