Described as one of the closest allies of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Prof. Folagbade Aboaba, at the March 2022 Special Holyghost Service during his annual song ministration in celebration of Adeboye’s 80th birthday ceremony, had a premonition about his death.
Aboaba was said to have openly warned that he might not be present at the next March Special Holy Ghost Service to sing for his revered church leader but Adeboye would not have it. In a swift counter-response, the RCCG GO was said to have told the highly-respected professor he would still be alive to sing the following year; 2023.
Unfortunately, as Aboaba predicted, he would definitely not be available to sing at the March 2023 Special Holy Ghost Service dedicated to the celebration of Adeboye’s birthday.
Aboaba, an Assistant General Overseer in RCCG, died on Saturday, January 21, 2023, after a brief illness.
Although he was 90, Aboaba’s death came as a rude shock to many.
Corroborating his premonition, the National Director of Sport, RCCG, Pastor Paul Bankole, told The Punch, “His death was a great loss and we are going to miss him, especially during the March Special Holyghost Service where he always ministered in song to celebrate God in the life of the G.O. But before he sang last year, he mentioned something about what happened today and the G.O told him he would still be around to sing next year (2023).’’
Born on March 8, 1933, Bankole, described Aboaba as a humble and jovial man of God who always had nerves calming jokes, he added that he was influential to the many strides of the RCCG and Christianity.
“He was a pillar in the church of God and RCCG. I used to call him uncle because we were almost from the same area in Abeokuta and he was instrumental in the starting of the Sports Ministry in RCCG which he later handed over to me. He was a successful midfield footballer and he took interest in me. While he was at the University of Ibadan, he was instrumental to the success of the Ministry God gave G.O at U.I. For me personally, his death came as a rude shock.’’
Also speaking, Dean of Students Affairs, U.I, Prof. Adekeye Abiona, said his death was a rude shock to the university community.
“We were not expecting his death. We had lost some lecturers too but he was also a great loss. The students will feel the loss because he had contributed to the lives of younger ones. May his gentle soul rest in peace,” he said.
Special Adviser on Industrialisation to the President of the African Development Bank, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, said, “I knew him as a close friend of Daddy G.O; we always go to visit Baba every January 1st and he was always with Daddy G.O, Mr Felix Ohiwerei and Baba Olakunrin. His wife died like two years ago. We thank God for his life, he has done all he could.’’
In a letter titled, ‘Transition to Glory,’ and signed by a Special Assistant to the General Overseer (Admin), Pastor Oladele Balogun, read, “Aboaba served God passionately in various capacities and made a significant contribution to the work of God in the RCCG.
“He spearheaded the activities that led to the birth of the Redeemer’s University and served as the pioneer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Institution.
“The late Prof. Aboaba was instrumental in many laudable projects and programmes in the mission. He was a member of the annual Holy Ghost Congress Planning Committee as well as the Chairman of the Technical Advisory Board and Lands Committee of the Mission. To the glory of God, he lived a great life in the service of his maker.”
The national chairman of the Nigeria Institute of Agricultural Engineers, Prof. Folarin Alonge, in a tribute to his memory on the website of the institute, described the late scholar as one of the founding fathers of the institute who was always passionate about the growth of Agricultural Engineering and mechanisation in the country.
He wrote: “One of our Fathers in the profession, Prof. Fola Aboaba, has gone home. He was a Professor of Professors of Professors.
“Prof Folagbade Olajide Aboaba was an Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Ibadan and the Pioneering Dean of the Faculty of Technology (1976-1982). I was privileged to be taught by him in both undergraduate and Masters classes. He was a mentor to several people and professors.
“He was the Executive Secretary of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (1992-1998). He was the founding Pro-Chancellor of Redeemers University (2005-2013). He was the Chairman of Governing Council of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos (1976-1979).
“He was one of the founding members of the NIAE. He played a significant role with other fathers in the establishment of the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation, Ilorin. He made substantial contributions to the growth of NSAE (NIAE). The last major public lecture he delivered for NIAE was when we were invited to the Presidential Villa, Abuja in 2004 by the then Vice President. Late Prof John Ohu was the NIAE National Chairman then. He was always interested in hearing about the progress NIAE is making.
“He was a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) as well as the Institution of Agricultural Engineers UK.
“May his soul find eternal rest in God.”