The town of Ilutitun in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State was on Friday thrown into mourning following the death of Rt. Rev. Joshua Ogunele, the Bishop of the Diocese on the Coast, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Ogunele, aged 69, was said to have died following an undisclosed illness on Thursday in Akure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that pastors, politicians and residents of Ilutitun and environs trooped to the Bishop’s Court in the town, to condole with the family of the deceased.
Rev. Elisah Akinsulere, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Okitipupa LGA Branch, described the bishop’s death as a rude shock to the Christian body in the area.
He said the late clergyman was a disciplined man of God and a pillar to the Christian body, for supporting them morally, spiritually and financially, in promoting the gospel.
“We will dearly miss him for his steadfastness, generosity and great contributions to the development of Christianity in this area.
“The vacuum his death has left will be difficult to fill,’’ he said.
Pastor Peter Akinyelure, Chairman, Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Okitipupa Chapter, described the late bishop as a great man of God, who was always ready for the service of God and humanity.
“He was a man of God with integrity, always ready to serve God and mankind, we will dearly miss him,’’ he said.
Mr Bode Ikulala, Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Okitipupa LGA, described the deceased as one who had succeeded in bringing the Christian fold together without sentiments.
“His death is a big loss to all Ikaleland because he worked tirelessly to pursue the development of the Anglican Communion in the area.
Mr Tunde Ikumawoyi, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Okitipupa LGA, said the man of God was in the forefront of fence-mending as regards religious, ethnic and political differences in the area.
Chief Amos Akinsehin, a community leader, described the late clergyman as one who had contributed immensely to the development of the community.
Mrs Adenike Akinsoleyin, a resident of the community, said that the deceased would be greatly missed for his unbiased preaching, and prayed for the repose of his soul.
The late bishop was born in 1950 in Ilutitun, and was consecrated the lord Bishop of the Diocese in 2002.
He is survived by his wife, Felicia, and children.