Chief (Mrs.) Sifau Omolere Suraju was born to the Royal family of Late Alhaji & Mrs Mustapha Adenuga Tembele of blessed memory on the 10th of April 1926 in Ogere Remo.
Her father, Late Alhaji Tembele was a great and early Islamic Cleric in Ogere. He would be remembered for passing fatwa that all Muslim Pilgrims should work and put loads on their heads which he demonstrated by moving around the entire town with his head loaded.
That was as a result of common belief then that whoever has gone for Hajj and worn Zabaka Cap shouldn’t put loads on the same head.
She lost her mother at a tender age after the birth of his brother Late Alhaji Salman Ayeni Adenuga, an Islamic Scholar and Chief Imam of Idi-Oro Mosque, Mushin Lagos.
They were both left in the care of Late Mrs Alice Ogunniran, Methodist Church “Iya Ijo” designate of blessed memory who we all knew and referred to as caring grandmother until her demise in 1987.
The little Sifau and her little brother, Salman had to move to Lagos in care of the family.
She would always remind the Children how she hawked goods from Isale Eko to Idumota and Obalende to survive. In those days when Lagos was still CMS, Obalende, Idumota and few places while Ikeja, Oshodi and others still remained thick Forests.
She later returned back to Ogere to marry Late Alhaji Suraju Idowu Oyederu, a Chief Imam of Temidire Mosque, Itunseje Ogere of blessed memory.
She was blessed with 9 adorable Children, lost 2 at a tender age and another 2 at adulthood as follows:
- Late Mr. Ganiyu Ayodeji Suraju (OAU Graduate and rtd OGADEP Agricultural Extension Worker).
- Mrs. Musili Suraju Ademowo (a Trade Merchant and caring Mother).
- Late Master Murtala Suraju (died at a tender age).
- Mr. Nureni Obafemi Suraju (An Accountant, rtd Carnaud Metal Box Toyo Glass Staff).
- Late Alhaji. Yusuf Ijaodola Suraju (MD/CEO, YIS Oyederu Engineering and Caterpillar Operations).
- Mr. Sefiu Ajao Suraju (Experienced Mechanic).
- Mrs. Idiat Ajoke Suraju Sanni (BSc & MBA holder, UNAD and NDE Accountant).
- Master Mohammed Jimoh Suraju (died at a tender age).
- Bro. Dauda Korede Suraju (B.Eng Unilorin, Lastborn and rtd Interglobal Ltd staff).
Hajia Sifau was a successful Trader and popularly called Iya Elewa for her Beans and Rice Revolution in Ogere. She was also known for quality Water Supply in old age.
She would be fondly remembered for the following:
Humanitarian and Generosity: She was well known in the Neighbourhood for her kindness, humanitarian and generosity. What she couldn’t give, she didn’t get it as she could deny herself so many things in order to satisfy others. She would always give out money to the needy and Empowerment funds to her children and Grandchildren.
Retention and Institutional Memory: She might not be able to write a single letter down like her husband, Alhaji Suraju who was famous for Writing, Documentation, Archiving and Record-Keeping skills but she could remember and narrate everything/incidence from A-Z till her 11th hour on earth.
Calculations: She might not be able to read and write but her calculations skills were second to none.
Disciplinarian: She was a disciplinarian to the core and she had no apology for that. She could be highly vocal and firebrand in doing so. Naughty Children and dishonest people always came to factory reset in her presence.
Honesty and Accountability: She was naturally Honest and Accountable in doing all her transactions which was also the Hallmark of her husband. Alhaji served as Treasurer to Ogere Muslims Development Council, Ogere Community High School and many Contributions/Adache Groups in Ogere without blemish.
Community Leader: She was a good Community Leader by ensuring most disputes were quickly resolved and her domain remained at peace. The Leadership quality was inherited from her husband.
Bonding and Fellowship Being the “Olori-Ebi” and “Iyaale”, she was always on the lookout for the kins and kindreds with the strong belief that family ties shouldn’t break at all times.
Recognition: She was also naturally endowed with the power of recognition even from far distance, unlike her husband who might not know who was passing beside him. She knew and recognised everyone who might have crossed her way one way or the other.
Intelligence: She was highly sensitive, intelligent and could unravel any misery around her which she had demonstrated on many occasions. She could have been recommended for a top position in our Security Architecture to solve Nigeria problems if she was literate enough and had the opportunity.
Chieftaincy Title: For her selfless Services and Community Developments, she was given a Chieftaincy title of Majekobaje Adeen and her husband, Bashorun Adeen of Ogere Remo.
There are still some other qualities which could be well described by Families, Friends, Relatives, Neighbours and others that were not mentioned above.
She has been the epitome of Humanity, Honesty Generosity and Togetherness while her husband has been an epitome of Gentility, Humility, Accountability and Documentation.
All these beautiful qualities have been the source of Joy, Inspiration, Emulation, Replication and Duplication to all the Children around.
Iya Elewa and Alhaji will be sincerely, seriously and diligently missed by the Children, Families, Friends, Neighbours, Community and the entire Humanity at large.
Our sincere prayers are for Almighty Allah to grant her, Alhaji and all our departed Souls Aljanah Firdaus.
Omo ule Gbelokun, Omo Oba Agbejoye re to joye baare,
Omo ule Lidiyan.
Omo Udomogun ibago.
Omo Agun mareni,
Omo Eleku meden meden, Ara Iraye a fu Ele ja.
Omo ke ma gba, ke ma gba, Ekuru abi Hora Hora a bi agbele pon bo Ogede.
Omo memu memu ma fi nu
Omo ule Gunsenmade re ba Ajeji ne ru.
Aya won ni itun rOke, Aya won ni Iseje, Iseje a fi epo lada.
Aya won nu agbole Segenade
Aya won nule Ugbun, Ugbun ja Oloko sa, Ugbun ma ta mi, ore mi rii ki o se.
Omo Ogere Ota, Omo Lipakala, agbeni ma de yin.
Ki Olorun Oba Yarabi te Mama daadaa si afefe rere.
Sun re oooo! Iya Elewa
Written by Bro. Dauda Korede Suraju in consultation with the family.
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