CITATION

INTRODUCTION

Osan Pon Ganrin Ganrin Ganrin Oo Oo
Osan Pon Ganrin Ganrin Ganrin Ooo Ooooo
Mo Doko Me Mo Joloko Jusu Re O
Mo Deti Omi Me Mo Jolomi Ponmi Re O
Orisa Oru Ni Mee Bo O
Ko Wewe Ko Wewe Ko !
Former Rector Ni Mee Bo Oo
Ko Wewe Ko Wewe Ko !
Bunmi Owoso Ni Mee Bo O
Ko Wewe Ko Wewe Ko !
Felix Olukayode Ni Mee Bo,
Ko Wewe Ko Wewe Ko !
Bobasuwa Ni Mee Bo O
Ko Wewe Ko Wewe Ko !
Oko Jokotade Ni Mee Bo O
Ko Wewe Ko Wewe Ko !!!!

Mr Rector and Chairman of the Academic Board, I Hereby Present the Oratorical Citation and Tributes of the Academic Board in Honour of Late Chief Doctor Felix Olubunmi Sunday Olukayode Owoso (MNIM; NIFST, NIG; MIFST, UK; Fellow, NIFST; Fellow, Center for Appropriate Technology, Industry and Development); Former Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Former Academic Board Member, Former Chairman of the Academic Board, between 2001 and 2009, Former College Orator (and to whom I owe my appointment into this office) And Former Comrade of a Most Distinguished Order.

These Tributes Are Presented on Behalf of Engineer Obafemi Owoseni Omokungbe, Rector, And The Entire Community of the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, Nig. At this Valedictory Assembly of the Academic Board On this Wednesday, July 15th 2020.

UNCLE BUNMI’S BIRTH

Ladies and Gentlemen. Precisely 25,825 days ago, in the very early morning of that Sunday, and it was the 43rd Sunday of the year, and it was the 296th day of the same year, that is, October 23, 1949, a precious bouncing little baby boy was born to a small Christian family in Oshogbo, (now the capital city of the State of Osun, Nigeria). About a week later, in a quiet ceremony at the same Oshogbo residence of Late Pa and Madam Owoso, of Ijebu-Jesa origin, the child was christened Felix Sunday Oluwabunmi Oluwakayode son of Owoso. That little boy of 71 years ago, grew up, lived a full life and died, as it is apportioned unto man. Rector sir, This is the book of the generations of Adam and his sons. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him, and male and female made He them. And Adam called his wife Eve… and they had children. 5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. 8 And all the days of Seth, his son, were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. 11 And all the days of Enos, son of Seth, were nine hundred and five years: and he died. And all the days of Cainan, son of Enos, were nine hundred and ten years: and he died. And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah. Enoch lived for 365 years and was translated for he did not taste of death. And all the days of Methuselah his son were 969 years and he died. Of all these patriarchs, only Enoch died young at a sad age of 365 years; or shall we rather say, was taken away by God, for God loved Enoch so much that He did not allow him to taste of death. Even then, people cried bitterly, such a young man! So, young people die too! It was even more shocking when at the age of 51, God decided to take Elijah away in a fiery chariot one cool afternoon like that. Oh, Elijah, the man of God! Then, Jesus Christ came. He lived and then died at the age of thirty-three years and six months. Yet, the scriptures also record the death of a seven –day old baby. His father was a believer. He wept and prayed fervently that the child might live, but God said no; he must die. And he died. The child only lived for seven days.

