St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Ayegbaju, Ile-Ife was filled to the brim last weekend when Chief John Agboola Odeyemi (MFR), former Chairman, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, was installed as Otun Baba Ijo of the church. He was installed along with other prominent Ife personalities into various church positions including Chief Adetola Ogunleye who was installed as Baba Ijo’; Chief Benjamin Olagbaju Omirefa as Asiwaju Ijo; Prince Williams Adebayo Adesanmi, as Balogun Ijo; Chief Afolabi Abiodun Ajomale, Otun Balogun Ijo; Princess Awujoola, Iya Ijo among others. The new chiefs were to oversee the affairs of the church and its development.
In his sermon shortly after the investiture, the Bishop of the Church, Reverend Olubunmi Akinlade, said that the appointment of the new chiefs is not against the doctrine of Christianity saying that the appointments were a call to serve the Creator. He harped on the importance of good name, urging people to maintain good name, stressing that it is important to eschew anything capable of tarnishing their names.
Responding on behalf of the new chiefs, Odeyemi appreciated the church authority for giving them the opportunity to serve their God, assuring that they would use their wealth of experience and connections for the development of the church and God’s work. He said that their appointment is a call to service, adding that serving God is the best thing that man should always strive for in life.
Odeyemi, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and Chairman/Chief Executive JKN Limited and JAO Investment Company Limited, has remained a devout Christian and regular contributor to the promotion of evangelism. He has constructed and donated property to the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist and a vicarage and children amenity hall to the Diocese of Ife.
Dignitaries who attended the installation of Odeyemi, the Obasewa of Ile-Ife, included former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Alani Akinrinade, former Minister of Water Resources, Chief Bashir Awoterebo, Professor Eyitope Ogunmodede, Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Yemi Akinyemiju also from the university, traditional rulers, and business tycoon.