He died in Ekiti state in the early hours of today at the age of 82.
A profile of Rev. Adetiloye on the website of the Anglican Communion reads: “Abiodun Adetiloye is an enigma of some sort; a multi-dimensional personality a man of fame and great worth. Born in the town of Odo-Owa in the Ijero area of Ekitiland, Nigeria on Christmas Day, 25th December 1929, his father died when he was only three years old and the hope of seeing him through life was badly shaken and threatened.
“But in what looked like a providential twist of fate he towered well above his peers and contemporaries and became a reference point for God Â¬guided success and fulfilment. He had been acknowledged as being a rare beneficiary of God’s unique blessings, picking his life’s roses sometimes as if without effort yet with greater success stories to tell always. After the basic primary and secondary education in Ekiti, Joseph Adetiloye was admitted to Melville Hall; and on completion of the programme, he was made a Deacon and a priest the same year.
A graduate of King’s College, University of London in the U.K. Adetiloye began his career, teaching in schools and colleges but nursing an inner keenness for pastoral work. He was at one time Vice Principal of the Immanuel College of Theology in Ibadan and it was from there, he got appointed as Provost of the St. James’ the Great Cathedral, Oke-Bola Ibadan; under the Episcopal leadership of the Rt. Rev. S. O. Odutola.
He was consecrated Bishop and enthroned on the See of Ekiti in 1970 in succession to the late Bishop H. A. Osanyin. After a very busy but eventful tenure in Ekiti he was translated to the See of Lagos in 1985 as Bishop of Lagos; and he was elected and later presented as the Primate of all Nigeria and Archbishop, Metropolitan Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion. Reviewing the achievements of a man described as “a beacon of hope for Nigeria, “a master of God’s word”, “an Evangelist simpliciter”, “Apostle of Evangelism” and “silent reformer”.
Reacting to Adetiloye’s death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Lere Olayinka, the PDP Chieftain said Primate Adetiloye will be sorely missed as a great man of God, who decided to become an Anglican priest at a very young age of six and followed his dream till the end.
“Though Baba was 82, his death still came to me as a rude shock. This is because Baba was one of the beacons of hope for Christianity in Nigeria and a great apostle of God’s word.”
“No doubt, Baba’s passion for evangelism and missions brought tremendous growth to the Anglican communion particularly in northern Nigeria.
“He was a shining light in the Anglican Communion, a religious icon, whose devotion to evangelism and religious tolerance in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised. He will be sorely missed,” Oni said.