And Yet, Another Trojan Departs (Papa Foluso ALADE: The Agamemnon of ACA-O)

By Andrew Aroloye
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I have been here, since day ONE of The Anglican Church of The Ascension - Opebi. It was a simple beginning under a tent made of raffia fronds which stood as the church. We met a small group of people that included Papa Foluso Alade, Papa Henry Adefope and his wife Dorothy, Papa Omodara, Uncle T.L. Oredugba and Papa “White” Engr. D. A. Awosan, all who now rest in the Lord. They where among the group that warmly welcomed my wife and I into the small congregation that came to worship that day. It was Sunday 6th September, 1983. It's been thirty years, yes, thirty years of our friendship with Papa Foluso Alade.

With the love, and the grace of the Lord and our praise to The Lord from all of us at Ascension where at His own time seldomly takes us one by one to HIS Heritage of those HE loves. It has fallen this time on Papa Foluso Alade to join those of us already in that house as recorded in John 14:2. It was the Agamemnon in him that influenced the success of the planters of our church during the difficult period of the acquisition of this mound of Opebi as a place of Christian worship. He and Papa Henry Adefope as pivots, had the support of few others then. They were the Zion behind the establishment of ACA-O, to The Glory of God, I witnessed it all!

Papa Foluso Alade was a man of great valour who transmitted ideals such as discipline, principles, high morals, and decency to many of us. He was just and pure; a man of great values worthy of emulation by those who came his way. When FOH was formed, Papa most times at our Fountain of Hope meetings tackled problems, analysed each, and side by side placed solution to such problems.

I took to him closely to tap from with his wealth of Royal experience, more so, he knew I came from the Royal Family of Idanre. Papa called me simply “A-N-D-Y! Ǫmọ Ǫba”. Each time we sat to argue on difficult issues, Papa will 'look-me-straight' on my eye balls, to enable me get his message of fact especially if I was becoming stubborn. I remember one peculiar incidence some years back at our meeting which was held in the house of Bro. Segun Ogunlana when tempers rose between us on a rather sensitive issue. Late Papa William Lana was asked to intervene in the matter. Bros 'W' just replied “Emi kẹ, to intervene between Alade & Aroloye?” Rara o, I don't want to be made a sacrificial lamb in the end”. The members just laughed it off. Such was the type of PLAIN and fine relationship between us. Papa Lana, Papa Odeleye, Papa Awosan and Papa Alade despite the age difference between us, were often the first to call at my house at Isolo on Monday morning, If I had failed to be at any Sunday service in those days. They carried this visit to visiting me at the University of Lagos during which Papa Odeleye each time then came with a Can of Nescafe. These great men of honour were full of humour and they radiated the Christian value of love around themselves. Papa Odeleye and I are the survivors of this group. I was the youngest of the group but their love for me is unsurpassed by any that I have got to know at Ascension since I came.

Papa Alade with his sonorous voice often baritoned to call my attention to any issue of interest, loved his children and family. His people, from Agbonda-Kwara State are often found around him here in Lagos. He was persistently consistent in giving advice in clear manner with no ambiguity. At the time we at FOH felt people of a particular age group should be exempted from paying dues, he and late Papa Lana still continued to pay. So, the issue of exemption did not arise.

He was exceptionally effective in his legal practice. He was equally, a very tactful person who never got withdrawn from issues brought before him for arbitration. He had a physique that was awesome and this stood him out well among great men of honour and integrity. Papa Alade took the rather long period of his illness with peace in his heart. As we sat to talk, Papa would say, A-N-D-Y, don't worry, it is well, just call often, which I never failed to do until his passage to glory. No week passed without he calling me too.

My wife Grace and I will greatly miss the comradèré of Papa Alade for all that he stood for in our live since we got to know him at Ascension Church Opebi. God bless Papa Alade in Eternity.

Prince Andrew A. Aroloye