THE LENGTH OF LIFE

So, whether we live more than 1000 years or less than 1000 minutes, death is the end of all mortal. It is the Lowest Common Multiple in life. Death is the boarding pass to the second life. It comes when God says it should. Therefore, let us not weep for Bunmi Owoso, for God is the owner of all lives. He determines who to go, when and where. XXX And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for, their deeds, follow them!”  Thou will not abandon my soul to hell, or let your holy one see corruption. The righteous man perishes … devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; (and) they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness. (The Book of Prophet Isaiah Chapter 57 Verse 2.) As I watched the countenance of the earth, In its expanse of noise and sound, In its cacophony of silence and deafness, Watching the sun struggle with the moon, And the sun was cast in unusual sobriety. And the stars, in the far horizon, dimmed their lights And twinkled into eternal silence, one-by-one, Igniting the memories of seventy-one years! Oh, the iconic symbol of erudition! The astute administrator, We salute your departure as we praise your memory. Your legacies are enduring and your words remain fresh. You were great in life, and still, greater in death, Your life was a lesson, but your death is a message. Felix Olukayode, Your exit at this time is both sweet and sour! Sweet because you lived a worthy life, Sweet because you left enviable records, Sweet because you fulfilled your days And sweet because you accomplished a dream. Sweet because we were privileged to receive your tutelage We received the words of wisdom, from your very lips. Your memories remain a beacon of hope. But again, we are sad. Sad because, We never wanted you to go; No, not just yet! We wanted you to wait a little longer Just to eat a little more of your labour. We wanted you to see the New Yabatech, Which you and other patriarchs labored for. The New Yabatech Just emerging. But again, we know for sure, Nothing shall happen before its time. No one shall leave before they are ready. Uncle Bunmi, we know that you were ready, You deserved your rest, sweet rest. Your Saviour called you and you had to go. You had the premonition – You saw your Angel beckoning, And showing the way. Then, you must have seen the Lord With open arms and a good smile, saying, “come and rest”; Sweetly calling your name as He pulled you to His side. Then, in a haze of light, you were snatched from our grip; In a blinding torch, you were taken from before our eyes. Then we saw your footprints as they receded over the hills, Your voice became faint, only muffled in silent prayers We strained our ears, but only to hear the parting song; The Victory – Alleluyah of the Ransomed Souls, Joining the throng of the Celestial Choir, Which is only understood by the seraphs on high. Tell Philip Adegbile that the banner is flying. Greet our mother, Felicia Odugbesan. That Yabatech is marching on still! Only the deep can reach out to the deep, In endless choruses of Life after Life! Adieu, good father and friend! Goodbye, good soldier of Christ! Fare thee well, our senior comrade and leader! Till the brightest of lights shall fill the void And we shall part no more! Sleep calmly, on the bosom of thy Lord! SONG: Maa sun… olufe, ko si ma simi, Gbori le aya Olugbala re, A fe o, sugbon, Jesu fe o ju, Sun ree , sun ree, sun reee!

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE

Congratulations to you all for being present at this event.
Today affords us a great opportunity to pay our last respect and honor to one of Africa’s most illustrious sons. As we bid him farewell today, we also take some moments to reflect upon our own lives as we move nearer our own home-call day by day.
When you come to a place where the departed in the Lord are celebrated like this, you may get a chance to reflect upon your own life and decide to turn a new leaf and serve humanity better at your duty post, so we won’t have to tell lies at your funeral. Death is certain. The length of one’s life does not matter as much as the amount of good deeds done while living.

Permit me to digress from the common tradition to inform you that we of Yabatech are not gathered here today to weep and mourn over our former Rector, Chief Dr Felix Sunday Kayode Olubunmi Owoso. Rather, we are here to bear our own testimony of him, of the great life lived by our father, uncle, brother, friend, leader and colleague while he was in the service of Yaba College of Technology. We have summarized his entire life as we witnessed it in these few words:

A GREAT AND SELFLESS LIFE, IN SERVICE TO NIGERIA AND HIGHER EDUCATION IN GENERAL ON THE CONTINENT OF AFRICA.

We bring our greetings to the families as we unite our hopes and joys with theirs in celebrating the Late Dr. Owoso who obviously lived a life worthy of emulation and has now transited to a surer ground where everyone goes in the end to receive his rewards and we are certain that he has gone to a great reward. 

That is why we are neither mourning, grieving nor weeping over him today. He lived a full life and he lived a life of kindness, generosity, tenacity of purpose and he made positive impacts in all his assigned duties.

AND HOW LONG, OH LORD!
‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength (full of) labour and sorrow’…. Our comrade and compatriot got his own threescore years and ten and with a little extra! As we gather here today to celebrate the victory of Uncle Bunmi as fondly called by many of his admirers and contemporaries, may we all be able to say:
LET ME DIE THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND LET MY END BE LIKE HIS!

THE GREAT VISION

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, High and lifted up, and the hem of His garment filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings. With twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And (the angels) were calling one to another saying: Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts: The whole earth is full of His glory! And unto another … He spoke: I KNOW THY WORKS! (Then) I saw a Great White Throne and Him that sat on it. From His face the earth and the heaven fled away. “And the Books were opened”, And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works…… Be silent oh, all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation…. The Lord is in His holy temple, let the whole earth keep silent before Him.

YOUR WORKS ARE RECORDED

(And now, these are the works of Felix Sunday Olukayode Olubunmi son of Late Pa and Madam Owoso, born 23rd October 1949, who later became Rector of Yabatech, who got married and had successful children, male and female.

These are the records as contained in the Historical Parchments and Inerasable Scrolls of Yabatech Recollected from the Sacred Custodian by the Order of Mandamus becoming free from all human imperfection from now and for evermore.

XX

And the Angel opened the book and read: Oh Lord God Almighty, Thou hath Eternal Majesty, Your son, Felix Olubunmi Owoso was permitted to live for a total of 70 years, 8 months and 5 days.

You released him to the world via the receptacle of his loving parents on one beautiful Sunday morning. Your Majesty also deemed it best to take him out of the world on another Sunday as well, being the day of the Lord. Oh that his family and friends might take solace in the symbolic emblem of his departure!

