Final obsequies were held for His Grace, Most Reverend Abraham Adebola Daniel JP were held on Friday, 27th January, 2012 at the Abraham’s Tabernacle, Oba Erinwole Road, GRA Sagamu. The former Governor spared no cost in giving his father a befitting burial, he made sure everything was the best quality available. The food, drink and even music. Champagne was as common as water while wine connoisseurs had a hectic time determining which brand was the best. King Sunny Ade was on the band and he lived up to his billing as the King of World Beats. Street Journal’s WOLE ADEJUMO was at the funeral and outing services as well as the reception that followed. He brings some of the gists from the event.
ABOUT THE DECEASED
Rev. Abraham Adebola Daniel was born on January 16, 1916 to the family of Abamba Otesile of Makun, Sagamu. He started his missionary life as one of the main lieutenants of Primate J. O. Ositelu, and in his early days, several churches were pioneered by him in various locations, including Ibadan, Benin, Ifo, Idogo, Ijebu-Igbo and Abeokuta He was also in Liberia where he became a close friend of the late President William Tubman and President William Tolbert, while on evangelical mission in that country. He also toured several West African countries to propagate the gospel and carry out evangelical works.
HOW GOVERNOR AMOSUN SURPRISED ALL
Pa Daniel’s funeral went a long way in showing that the days of bitterness are over in Ogun State politics. Governor Ibikunle Amosun was the surprise of the event as he attended the church service. His decision to honour his predecessor’s invitation despite party affiliations was the topic of most lips even after the service ended.
WHEN LADOJA AND AKALA MET ONE ON ONE!
For some time now, the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Akala and his predecessor, Senator Ladoja have not sat that closely to each other. One of the last time they met was at the coronation of the Olubadan and that was about four years ago. But at the reception in Sagamu, they sat almost facing each other. Though there was no communication between them as Senator Ladoja conversed with his wife Mutiat Olayinka who was by his side most of the time, when it was time to leave, Senator Ladoja moved to where Otunba Akala was and shook hands with him.
A part of the VIP section where Otunba Gbenga Daniel sat was carved out specially. The place eventually became the place for former Governors as they all chose to sit with a brother and old colleague. Two former Governors of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Otunba Alao-Akala were there, Senator Bukola Saraki and Engineer Segun Oni also sat with them.
Forme Chief of General Staff, Gen. Oladipo Diya (Rtd), Street Journal’s Publisher, Wole Arisekola and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro too sat with them
… FROM THE POLITICAL CAMPS
Describe the event as a kaleidoscope of political colours and you may not be wrong. The guests came from different political parties. Some of the former Governors that came to support OGD came from the PDP, Senator Ladoja leads the Accord Party in Oyo State, Governor Ibikunle Amosun belongs to the ACN while the PPN’s governorship candidate in the last election, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka too was there with a multitude of supporters. Alhaji Ali Olanusi, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, a Labour Party member too was with OGD. Fola Adeola and former Lagos Deputy Governor too were there.
BUKOLA SARAKI STANDS TALL AMONG HIS PEERS
Apart from coming to support Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the funeral was an opportunity for some of the former Governors to get together. One thing that stood Dr. Bukola Saraki out among his old colleagues is the fact that he is the only one still holding public office as a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
THE WOMEN TOO CAME TO SHOW LOVE TO YEYE OLUFUNKE DANIEL
One of the conspicuous groups of women at the event was the wives of the wives of the Permanent Secretaries who served under Otunba Gbenga Daniel. Not only did they come to support their husbands’ former boss, the women also see Yeye Olufunke Daniel as a leader and thus came to lend a fulcrum of support.
Bi-Courtney boss, Wale Babalakin was seen discussing with Chief Olabode George and the discussion took a while. A lot of guesses were made about their discussion. Some said it was the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, others said they were catching up on events after the Obasanjo years. Trust mischief makers, they were quick to note that the duo had at different times been at the office of the EF… got it?
WITH LOVE FROM OSUN STATE
Though Prince OOlagunsoye Oyinlola and his wife were conspicuously absent, no one would deny the presence of a worthy representative from Osun State. From whichever part of the church one looked, Dr. Yemi Farounbi’s white hair and Fidel Castro styled beards stood him out from every other person in the congregation.
The Yeye Apesin of Ede, Chief Mrs. Hannah Afolabi too was there. Her husband commanded so much respect when he was alive. He was a kingmaker and one of the most respected leaders the PDP had in the South West. Mrs Afolabi put up a good representation for the Afolabis.
THE OBAS LOVE DANIEL
That Ogun State traditional rulers love Otunba Gbenga Daniel is old news in Ogun State. They attended his father’s funeral in droves. The Obas in attendance could hardly be counted. The Awujale, Oba Sikiru Adetona was there, and wherever Oba Adetona goes, he commands respect. The Ebumawe too was there. He was heralded into the reception venue by a group of women who rose from their seats and snag his praise. As he entered, Kabiyesi had to stop to greet scores of people before reaching the Obas’ tent.
Many of the Obas in attendance were also accompanied by senior chiefs from their domain.