The National President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers, Wole Adedoyin, has said he received with sadness the news of the passing away of the very distinguished Yoruba writer and retired teacher, Chief Oladejo Okediji.
This was contained in a statement by the SYNW National Secretary, Izunna Okafor.
The statement said: “SYNW extends heartfelt condolences to Chief Oladejo Okediji’s family, friends and associates as they mourn the Yoruba literary icon who has left behind a legacy of notable works such as Aja lo leru (1969), Agbalagba Akan (1971), Oga Ni Bukola (1972), Rere Run (1973), Imura Idanwo Yoruba (1978), Atoto Arere (1981), Sango (1987), Opa Agbeleka (1989), Binu ti ri (1989), Aajo Aje (1997), Running After Riches (1999), Karin Kapo (2007), Aaro Olomoge (2014) and Ohun Enu Agba (2018).
“SYNW believes that the late Chief Oladejo Okediji, who also had a successful career as an accomplished author and professional teacher, will be long remembered for his meekness, attentiveness, commitment to excellence and the profound understanding of human affairs exhibited in his writings.”
The SYNW urged members of Chief Okediji’s family, his fellow authors and all who mourn him to take solace in the knowledge that the much admired writer’s beliefs, views and insights will live forever through the body of works he has left behind for present and future generations.
SYNW prayed that Almighty God will receive Okediji’s soul and grant him peaceful eternal rest.
In a similar vein, the SYNW berated Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oy State for not immortalizing late Prof. Akinwumi Isola, Chief Adebayo Faleti, Baba Supo Kosemani and Okediji, whose books are household names throughout the South West states.
According to SYNW: “Governor Ajimobi doesn’t value authors. He hates reading and writing that is why he didn’t initiate any reading empowerment programme throughout his eight years in office.”
Okediji was born on October 26, 1929 to Chief Moses Okediji and Mariam Okediji
He attended Methodist School, Apaara in Oyo State in January 1935.
He was a Pupil-Teacher in 1944 at Methodist School, Fiditi, after which in January 1945 he gained admission to the Famous Wesley College, Ibadan.
He was there till 1948 and graduated as a Grade 2 Teacher.
After becoming a certified Teacher, he taught at the Wesley School, Ogeere, Ijebu Remo, Ogun State in 1949.
Between 1950 and 1952, he was at Methodist School Itapa Ekiti.
In 1953, he acquired a lot of teaching skills.
He was transferred as a Headmaster to Methodist School, Owo.
He was so good at his job that he was head-hunted by the Anglican who requested him to cross over to them.
He resigned to join the Anglican in 1954.
When the Western Region established a Grade 3 Teachers Training College, Oyediji was asked to join the teaching staff.
In 1955 he taught at Iseyin Oyo Division Elementary College for a year and later also became a Headmaster at Ansar ud-deen Primary School, Oke Popo, Lagos between 1956 and1958.
He was soon attracted to the art of politicking and joined politics in Iseyin.
At the time Chief Adegoke Adelabu, Chief H. O. Davis, Chief T. O. S. Benson and others held sway in NCNC , Davis invited Okediji to come to Lagos.
He was honoured with the chieftaincy title of Otun Baale Apaara in Oyo.