Prince Tajudeen Odofin 1941 – 2024: How Ikorodu Celebrates Exit Of Royal Prince, Icon

Kunle Adelabu

Chieftains and members of the Oriwu Club Ikorodu paying their last respects to Late Prince Tajudeen Adedayo Odofin during the lying in state at the Oriwu Club House, Ikorodu

Although, the death of former Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, Prince Tajudeen Adedapo Odofin, FCA, KCOC, came to many as shock and surprise, it was, however, generally believed that he lived a fulfilled and accomplished life.

Odofin, who served as Member of the Lagos State Executive Council under the administration of the late Captain Gbolahan Mudashiru administration from 1984 to 1986, died at the age of 83, at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, and was buried same day at his residence located at Dele Kuti Estate, Ebute, lkorodu, according to Islamic injunctions.

He passed on after about two weeks of his admission into the hospital, after fallen ill.

The tributes that have followed his demise since Tuesday, have been overwhelming with many describing him as a gentle giant; exceptional manager of men and resources; leader per excellence; teacher of teachers; seasoned accountant and administrator; unequalled family man; committed community personality; principled personality and highly religious among many other attributes.

Late Odofin was a First Class Prince, having being born into the royal family of Adegorushen where the present Ayangbure of Ikorodu, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Engr.) Kabir Adewale Shotobi and other eminent Ikorodu sons and daughters, were also born into.

He vied for the Ayangbure of Ikorodu stool with Oba Shotobi and over 20 other candidates, about eight years ago, but the highly revered monarch emerged the preferred choice.

Otunba Amid Oduborisha, President, Oriwu Club and Sir (Chief) Engr. Kayode Shoderu, KJW, Chairman, Oriwu Club Board of Trustees by the casket containing the remains of Prince Tajudeen Odofin during the lying in state

He was among the group of 23 founding members of the prestigious Oriwu Club, lkorodu, in May 1973, and later served as the President of the club. He was a member of the club’s Board of Trustees till death.

Late Prince Odofin was a chieftain of the Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG) and served as the Chairman, Ikorodu Town Hall Management Board between 2007 – 2007.

So, it was a glorious exit for the man who contributed significantly to the development of Ikorodu, Lagos State and Nigeria in general. After preparing his remains for burial, he was taking on a parade that lasted several hours before he was buried by Clerics from the Anwar – Ul – Islam Society, lkorodu branch, around 7.00pm.

A long convoy, led by the staff of offices of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu and Sekumade of Ipakodo, departed his house in Ebute – Ipakodo, after a brief lying – in – state, with Ebony funeral service hearse carrying his remains wrapped in white clothes and neatly placed in a wooden casket with transparent glass

The convoy passed through the TOS Benson Avenue to connect Oriwu Road, Ita – Elewa from where it connected Ajina for another lying – in – state at his father’s house, but as a Prince of Ikorodu, the Osugbo Abalaye chieftains whose chamber is located behind the late Odofin’s father’s house, also insisted on paying their last respect.

Palace servants leading the pall bearer with staff of Ayangbure and Sekumade during the procession at Ajina market.

After about an hour, the casket containing his remains was carried by the pall bearers through the narrow path beside Osugbo Abalaye to late Odofin’s childhood home where another lying – in – state was observed with family members praying for his corpse.

After leaving Ajina, the convoy, led by the Osugbo traditional drummers whose performance signified the deceased’s royalty, moved through the Oba Alagbe Road to connect Itunmoja, Sabo Road and the Ikorodu – Shagamu Road where the late Odofin’s social club – Oriwu Club, is located.

At the Oriwu Club House, it was tributes galore as chieftains and members recalled the lives and times of late founding father and former President which brought out great memories of late Tajudeen Odofin, to the admiration of family members, friends and sympathizers at the ceremony that lasted for about an hour.

Leading the tribute, Otunba Amid Adekunle Oduborisa, FNES, COC, President, Oriwu Club, Ikorodu, described Odofin as an illustrious Ikorodu son, accomplished professional and loyal member of the prestigious club.

“Death has taken away a genuinely warm, and highly principled personality, more importantly, a loving husband and a caring father, an illustrious son of lkorodu, an accomplished Accountant and a loyal member and a member of the Board of Trustees of our noble Club”, Otunba Oduborisha said.

Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, former Head of Service, Lagos State, Sir David Sunmoni, Pro – Chancellor, LASU, Asiwaju Steve Anifowoshe, the Asiwaju of Ikorodu Kingdom and another chieftain of Oriwu Club during the lying in state

“While we mourn the loss of our dear member, we pay tribute and celebrate a life that was well lived. A life committed to the family, community and cause of humanity”.

Recalling his service to the state, he said that he was dedicated and helpful to others, while adding that he lived a fulfilled life.

“His professional colleagues and cabinet members in Lagos State Executive Council, knew him as an affable, cooperative, helpful and dedicated professional. Despite his established background and position, Prince was a modest man; a real gentleman, not reluctant to offer genuine advice on issues but in a firm manner.

“Life can be fleeting. But a life lived to the fullest stays in fond memories. Past President Odofin, through his integrity and professionalism, endeared himself to many”.

Sir (Engr.) Chief Olukayode Shoderu, KJW, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Oriwu Club, also speaking, said that his late friend contributed to the development of the Oriwu Club.

