By: Tope OYEKAN –
“O ye ka dupe, o ye ka dupe, ara san, ategun fe, iji ja, ko gbe wa lo, o ye ka dupe”
“A ope loye, a ope loye, a wa laye, a wa laye, a ope loye”
“Adupe a fiyin f’Oluwa, adupe a fiyin f’Oluwa, won o tori wa raja lowo baba oniposi, adupe a fiyin f’Oluwa”
Above songs are dedicated as special numbers to the birthday boy, Venerable Shadrach Olaniyi AJILEYE, who clocks 60 tomorrow, Tuesday, 19th September, 2023, as Iperu Remo, a town in Ikenne Local Government area of Ogun State, plays host to the creme-de-la-creme in the society amongst the clergy and the laity, within and outside Remoland, as they will all converge to rejoice with the celebrant who is the Vicar, St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu Remo, and Archdeacon, Iperu Archdeaconry.
To celebrate God’s Amazing Grace and Love in the life of the renown priest and selfless worker in the Lord’s vineyard, a Holy Communion Thanksgiving Service has been slated to hold at the St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu Remo on the day.
The service which shall be presided over by the Bishop of Remo Anglican Diocese, and Archbishop, Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Dr. Michael Olusina FAPE, will start by 11am.
Reception of guests will subsequently hold at the church premises.
The Governor of Ogun State, His Excellency, Prince Dapo ABIODUN, CON, is the Special Guest of Honour, while the Alaperu of Iperu, His Royal Highness, Alayeluwa Oba Adeleke IDOWU-BASIBO (Odoru V) is the Royal Father of the Day.
Fathers of the Day are Olotu Omoba Michael OYEDELE, and the Asiwaju of Remoland, Asiwaju Solomon ONAFOWOKAN, while the Iyaloja General of Remoland, Chief (Mrs.) Mercy OWOLANA will serve as Mother of the Day.
Also expected at the event is Otunba (Dr.) Adetola BANJO who is the Chairman of the occasion.
A very-proactive, forward-looking, progress-driven, and result-oriented priest; AJILEYE, a native of Oke Igbo, Ondo State, and Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, was born on the 19th of September, 1963 into the family of Late Pa Samson Oladipupo AJILEYE, and Madam Onikepe AJILEYE, both of blessed memory.
He attended the St. Peter’s Primary School, Iremo, Ile Ife, for his primary education, between 1970 and 1975, and the Oduduwa College, also in Ile Ife, for his secondary education, from 1976 to 1981.
Thereafter, he moved to Lagos, where he worked as a Clerk at the Lagos State Secretariat School. While in Lagos, he enrolled at the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, and obtained his Higher School Certificate (HSC) in 1984.
Ven. AJILEYE proceeded to the Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan, and studied between the years 1987 and 1990, and obtained the Diploma in Theology (Dip. Th.); and Diploma in Religious Studies (Dip. RS) from the theological institution.
He also obtained the Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, and Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), and the University of Ibadan in the years 1996 and 2001, respectively.
In the year 1990, he was made a Deacon at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Sagamu, by the late Rt. Rev. Elijah Oluremi OGUNDANA, and was later ordained as a priest in 1991. He started his priesthood career at the St. Barnabas Church, Ilisan Remo in 1991, and afterwards, was appointed the Bishop’s Chaplain, and served in same capacity from 1991 to 1993.
He had a brief stint at Lagos, serving at the Emmanuel Anglican Church, Ketu, Lagos, in 1996. He returned to Remo Diocese in 1997, and was promoted a Canon in 1999, and preferred as an Archdeacon in year 2001, both promotions he got while serving as the Vicar of the Christ Anglican Church, Ogere Remo.
With a post-ordination experience of over 30 years, Ven. AJILEYE has served in many churches across Remoland before he was transfered to Iperu Archdeaconry in September 2013.
Upon his transfer, the bold, blunt and brave clergyman, had never wavered nor slumbered since then, taking the church to further greater heights, with his selfless attributes and uncommon diligence. He is someone that is so passionate about his calling. I recall a statement he usually made thus; “it is rewarding to place the church’s needs and interest above his personal interest, and that if the church is his private business, he must definitely strive to manage it to success”. This most importantly i agreed, informed his various ingenious moves towards repositioning the church for greatness in line with the vision of its founding fathers.
It is instructive to state that under his leadership, the entire Iperu Archdeaconry, and St. James’ Anglican Church in particular, have grown in leaps and bounds. The Iperu East Archdeaconry with seat at the Oba Omosanya Akinyemi Memorial Anglican Church, was created out of the existing archdeaconry, while the St. Silas Anglican Church, Ode Road, Iperu, and the Anglican Church, Alafia Quarters, along Sagamu Road, Iperu; were also birthed out of the mother church, St. James’, under the church planting vision of the Remo Diocese.
