Many must have been wondering why Pa (Dr.) Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun, the late father of Gov. Dapo Abiodun, was called Baba Teacher in his lifetime. He was born on 23rd February 1932 and on 2nd August 2021, he joined the saints triumphant at the age of 89. His funeral service was held on 9th September 2021. Everyone who contributed to the 250 paged book of Tributes in memory of Papa, mentioned Baba Teacher. let’s tell you how he got the alias.
Late Dr Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun, was born to Pa Isaac Abiodun Okanrende and Madam Alice Olubowale Abiodun, on February 23, 1932 at Itasanyin, Iperu-Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area, Ogun State. A scion of both the Amororo and Agbonmagbe Royal families of Iperu Remo, Papa Emmanuel Abiodun’s forebears were also some of the earliest Christian converts in the town. His Christian background therefore prepared and sharpened him for the greater challenges ahead and marked his exploits later in life.
Born, schooled and bred within the Missionary circuit of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Pa Abiodun was baptised at St James Anglican Church, Iperu in 1942. His formal education and teaching career began at St James’ Anglican School, Iperu where he got his First School Leaving Certificate in 1947; and worked as a pupil-teacher between 1948 and 1950. In 1952, he got his teaching appointment confirmed. Thereafter, “Baba Teacher” as he is fondly called proceeded for further training and got his Grade III Teacher’s Certificate at St Paul’s Anglican School, Odogbolu (1953-1954); and Grade 11 Teacher’s Certificate at St Barnabas’ Anglican School, Ilisan (1957-1958).
He was a Tutor at Joint Provincial Grade 11 Teacher Training College, Sagamu (IJABC02) between 1959 and 1960; teacher at Christ Apostolic Grammar School, Iperu (1961); Tutor at Joint Provincial Grade 11 Teacher Training College (IJABCOL), Sagamu, between 1966 and 1967; Education Officer at Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, Yewa North Local Government
Area (January 1968-December 1970); and Lecturer at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Ondo State (January 1971-September 1999). The quest to be the best in his chosen career, made Baba Teacher to further traverse and attend the following institutions: the Joint Provincial Grade 11 Teacher Training College (IJABCOL), between 1962 and 1963; the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Western Region Scholarship (1963-1966) where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English Language and Literature; Postgraduate Diploma from University of Ife (1976); Master of Arts in Education (MA.Ed); Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education (Guidance and Counselling), from University of Ife, in 1984.
Papa lived in, and spent a big part of his teaching career in Ondo – at the Adeyemi College of Education where he held several academic positions and discharged his duties creditably; to the admiration of his peers and the school authorities. The positions he occupied include Head of Department (HoD), English; Dean, School of Arts; Head of Department (HoD), Educational Foundations and Counselling; Dean, School of Education; Director, Institute of Academic Extension Services; and Head, Department of Educational Foundations and Management. After 35 years of meritorious service, he retired from active teaching on September 30, 1999, and returned to his home town, Iperu, on March 31, 2000. As a selfless individual who desired to contribute his quota to societal and human capital development, Pa Abiodun belonged to and served several professional, social and religious organisations in different capacities. Among such organisations are the Nigerian Association of Educational Psychologists; Akesan (Iperu) Club; Christian Unity Band, St James’ Anglican Church; High Society of Fellows, Remo Anglican Diocese; Remo Anglican Diocesan Board.
He was Secretary, Iperu Palace Building Committee (2002-2003); member, Governing Board, Remo Anglican College, Isara-Remo (2004-2008); and Synod Delegate (2002-2005). Late Pa Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun married his heartthrob, Chief (Mrs) Victoria Olaitan Abiodun, on May 10, 1960 and the solemnization was perfected at Ibadan Registry. Friends for over 65 years, their marriage of over 61 years was blessed with four children: Dapo, (the current Executive Governor of Ogun State) Sade, Seye and Seyi.
Pa (Dr.) Emmanuel Adesanya Abiodun was a doting father, a caring husband, a responsible family man and a reputable teacher who mentored and taught countless generational leaders across the length and breadth of the country and even beyond.