By Banji Ayoola
The earthly cloak of a foremost chartered accountant and a principal partner of Olugbenga Olaofe and Company, Mr Emmanuel Olugbenga Olaofe, was buried at his Mobolaje area, Oyo residence on February 8 amid a rain of glowing tributes for his spectacular and exemplary good deeds while in the flesh.
Family members, friends, associates and lovers poured encomiums on the departed for an exceptional life which touched so many, alleviated many pains and sufferings, and gave hope to the hopeless.
It was really a day of tributes for a man who used his endowments to lift so many from poverty.
The loaded funeral programme which climaxed with the interment at his residence was rounded off with a church service at the Olaofe Memorial Cherubim and Seraphim Church on Olaofe Street, Jabata, Oyo.
Leading the train of tributes, Olaofe’s bosom childhood friend, classmate and principal partner at Olugbenga Olaofe and Co, Mr Dokun Ayandele, in a voice drown in emotion, said: “If I can describe him perfectly I would say as I know. Olugbenga Olaofe when he was alive was my childhood friend.
We went to the same College, Baptist College Iwo in 1976. To the Glory of the Lord, we passed out in the same year 1979. Olaofe to me is more than a friend. He is a brother, a brother indeed. In fact if I want to describe Olaofe, I don’t think that I would be able to extinguish or say everything I want to say about him.
Olaofe is good to a fault. Here is somebody who would concern himself about your predicament, problems. Not that alone, he would try as much as possible to see that the problems are solved.
Olaofe in his lifetime does not believe that anything is impossible. To him everything is very possible. In fact, it has just dawned on me that Olaofe is no more because I am just considering how my own life without Olaofe would be.
Everybody knew that the two of us since our College days, were inseparable. But as the Lord wants it, death has come now and Olaofe is no more. But I believe that all the good deeds Olaofe did during his lifetime are there; and they speak volumes about him.
Olaofe! Olaofe! Olaofe! That name is a international name. Olaofe is a renowned accountant, a man of impeccable character, a lover of human beings, a generous human being.
What can I say about Olaofe? He loves (I have forgotten that he is no more.) Olaofe loved everybody, most especially if you are from Oyo speaking town. And he did a lot to uplift that town, Oyo.
Our point of prayer is that the Lord will be with the family he left behind and everything that he had worked for would not perish. That is the little I can say about Olaofe now.”
In his own tribute, the President of Baptist College Old Students Association 1979 Set, BACOSA 1979, Mr. Babatunde Yusuf, who spoke with The Radiance at the church service, also in an emotion laden voice, said: “We thank the Lord because Gbenga Olaofe is someone we cannot forget. He was courageous, hardworking and merciful.
He had been good since we started together in Baptist College, Iwo from 1976, till we passed out in 1979, and until now before death snatched him away from us on January 5, 2020.
We are grateful because he lived meaningfully, though he had challenges before he struggled to the top. The Lord helped him. He did not say that because he suffered before getting to the top, he would deny help to people. He used all he had to mercifully help and serve people at home, abroad and everywhere.
Wherever you mentioned his name, they would say ah, a great man has gone. There is nothing we want to dispute or struggle with the Lord. We who are speaking belong to Him as His creatures. Olaofe whom He has called away also belongs to Him. He said He gave us, and He is the One Who has taken him away. Praise be to the Lord.
We thank the Lord. May He spare the lives of his children, wife and members of the Baptist College Old Students Association, 1979 Set who are so dear to him.
He was the main pillar behind this association before we established it in Oyo when Dr Alabi was the Provost of Alayande College of Education. That is where we established the association. Our father Iku Baba Yeye, the Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi was with us that day, and other big personalities. We have been waxing strong ever since.
Olaofe played commendable roles in the association. How many do we want to count? How many can we list? But we accept and pray that his path in the beyond would be eased; what he left behind should not be spoiled.
May we, who are remaining behind, live good lives too. May we also end the journey of our earth lives well.”
On his own, another friend and classmate, Mr. Simeon Olagoke Binuyo, said: “It was a rude shock, not only to me but to the entire members of BACOSA 79. He was so passionate about anything that concerns BACOSA 79.
Somebody told me that, after our last meeting in Ejigbo, Olaofe had to wait for Engineer Dele Hammed of Ileogbo at one filling station in Ijeru, Ogbomoso. And when Hammed got there, together with Olaofe, they were in his vehicle, discussing the future of BACOSA 79, how to plan for the members and their children.
It was a clarion call by Olaofe that those among us that are influential, how do we help or assist our members and children. He was so passionate. It was a great loss to us.”
The departed, who was born on September 1, 1957, passed on at 63.