A Thrilling Love Story Brutally Ended in Owo by Terrorists
Among the dozens of worshipers killed when terrorists attacked St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo state on June 5 were two lovebirds with an intriguing story who never left each other. view, not even when their first 10 years of marriage did not produce a child, writes Tola Owoyele, who was in Owo.
In the years to come, when believers perform their autopsies of the terrorist raid on St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, none of them will judge that this is the best way to die: by the bullets of cold-blooded assassins in broad daylight. But where to die? Let’s bet that almost everyone would approve of it. Where else but the church, right after saying your prayers, right after receiving Holy Communion, right in the presence of our Lord?
With whom to die? That would divide opinions. Some victims, in fact, died alone. But two could not have been better: they died in the arms of the one who loved them most, the one with whom they spent most of their lives.
This is the story of Adesina and Olabimpe Ajanaku, two lovebirds who never missed church service on Sundays, two retired educators who gave their dedication and service to the church.
In addition to being an active member of the church, Adesina, 67, was a knight and president of the Catholic Men’s Organization, Owo Chapter. On the other hand, Olabimpe, 64, was a caring wife and mother, ensuring that her family received all the support they needed, whenever needed.
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Segun, Olaide and Femi, their children, told FIJ the couple were inseparable lovers who always attended services in each other’s company.
THE FIRST ‘BAD’ ENCOUNTER IN IKARE
According to Segun, the eldest son of the deceased, the couple first met at an O-level preparatory center in Ikare, Ondo state in the late 1970s.
“The way they first met was pretty hilarious,” he said.
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“Since he looked relatively young like the other students in the class, our mother thought our father was a colleague. So the day he first walked into the classroom and was looking around, she thought he was looking for a place to sit, so she offered him one.
“He decided to play the game; he went to sit next to her. However, when he was later introduced to the whole class as a teacher, the scene turned quite funny and awkward.
After the first meeting, Segun said the two became very good friends.
LOVE THAT HAS STANDED THE TEST OF TIME
The friendship would later blossom into a romantic relationship, and over time, Adesina and Olabimpe would become inseparable.
“They have become quite inseparable,” said Olaide, their daughter. “Wherever one has gone, you will also see the other. They have become an element.
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“They also started attending events together and even wore the same outfits to social gatherings. They shared a particular kind of bond. They were really in love. The bond they shared was what I believe saw them through the trials of their first decade of marriage.
“There were many suggestions from different quarters that they should go their separate ways, but in the end they were able to overcome their challenges by simply deciding to stay together as a unit.”
10 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, NO CHILDREN
After marrying in 1979, the couple faced an unforeseen challenge: their union failed to produce a child.
“Their love was really tested during this time. There was pressure from all angles, especially from friends and family,” Segun said.
“At one point, people in our father’s family suggested he should try dating someone else since our mother had failed to conceive. Due to continued interference from extended family members, despair set in; they both decided to visit quite a few hospitals for tests.
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“However, after multiple tests, it was confirmed that they were both medically fine and could still conceive and have children.”
In the end, and as the doctors had predicted, the Ajanaku will end up welcoming their first child, 10 years after their marriage.
“Due to the many pressures and interference they faced from extended family, they chose to give me the name Segun, which means ‘Victory’,” Segun said.
After the birth of Segun, the couple had two more children – Laide and Femi.
THE KIND OF LOVE OF ADESINA AND OLABIMPE
Femi, the couple’s youngest son, described his parents as kind and considerate people who constantly preached kindness and love.
“They were a very selfless couple. Now I don’t mean that in a bad way,” Femi said.
“They like to put others first in most things they do, especially when it comes to being charitable. That means they weren’t just good parents to us; they were also very kind to others.
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“They don’t need to know you to be nice to you. Our parents don’t need to know you to offer you shelter. That was how they were.
“After school fees were paid and all other school needs were taken care of, our mother always called us to come home to get food and clothes. The same love they showed us also extended to the people around them. It was unparalleled.
DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES, UNIQUE COUPLE
Despite the stark difference in personality, Adesina and Olabimpe made a perfect couple.
“Our father was charismatic and outgoing. He not only belonged to many associations, he also held many important positions. He was a knight and president of the Catholic Men Organization (CMO), Owo Branch,” Olaide said.
“He was also the President of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OUA) Alumni Association in Owo. However, all this would not have been possible without the support of our mother.
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“On the other hand, our mother was the reserved type. She was constantly working behind the scenes to make sure everything was going well for everyone, including her husband and children.
“Despite their differences in character, they always found a balance as a couple. They were a unit. They were a unique couple. They really couldn’t live without each other. They sit together during events, even inside the church.
ADVOCATES OF LOVE, KINDNESS AND PLEASURE
“Our parents were a perfect example of the ideal couple,” Femi said.
“I sometimes marveled at seeing them go about their business as husband and wife. The kind of love they shared was genuine and mutual. They would also constantly pass on this love to their children, family members and friends.
Olaide added that their father was a strong believer in contentment.
“Our father, in particular, always preached contentment. He always told me that I should never love something so much that I couldn’t let go. That statement has stuck with me over time,” she said.
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Segun will miss all of the couple.
“I will miss them as a couple, in terms of the exceptional love story they shared and I will also miss them as parents. They had a great life,” he said.
“They were very religious and doctrinal. We can only continue to enhance the good legacy they both left behind by being equally kind to everyone around us.
This story was published with development support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)