St. James’ Anglican Church, the first church in the entire Remo and Ijebu lands, under the able leadership of the spiritually-gifted and divinely-talented AJILEYE, has recorded a monumental growth, both in the spiritual and physical realms. Soul-lifting programmes and life-changing activities are embarked upon by the church on a regular basis, and this has continued to attract more converts particularly through the tuesday’s “WAKATI ISEGUN” prayer session, and the monthly ANOINTING SERVICE; while a great transformation also took place on the church buildings, including the vicarages, making them a better ambience for worship and living.
Among these facelifts are the Rehabilitation of the Boardroom, Complete Reroofing of the Church, Rehabilitation of the Children Hall, Rehabilitation of the Car Park, Landscaping and Concrete flooring of the Church’s Driveway and Walkways, Repainting of the Interior and Exterior of the Church Auditorium and Vicarages, Upgrade of Church Windows to Aluminium, Provision of Sound-proof Generators, VIP Toilets, Split Air Conditioners and Fans, Plasma Television sets, Red Carpets, New Choir Stalls, Choir Lamps, Choir Robes, Marble Seats for the Baba Ijo and Iya Ijo, Chandeliers, Keyboards and Musical Instruments, Evangelism Buses, Creation of a Mini Chapel, among other numerous upgrades and facelifts, that may not be listed here for the purpose of brevity.
In the same vein, Entrepreneurship Support for Women; Charity Programme for the Aged and the Less-privileged; Scholarship/Bursaries for Students in Primary and Post-primary Schools; and Free Healthcare Programmes; are some of the church’s interventions that were delivered to its parishioners, and some other beneficiaries within its catchment area.
A man with a deep understanding of the God’s scriptures, he will churn out biblical verses and prayer points, sometimes, extempore, leading the congregants in personal interface with their creator. He usually says that whatever that is said with one’s mouth to the Lord is what the Lord will hearken unto.
Under his watch in the year 2016, Iperu Archdeaconry, with St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu, as the venue, hosted a well-organized and successfully delivered Synod of the diocese, tagged “IPERU 2016”. That edition shall remain in the annals of such gatherings, as one of the best organised.
St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu, was able to reclaim its rightful place among the comity of churches in the diocese, as it regularly fulfills all its obligations to the diocese, among other partner and collaborating organisations.
All these success stories became actualised through God’s Amazing Grace, Divine Mercy, and Unquantified Love for His church as well as the immense support, unalloyed commitment and total dedication from the Parish Church Council (PCC); Parishioners, both at home and in the diaspora; including families, societies, committees, friends, associates, and development partners of the church.
Aside from the above, the birthday boy also served in the following capacities:
- Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria
- Chairman, Bible Society of Nigeria
- Member, Diocesan Board, Remo Anglican Diocese
- Member, Board of Evangelism
- Member, Governing Council, Ezekiel College of Theology, Ekpoma, representing the Diocese of Remo
- Delegate to the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Worthy of mention in this piece is the spiritual support and leadership guidance from the Lord Bishop of Remo Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Michael Olusina FAPE, and his amiable wife, Mama Remo, Mrs. Toyin FAPE. Most of the achievements recorded would not have been possible without their leadership acumen and administrative wisdom, and most importantly, the confidence reposed in Ven. AJILEYE’s stewardship at Iperu. I recall a statement made by His Grace at one of the Diocesan Board Meetings, when an upward review of the assessments being paid by churches was being proposed across the diocese, and he stood vehemently in support of an exemption for St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu, stating that he knew how he met the church, and that he knew how far God had lifted the church up from its previous status.
Behind every successful man, there is always a good woman. In this regard, i acknowledge the ever-supportive role played Mrs. Stella Dayo AJILEYE, his trusted companion of many years. The children Korede and Ayomide, are equally not left out in this commendation.
As he attains the diamond age, i felicitate Ven. Shadrach Olaniyi AJILEYE, for a very happy birthday, and i pray that the good Lord provides for him, the divine enablement to further serve in his vineyard; strengthen and enlarge his ministry, and give him the unction to function as he journeys ahead.
Hearty congratulations, while wishing a humble Clergyman and a courteous God’s servant, many happy returns, now and always.
“Olorun to da awon oke igbaani, eyin ni afi ope awa fun;
Tani a tun gbega o, bi ko se Baba loke;
Tani a tun fi gbogbo ope awa fun;
Olorun oke igbaani, eyin ni a fi ope awa fun”
Former Member of the Diocesan Board, Remo Anglican Diocese; former People’s Warden; former Secretary, Harvest Committee; Secretary, Synod (Iperu) 2016 LOC; and Secretary, Christian Unity Band of Nigeria; all of St. James’ Anglican Church, Iperu Remo