Home News PHOTOS: Olunloyo, Ajimobi, Akinkugbe, Akande, Others Mourn Lekan Are

PHOTOS: Olunloyo, Ajimobi, Akinkugbe, Akande, Others Mourn Lekan Are

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The death of foremost agronomist, businessman and PUNCH director, Dr Lekan Are, on Saturday, generated a stream of eulogies and condolences from family, friends, associates and distinguished Nigerians. Those who visited the Ares to commiserate with them spoke highly of the exemplary life led by the businessman.

Are, aged 86, died at about 12:30am at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, after a brief illness. The deceased, the longest-serving director on the board of PUNCH Nigeria Limited, was the Chairman of Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan;  a former Chairman of University Press Plc; director, WEMA Bank; a pioneer General Manager of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority; and a proud son of Ibadan, Oyo State.

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Born on December 2, 1933, Are had his secondary education at Government College Ibadan and studied at the University of Ibadan for a degree in agriculture. He later travelled to the United States for further studies and earned a master’s degree and a PhD in agronomy. In his lifetime, Are was a former president of the Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association and a Trustee of the association.

Some dignitaries who heard the news of Are’s demise on Saturday visited his residence to commiserate with his family.

Former Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, who arrived at the deceased’s residence around 7:40pm, described Are as a close and dear uncle who loved him with a passion.

Ajimobi said, “I just arrived yesterday from my short leave. I was told about it (his demise) two hours ago and I had to rush here.

“I loved him so much because of the relationship I had with him first as an uncle and as somebody that loved my father. He transferred that love to me. He guided me tremendously in all my activities even before I became governor.

“As a corporate man, even as managing director of National Oil, he was always advising me. He was a brilliant man; he was one of the most brilliant Ibadan men. It is not because he was my uncle that I loved him; it was because of his character. He had integrity.

“Dr Lalekan Are was a man of character and he was very blunt.  I took after him; you know, he would never deceive you. Whenever you are right you are right and if you are wrong you are wrong. There were no two way things with him.”

Describing Are as one of the pillars of Ibadan, Ajimobi said he was sure that he would be sorely missed. He recalled as the pioneer manager at the Ogun-Osun River Basin, he made a tremendous impact, adding that he was successful at everything he did.

He added, “If you are looking for forthrightness, he epitomised it. He didn’t know how to play politics and we need more people like that here for development.’’

Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Prof O.Akinkugbe, who described the late Are as a man of success and high value, added that he was passionate about the progress of humanity.

To ex-Oyo State governor, Omololu Olunloyo, Are was a thoroughbred and highly disciplined man. He extolled his fearlessness and good character.

Olunloyo said he wished Are had lived longer but thanked God for giving him long life. He said the late agronomist was a successful man.

The Chairman, Splash 105.5 FM, Ibadan, Chief Adebayo Akande, said, “His death was a big shock to me. He stated, “I got to know of it through my sister in London.  I was thinking that he was abroad for treatment. He was a thorough and hardworking person. It is a big loss to Ibadan, Oyo State and the entire country in general. We take solace in the fact that he lived well.”

Also, High Chief Eddie Oyewole; Chief Florence Ajimobi; Wakil Akano, Chief Ibilola Oyegade; Chief Karimu Latunji;  Prof Folashade Akinkugbe and Bola Aremu, visited the deceased home to commiserate with his family.

Wife of the deceased, Mrs Olabisi Are, thanked the sympathisers and prayed that God would grant them healthy life.

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