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“My husband was a contented man” – Engr. Akinsoji’s widow Mobolaji speaks

Mrs. Mobolaji Grace Akinsoji, the widow of late Nigerian maritime icon, Engr. Olu Akinsoji,  has described her husband as a very contented man who was first concerned about the good of humanity.

Mrs Akinsoji made the remark on Friday when a delegation of the Nigerian maritime industry visited her at their family home in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

She also disclosed that the late maritime icon passed away in his home just as he had always wished.

Her words: “My husband often said that he would not suffer his family caring for him before he would die. His wish to eat, have discussions with his family and then die peacefully on his bed was what eventually happened.”

According to her, Engr. Akinsoji had finished a meeting, went for his light physical exercise in his gym, ate his food and went in to have his bath. Shortly when he retired into his room, he complained of uneasy feelings and eventually passed away within a very short time.

Pleased with the tributes from all who had come to give their condolences with her family, Mrs Akinsoji said that her husband lived a worthy life serving people everywhere he found himself.

She said: “My husband was a family man.  All the things you have said about him, I have heard them and I know them as well. You said he was hardworking, but I will say that is an understatement, because he was a workaholic.

“Beyond the maritime industry, he is also well-known in the Church as a no-nonsense person. He gave support to everyone as much as he could, but that didn’t stop him from addressing issues as they were necessary.  With him, you must do the right thing as it is required of you.”

Mrs. Akinsoji continued that: “My husband did not struggle for things; he was a very contented man. Whatever came his way, he took and believed that was what God wanted him to have. Then, he just could not see people suffering. He also wanted people to do whatever they did, well.  He was also very protective.

She recalled how Engr. Akinsoji turned his boys ‘quarters into a hostel for the first set of female cadets when he served as the Sole Administrator of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State.

Though mourning his demise, she expressed fulfillment that her husband was kind to people and supported education of indigent children.

Speaking earlier on behalf of the delegation, Barrister Funmi Folorunsho, Secretary of the African Shipowners Association, who also started her career working with Akinsoji at the Federal Ministry of Transportation, encouraged the widow to remain strong even as she shared condolences with the family.

She recognised the important role that Engr. Akinsoji played in shaping the maritime industry in Nigeria through his contributions to creating policies and frameworks used in developing different sub-sectors. “It is our prayer that his part in us will not depart,” Madam Folorunsho said.

She also formally requested that the Akinsoji family should graciously include the maritime industry stakeholders in the funeral programme of the late Engr. Olu Akinsoji, who was highly revered in the industry.

Her words: “The position that Akinsoji holds in the industry makes it important that you should please include the industry in plans of the family for the funeral. We will need to work out how to fit industry into the programme according to the permission we get from you.

“We look forward to having a night of tributes, but it will be with the family’s consent.”

On the visit were Chief Isaac Jolapamo, who spearheaded the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) now Shipowners Association of Nigeria (NISA); President of the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES), Engr. Israel Obadan; former presidents of AMES – Engr. Charles Uwadia; Engr. Yinka Okunade; President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Captain Tajudeen Alao; former presidents of NAMM – Captain Adewale Ishola and Captain Ade Olopoenia.

Also present were Engr. Kuzi Onyibe, Reverend Emmanuel Ilori; Engr. Josiah Wasa; Engr. John Oyedeji; Engr. Daniel Oluayo; Mrs Ngozi Akhimieho; Barrister Funmi Folorunsho and Dr. Hope Orivri.

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