He recalled that during his Presidency of the club, he used his personal funds to redeveloped the old structure of the club and make it bigger.

The General Secretary of the club, Mr. Fatai O. Lasisi, in his own tribute, described the death of late Odofi as sad and a rude shock.

“The sad news of the demise of Prince Adedapo Odofin in the early hours of today, Tuesday 23rd, January, 2024, came as a rude shock. However, we give glory to God that he lived a fulfilled life”, he said.

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un” (meaning -lndeed we belong to Allah, and indeed, to Him we will return).

“Death is not the termination of life; rather, it is the continuation of life in another form.

“These two quotes give us solace as regards the life and death of Prince Adedapo Odofin, a Past President, Founding Member, Member of Board of Trustees of our noble Club – Oriwu Club Ikorodu”, he added.

Lasisi, who was a former Special Adviser to the former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Taxation, described the late former President as a socialite, man of integrity and honour.

Remains of Tajudeen Odofin at his family’s house at Ajina in Ikorodu

“He was indeed a committed member, an uncle, a good friend, brother and mentor in Oriwu Club Ikorodu”, he said.

“The memory of our days together, the affection among us and our families when we wined, dined, joked, played, disagreed and easily settled, will linger.

“He was a gentleman of complete integrity and discipline, who served God and humanity with all his heart and for those whose parts crossed his, in the Accountancy profession, especially his colleagues in Lagos State Executive Council, when he served as the Hon. Commissioner for Finance, they knew that he was a man with uncommon professionalism, uprightness and uncompromising honesty.

“A distinguished socialite, Prince ‘Dapo Odofin, had close personal ties with the upper echelons of society”, he said.

Vice Chairman, Oriwu Club, Barr. Ola Animashaun, said that late Tajudeen Odofin made him a great scribe of the club, and that he would miss him dearly.

Animashaun, who represented the Ikorodu Constituency I at the Lagos State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2003, also stated that late Odofin was a man with several attributes that others must emulate.

Odofin family members at the lying – in – state at the Oriwu Club House, Ikorodu.

“He was a gentleman that we must all emulate when it comes to integrity, contentment, and doing what is just. I have just lost a mentor”, the legal practitioner said.

In own own tribute, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, former Head of Service, Lagos State, recalled his contributions to the state.

“Prince Adedapo Odofin left an indelible mark as Commissioner for Finance, Lagos State, during the regime of Group Captain Gbolahan Adio Mudashiru, who was also from Ikorodu”, Prince Ogunlewe said.

“During the tenure, despite gigantic projects on roads, education, agriculture and other aspect of human development index, they manage the resources of Lagos State, particularly himself as the Commissioner for Finance, in such that rather than borrowing money from banks, they had fixed deposits which was earning interests in two or three banks in the state”, the former HoS said.

He listed the completion of the Lekki – Epe Road, all the government houses at Ogba, Alapere and other locations, all the network of roads in Omole Phase I and 2, Magodo Scheme Phase 1 and 2, Amuwo Odofin Phase 1 and 2, schools among many other projects as achievements of the regime.

Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor, Oloye Oye Solebo, Prof. Kunle Ade Wahab and other chieftains of Oriwu Club Ikorodu

He added that the government which Tajudeen Odofin served, never borrowed any money from bank.

Alhaji Monzor Kolawole Olowosago, Publisher, Oriwu Sun Newspaper, described the deceased as a father who loved him dearly.

He said that late Odofin volunteered and edited his paper for more than a decade.

After farewell speeches, members of the club led by the President, late Odofin’s family members, friends and others moved round the remains of late founding member of the club to pay their last respect after which pall bearers moved the casket for onward movement back to his Ebute home, for interment.

The motorcade moved along the Shagamu – Ikorodu Road, Ikorodu garage roundabout, Ayangbure Road, back to the TOS Benson Avenue to connect Dele Kuti Street where he resided.

At home, the Osugbo traditional drummers once again performed before the late Prince’s body was also briefly laid in state for family members and crowd that have been waiting to have last view of his remains, after which the Chief Imam of Anwar – Ul – Islam Society of Nigeria, Ikorodu branch, Sheikh Olamilekan Olapade, led the Janazah (burial) prayer.

Hearse and other vehicles arriving at the Oriwu Club Ikorodu for the lying in state for late Prince Tajudeen Odofin

His body was lowered into the grave around 7:00pm, amidst tears and prayers.

Among eminent personalities in Ikorodu that went round the town with the remains of the late Prince were: Asiwaju Steve Anifowose Asiwaju of Ikorodu Kingdom, Oloye Oye Solebo, former Chairman, IDRDG, Alhaji Monzor Olowoshago, Publisher, Oriwu Sun, Sir (Otunba) Ayodele Elesho, the Agbaakin of Ikorodu, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, former Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development and Prince Kunle Ogunleye, retired Director among others.

Prince Kunle Ogunleye, retired Director, Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, former Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development and traditional chiefs in ikorodu Kingdom.
Remains of late Odofin arriving at his country home for burial
Family member with the casket during the lying in state at home.
Traditional chiefs and family members
Prayer on the remains of late Tajudeen Odofin
Interment of late Prince Tajudeen Oladapo Odofin
Osugbo traditional drummers honouring the late Prince of Ikorodu

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