XX

And according to the reckoning of the time of man, he was apportioned 25,816 days. These were the days, according to the infallible record bearers in heaven, which were transmuted to 3,688 weeks on the earth.

According to the readings on the hourglass of Ahaz the king of Judah, son of Jotham, Olubunmi Owoso got 619 Thousand 584 hours of lifetime.

Using the Earthly Standard Human Chronometer, he was granted 37 Million, 175 Thousand and 40 Minutes to work with and to make impact on mankind.

Reducing the calculations to the speed of light, the former Rector was allotted 2 Billion, 230 Million, 502 Thousand and 400 Seconds of breath to trade with and to make profits.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory oh Lord, for ever and ever!

GIFTS AND TALENTS

And unto one He gave five talents, to another two, and to another, He gave one. To every one according to his several abilities…. And onto Dr Olubunmi Owoso, He also gave talents. These were the five talents given to him and as a profitable servant, he traded with them as follows: He attended primary and secondary schools and he wrote his combined West African School Certificate and the General Certificate Examinations in 1966 and passed in all his eight chosen subjects. In 1968, he wrote again and passed in flying colours the combined Higher School Certificate (HSC) and the GCE ‘A’ Levels organized by the Cambridge University. With these very brilliant academic performances, he sought for and got teaching positions in various secondary schools such as the Anglican Grammar School, Otan Ayegbaju, St Lawrence’ Grammar School, Ilesha and at Victory College, Ikare Akoko VCI, in the present Ondo State, all between 1969 and 1974, during which he also obtained university education. In 1972, at the age of 23, he had completed his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture, from the University of Ibadan, specializing in Agriculture Biochemistry and Nutrition. Two years after obtaining his first degree, he left the secondary school for a lectureship career. He was employed by the Kaduna Polytechnic as a lecturer between 1974 and 1987. He obtained a Master’s of Science in Food Technology from the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom, in 1981. After a few years at Kaduna Poly, he transferred his service to the Yaba College of Technology on 16th February 1987 having been employed a year earlier, as Principal Lecturer. In the month of September in 1987, he was appointed as the Head of Department of Food Technology. While on that post, Bunmi Owoso was appointed by the Federal Government to participate in the NBTE National Curriculum Review for Food Technology in both the National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes nationwide. Rector sir, The former Rector was not just only recognized within the college community; he was also recognized outside. In the year 1990, he was found worthy to make the final selection list of Who’s Who in Nigeria, organized by the highly reputable and leading Newswatch Magazine. He earned his promotion to the rank of Chief Lecturer on 1st of January, 1991. In March of 1992, he was again appointed by the Federal Government to participate in the European Economic Community Technical Aid Exchange Programme at the South Bank University, London, in the United Kingdom. In 1997, he stood for and won the election into the position of Director of the School of Applied Sciences. His performance in that position squeezed out more of the administrative juice in him and clearly made the way for him for higher positions of responsibility and trust. Within less than two years, he had been appointed as Acting Deputy Rector as well as Acting Rector. He also did creditably well during those assignments and for which he got several letters of appreciation and commendation from the Rector, Mrs F.A.O. Odugbesan. On 16th November 1998, he was appointed as Deputy Rector. Within three years of holding this position, he applied for the post of Rector when same became vacant. He was not only found qualified, he was found eminently qualified for the top-job position and he was appointed Rector. He occupied this position for straight eight years between 2001 and 2009.

ADDITIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS

At the turn of the millennium, Chairman sir, the Yabatech Inaugural Lecture Series was conceptualized by Olubunmi Owoso while he was Deputy Rector Academic Affairs. And to show efficient leadership by example, he accepted the challenge of delivering the first Inaugural Lecture. That legacy has remained in the college till this day.
Not only this, it was during his term as Deputy Rector that he composed our now- popular slogan and trade phrase, YABA THE GREAT…THE FIRST IS STILL THE BEST!
Late Dr Olubunmi Owoso was a man of many parts as he was also a jolly good fellow. He was once the Chairman, College Senior Staff Association (1988-1991). He was the National President, Polytechnic Senior Staff Associations from 1990 to 1992. 

He was a man to whose name we credit many achievements in the college. He spearheaded the founding of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development in Yabatech at the time when there were no such centres in Nigerian higher institutions, thus making Yabatech the enviable nationwide leader in that regard.

The college also owes to Owoso’s memory the establishment of the Centre for Applied Research and Technology Innovation (ARTI) which has raised exponentially the status and image and ranking of the college to date.

Being a man of rare wisdom, endowed with strategy and skills, it was not long after finishing his term as Rector that the Federal Government of Nigeria nominated him for the prestigious position of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa, (CAPA) with their office in Kenya. On that post, he proved himself as a seasoned administrator, well-cultured diplomat, an experienced negotiator, a team player and a fine scholar between 2012 and 2018. He proved to CAPA that indeed Nigerians are top-notch in every worthy endeavour.

