Adieu, Moses Adeleke Adesiyan
THE death of Chief Moses Adeleke Adesiyan on December 14, 2014 was shocking but glorious. He was aged 85.
After his early education, Chief Adesiyan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (English) – London degree from the University College, Ibadan (UCI), in 1960. No wonder, his command of English Language was perfect and his diction was melodious. He was, indeed, a role model to many University of Ibadan (UI) students.
Thereafter, he joined the civil service of the then Western Region, and on the creation of the old Oyo State, he rose to the prestigious position of Head of Service (HoS). Adesiyan had a wonderful working relationship with the then Military Governor of Oyo State, Lt. Col. Oladayo Popoola. He retired in 1984.
After his retirement and until his death, he was engaged with state and federal assignments. Adesiyan was a true patriot who believed in the sustained growth of Nigeria. In everywhere he worked, he served with the temerity of record reserved only for the genius.
Shortly after graduation, the late Adesiyan became fully involved in the activities of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA). He distinguished himself as the second National President of the Association. He took over from the founding National President of UIAA, the late Chief Bola Ige and served in that capacity from 1979 to 1980. His tenure was remarkable with many innovations that moved the Association to greater heights. This outstanding performance earned him the prestigious Most Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Association, which qualified him to use the designatory letters (MDA) after his name.
Until his death, the UIAA’s icon was the Chairman, College of Past Presidents of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA). For Adesiyan, involvement in the activities of the Association at the national and branch levels was a “ritual pursuit” in the words of Nobel Laurette, Emeritus Prof. Wole Soyinka. Indeed, his last contact with the Alumni Association, nay the University was his attendance with his amiable spouse, at the UIAA’s 2014 Annual Alumni Lecture entitled “Nigeria, a Trajectory of Dashed Expectation: Looking into the Future with Hope”, delivered by a distinguished alumnus, first Executive Governor of Edo State and incumbent National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), His Excellency, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Trenchard Hall.
Adesiyan was a devout Christian who played an active role in the affairs of the church, especially the Anglican Communion. A deeply cultured man, he was Balogun Asipa Bobaduro of Ibadanland.
In his condolence message, the Vice -Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, FAS, described Adesiyan’s death as a great loss to UIAA as he (Adesiyan) was one of the committed alumni who genuinely contributed to the advancement of the university after graduation. The VC, on behalf of the governing council, senate, congregation, staff and students of the university commiserated with the Adesiyan family on the glorious exit of the great alumnus and prayed that almighty God will grant him eternal rest.
The National President of the UIAA, Dr. Kemi Emina said: “ We commiserate with the Adesiyan family at this period. Indeed, he is a great loss to the UIAA, Oyo State and Nigeria. He was exceptionally committed to the values and ethos of the Association till death. We are ready to give the family the necessary support during the funeral rites.”
Adesiyan was a dedicated family man who was exemplarily devoted to his wife and children. He, no doubt, was one of the UI’s greatest immortals. With pride and a deep sense of appreciation, we bid farewell to a prodigious administrator who made sterling contributions to public service in the development of our country. He lived an impactful and fulfilled life of service to God and humanity. May the generation of UI alumni take a cue from his excellent contributions to the advancement of UI through the UIAA for many years. Posterity will never forget him for inspiring and energising present and future generations of alumni by epitomising outstanding, excellent management, efficiency, transparency, prudence and selfless service in different capacities where he served.
Adesiyan left us far more to remember him than can be measured. We will miss his wise counsel and invincible conviction in the solidarity that binds the UI alumni together. He was a rare gem in this generation. His life was quintessential in many respects.
And Henry Longfellow in his famous The Poetical Works of Longfellow (1893) consoled us with some pleasant words and emblematised our ebullient, vivacious and worthy alumnus, Chief Moses Adeleke Adesiyan, JP, MDA as follows: Were a star quenched on high, For ages would its light, Still traveling downward from the sky, Shine on our mortal sight, So when a great man dies, For years beyond our ken, The light he leaves behind him lies upon the path of men.
The curtain has fallen but Adesiyan’s light of wonderful performance continues to shine. As he gains azure heights and arrives at the heaven’s gate, may he partake only in the sublime as a greatest UITE!
Adieu, great grandfather, grandfather, father, friend, and mentor. Rest in peace.
•Oladejo is the Director of Public Communication, University of Ibadan