News : On the Wings of Service...Late Augustine Bimbo Alade...Late Prince Iwa Oyefade

Posted on: 2014-01-10
Source: Fr. Martin Badejo

We finished a day well began on the 6th of January 2014, with the rudeness of having to surrender to the shock of the passing away of Late Mr. Augustine Bimbo Alade. While still battling with the blow of the foregoing, just three days after, precisely the 9th of January, 2014, we heard that a great veteran, Prince Iwaloye Oyefade has been called to the great beyond. Yes we can say that the Lord gives and he has taken back, blessed be his name. However, more than the regular faith in this saying, the active presence of this duo especially on the service of the Church in Oyo and Osogbo dioceses respectively is a cause for us to say "Ope ni fun Olorun". And a charge for us all to wake up to action.

Not comparable in terms of age, Late "Baba Iwa" as he was fondly called was far older than Late Mr. Bimbo Alade, nevertheless they both laid sterling examples as regards firmness in their service to the Church especially in the area of Social Communications. Both served till the last moments of their lives. One would have thought that given his advanced age of 79 years Prince Oyefade will say he needs some more time to rest, instead of running errands for the faith (as we may well need to know that the whole nature of Communications is running errands for a cause). Rather, he was still present in his office at the Social Communications department at the Headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo even up till a day before he passed on. He bade farewell to those in the office on the 8th of January 2014, that he will attend a meeting of the Oke Maria Organising Committee the next day. But that very morning, he was called to witness to a higher level meeting in the great beyond. On his own part Mr. Bimbo Alade, despite his prominence in the society especially among fellow teachers, whom he had served even at the state level, still found time to serve the Church. As far back as when Oyo diocese still had the seat of the bishop in Osogbo (before Osogbo Diocese was carved out) he was one of those called to serve as a member of the Social Communications Commission, a duty which he found time to carry out as well as he could. More still, with his demise, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption, Asogo, Oyo, now has to choose another Parish Pastoral Council Chairman. He served in that position till death came calling.

Far from being a speech to canonize these two people as stainless, and while acknowledging that each of these two men had his own human feet of clay, a fact common to us all, I wish this little piece will lay it in the hearts of many folks, young and old, that the summary of the Christian life is sacrifice in the service of God and his body, the Church. Prince Iwa Oyefade was never a man who sought unnecessary recognition, but he not only featured responsibly in the service of God and humanity, he always exuded joy even with children fit to be his great grandchildren. Mr. Bimbo Alade was not a Local Government Chairman, but he did his bit to serve well both in civil and religious circles.

Service. The term service seems one too large to even define in the wake of the new civilization of "chop I chop" which is ravaging our society today more than ever before. And due to the fact that the Church, apart from being a society on its own, is also an integral part of the larger society, she seems to be getting affected by this dangerous wave of thought and action. I begin to wonder if the the Church were to pay gratuity to these two men in financial terms just for the service they rendered as members of the Social Communications Commission under various directors ranging from Fr. Joseph Faniran, to the then Fr. Emmanuel Badejo (now Bishop of Oyo), to Fr. Thomas Ajayi, Fr. Joseph Abe, Fr. Michael Ajayi, Fr. Paul Akinyode, Fr. Michael Falade and Fr. Francis Femi Adetunji to mention a few. Here is a lesson to learn. The Christian life ought to be a life of service. These two men who have passed before us all have played their own part. And they have been called back home while still in active service. Of course we pray that their human shortcomings will not stop them from continuing their service in the Father's presence in heaven. But for you and I, young and old alike, there they go as examples...on the wings of service.