STANDING WITH KINGS

See thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. In the year 2012, Our own Bunmi Owoso stood with kings! As the icing on the cake of all his achievements, he was given the highly coveted honour of the National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award which accorded him the privilege of being decorated by the President of the most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria’s Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, GCON.

This wonderful man we are celebrating today, was a sound academic. He had many publications to his credit and he belonged to many professional associations as Member and Fellow up till the moment of his departure

A MAN OF CULTURE

As enlightened, well-travelled and as civilized as Late Owoso was, he never looked down on culture or ever treated traditional authorities with disdain. At every convocation ceremony, traditional rulers were always invited to adorn and add grace and glamour to such events. This practice was also rewarded in due course.

And so it happened that on the 12th July 2003, Mr Olubunmi Owoso was appointed and endowed with a Chieftaincy title as the Bobasuwa of Odoragushin Land by the Oba-in-Council of Odoragushin in Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State. For the information of our guests, Epe is the Lagos community where the Yabatech second campus is located.

Notwithstanding his very tight schedule as Rector, Bunmi Owoso still never forgot his old ambition of becoming a Doctorate holder in his lifetime. So, despite his two Master’s degrees, he still registered for and pursued to conclusion a Doctorate Degree in Management Science at the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Precisely one year after completing the programme, he attained the mandatory age of retirement from the Nigerian Civil Service system, and he retired meritoriously in 2014.

XX
At this point, the Reckoning Angel who had been reading about Bunmi Owoso from the same Book of Memories of Men turned to face the Almighty God and said, Your Eternal Majesty, I bear witness that it is recorded on the earth that, Olubunmi Owoso, son of man, served diligently, faithfully, courageously and with love and gratitude in his heart towards the Lord Almighty without pride, without arrogance and without self-righteousness.

He was greatly praised by the college community because he led the College in exemplary ways and registered indelible achievements.

In all the years of his employment and service to the college and to Nigeria and to Africa, he had the following recorded on the pages where his name appears in our Books.

Your Majesty,

He was faithful, he was virtuous, he was hardworking
He had compassion, he had empathy, he had humility
He demonstrated boldness, fearlessness and fairness.
He was friendly, he was firm and he was kind.
And above all, in word and in deed, he was God-fearing.

XX

“And after that I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened”, “And another Angel blew his beagle!

And a great star fell!

I knew a man in Christ, born about 71 years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell. Only God knoweth.

Such a man was caught up to the heavens to dwell among the Church Triumphant, and he was given the palm leaves of the Victorious!

And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.

And they shall no more know pain, nor death, nor sorrow, nor crying, for the old things are passed away.

XX
And… as they beheld him, he was lifted up. And the clouds received him from their sight!

E wajanaku to sun bi oke,
Erin ti wo, erin o le nde !
E womi to dake roro bii pe ko lee gbe ni lo
E wodo ti n woni sii bi enipe ko lee gbeeyan.
Aah, a se bayi niku ohun ri?
A se o dara ka gbele aye se rere,
A se ere mbe ka huwa pataki ni duniyan!
Owoso ni ki n wi fun yin pe:
Eyin to ku kee mura
Awa to ku kaa mura
Uncle Bunmi ti goke odo, o ti fise le wa lowo
Awa to ku kaa mura.

Olubunmi Owoso o,
Je n fese kan ki o dele baba re.
Eyin nijesha osere,
Ijesha Osere, Omo eleni ateika,
Eyin lomo eleni ewele.
Ijesha Oshere, Arogunyo
Arogunyo ni gbogbo awon omo Obokun.
Han-an moo mowo kanmo ujesha
Han-an moo mowo kanmo Obokun

Awon lomo olobi kan owowo-tiri-wo
Awon lomo olobi kan owowo-tiri-wo
Ihe koba feni a ho seru oni
Ihe kee ba feni, a ho sinu ugbo
Eye buruku laa mu je.

E sihun o fogede ii se lale Ujesha
Eye lasan lee je o.

Ujesha meji ni mo mo
Okan didu, okan pipa.
Ujesha didu legbon o,
Ujesha pipa laburo.

Me mo a lese ihan omo Ujesa,
Me mo a lese ihan Omo Obokun.

Eeee ! In yaa gbo o,
Me mo ra ki Jesha, ki mi mo mo dele Owa o
Owa Ajaka Ogiri Gbedu
Omo Amugun lila rubo Keru ba diye
Omo Amugirigiri lila rubo
Keru a bagba itoo
Omo amomo rubo ki yeye re ya dupe ana o
Ujesha ree, arogun yo,
Arogun yo ni won o, omo Obokun….

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