Pa Edwards celebrates 80th Birthday in grand style
It was a galore of excitement and endless merry making in Lagos when Pa (Prof.) Ayodeji Edwards joined the society of octogenarian on Saturday 12thof Sept. 2009. The gracious event was honoured by the celebrant's children, grand children, family members, in-laws, friends in the academic milieu and other works of life.
Right from childhood baba's profile reveals that he gives deep appreciation to God in everything he does even till date. This usual phenomenon of his, apparently informed his wish to bless the memorable day at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral Oba Akinjobi road GRA, Ikeja, Lagos. The special church service was officiated by Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, Venerable Canon Godwin Okpako Amaku and others.
The reception followed subsequently at the open field of Nigeria Police College. Those that were present at the reception venue seemingly acknowledged that the ceremony was indeed fruitful, well attended and purposeful. Baba made a remarkable display on the dance floor leaving the impression that he is still youthful even as an octogenarian.
Professor Edwards at 80 still looks radiant, hale and hearty; people are often baffled where he got all the energy and strength he uses to sustain his lecturing job in the department of Cell Biology and Genetics (Faculty of Science) at the Distant Learning Institute (DLI), University of Lagos.
One of his children Mr. Dimeji Edwards (helmsman of Oando Supply and Trading one of the entities of Oando Nigeria Plc, Africa leading Oil and Gas establishment) and his wife Bolaji in a brief chat with modernghanasaid baba is a rare phenomenon and he has impacted positively in every facet of their lives and lives of other children (Kwei Edwards and Jibola Edwards). They equally described baba as a man of integrity and purpose, who often thrive for success. According to them baba sees education as a springboard to all what man could achieve in life. In honour of Mr Dimeji Edwards, members of staff of Oando Supply and Trading, were in attendance they include; Mrs Folashade Onyia, Mrs Yemi Koleosho, Mrs Jumoke Akinlaja-Ajibulu and family. Others are Bolaji Osunsanya (MD of Gaslink subsidiary of Oando Nigeria Plc), Mrs Nike Diyaolu, Mrs Nike Labinjo, Mrs Omone Akhedeme, Fred Idahosa and family, Abraham Ezumezu, David Jonah etc.
While fielding questions with modernghana on the fact that baba's 80th birthday could possibly affords him most joyous moment in his life, he abruptly cautioned: ''I have ever lived a joyous life, is not now that I'm just joyous; this is a surprise, God has surprised me, and I say thank you to Him in return.'' Reacting to some of the questions further, he set the atmosphere on a lighter mood, when his comments over ASSU strike was demanded, he said: ''I am not a member of ASSU. Thank you''. On his advice for his children he said in a hilarious manner: ''I continually interact with my children and they should do that to their children too and I believe they will do the job.''
Professor Ayodeji Edwards have been involved in a number of activities and has featured prominently as President of the Science Association of Nigeria between 1975 to1977, President of the Ecological Society of Nigeria for 10 years, Regional Secretary of the International Society of Tropical Ecology and Secretary General, All African Science Association to mention a few. He is currently lecturing in the department of Cell Biology and Genetics (DLI).No doubt baba's life is worthy of emulation.
Emmanuel Ajibulu is a Communication Consultant and representative of modernghana.com in Nigeria.