The Mission to Seafarers (MtS) Lagos has disclosed its decision to have the late Captain Oyeniyi Adeyemo as the first on a ‘Roll of Honour of Mission to Seafarers’ to celebrate his memories of selfless support to mariners and dedicated service to the maritime industry in Nigeria.
The late Captain Adeyemo, popularly called the “Chief Priest” due to his character of finding solutions to even very difficult issues, died on August 9th, 2021, at the age of 84 years.
Chairman MtS Lagos, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, made the plan known on Wednesday during a ‘Day of Tributes’ held in honour of the late Captain Adeyemo, at the Mission to Seafarers Centre in Apapa Lagos.
“There will be a major legacy to be given to Captain Adeyemo; his name will be printed in letters of gold in this premises.
“Mission to Seafarers will ensure that we give Captain Adeyemo the honour he deserves, by putting him on the Roll of Honour of Mission to Seafarers. That Roll of Honour will be the very first that we are going to prepare for seafarers that have served,” Sarumi said.
Extolling the late Captain Adeyemo, Chief Sarumi described him as master mariner who stayed committed to encouraging young people to great heights; a value he noted must have also been given to make his children worthy people in society.
“The Captain was indeed an encourager of the young ones. If your father was able to encourage other people’s children to become great, definitely he would have done a lot more for you his children to produce you. May God give you the grace to excel in all the good things we have said about him,” Sarumi said.
Giving his tribute, Dr. George Moghalu, the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) expressed appreciation for Captain Adeyemo’s encouraging advice, his contributions and knack for arriving early for meetings.
“After the meeting, he called me aside and encouraged me. And one thing was unique about him, which you should be proud off; he comes earlier than even those who fix the meeting, and he made very solid contributions. We benefitted from his experience as the longest serving member of the NIWA Board.”
The NIWA MD also congratulated the organisers of the event, highlighting that their effort at initiating the event meant that a standard had been set whereby people’s effort in contributing to growth of industry must be recognised at one time or the other.
President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, Captain Tajudeen Alao, said that the association used the day to celebrate Captain Adeyemo, who was also a master mariner and former president.
According to Alao, the late Adeyemo impacted everyone who came his way in the maritime industry positively.
“We called him the Chief Priest because no matter the situation, however complex, he would get a solution out of it. He was a mentor, torchlight and we all relied on him.
“He was the founding father of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, and he devoted his time to professionalism in building up the young people; he would encourage you, stand by you with his money, with his time and do everything for you.
“He would even go out of his way to make you comfortable. He was like an encyclopedia of knowledge. He did very well for us, going to extents as the National Assembly to fight for the mariners’ position within the public service. We shall miss him,” Captain Alao said.
Coming from Chief Isaac Jolapamo, a founding father of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), late Captain Adeyemo was the backbone of every effort and success recorded by the indigenous shipowners, as he supported them to have a voice and understand how to present issues affecting them always.
More tributes came from the President of the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES), Engr. Yinka Okunade; Vice –President of AMES, Engr. Rev. Emmanuel Ilori; a former President of AMES, Engr. Charles Uwadia; Ms Funmi Folorunso, a Secretary to the MtS Lagos; Captain Olugbenga Abidoye, Captain Olugbode, and Captain Jerome.
All the tributes testified of the late Captain Adeyemo’s altruism, sincerity of purpose and commitment to duty.
In a closing remark, the Chairman of MtS Lagos, Chief Sarumi appealed to industry stakeholders to support the initiative to re-modelled the MtS Centre, entirely for the purpose of giving some form of welfare support for visiting seafarers, just as is done around the world.
“We cater for the welfare of the people who have been journeying for months at sea. They can come in here and unwind, eat local dish, interact with the people, they can swim, use the internet facilities and importantly cater for their soul by what the Chaplain and the assistant can give to cater for their spiritual lives,” Chief Sarumi said.