Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

RENOWNED businessman and elder statesman, Dr. Lekan Are, died on Saturday.

He was 86 years old.

Are, who was born on December 2, 1933, died around 12.30 am at the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.

He was the founder and Chief Executive (CEO), Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan. He was also the chairman, University Press Plc., former General Manager, Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority and the longest-serving director on the board of Punch Nigeria Limited.

The late Are was a member of Ibadan Elders Forum and a strong pillar of Government College, Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA).

The president, Government College Ibadan Old Boys Association (GCIOBA), Wale Babalakin, in a statement, said: “With gratitude to God for a life well spent we announce the exit of our dear patron and trustee, Lalekan Emmanuel Are (1948, Field House), President GCIOBA 1989-2006. Lekan Are is widely known for the passion with which he championed the GCI cause and everything GCIOBA, Lalekan Are was the epitome of a great Old Boy.

“We commiserate with the Are family, particularly the Young Girl, his Old Boy sons Ayokunmi (1976 Set), Adedamola (1978 Set) and his son-in-law Denny Igun (1971 set) and the entire Are family of Oke-Are Ibadan. The entire GCIOBA, Are family and indeed Oyo State have lost a giant whose passion for the development of education in Oyo State is unequalled. Dr. Lalekan Are passed on at the age of 86 after a brief illness at UCH today 18th January 2020, may his gentle soul rest in peace. Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family.”

Meanwhile, Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has described the death of the former President of GCIOBA as a huge loss to Oyo State, the education sector and the media. Governor Makinde, in a condolence message made available in Ibadan on Saturday, said that he received the news of Dr. Are’s demise with sadness, adding that the late industrialist would be greatly missed in different sectors of the economy. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that Dr. Are left indelible marks of greatness on the sands of time.

“We are deeply saddened at the news of the demise of a respectable elder statesman and an industrialist per excellence, Dr. Lekan Are. His demise at this critical period in the life of our nation, when economic indices appear not to be adding up, is a huge loss, given his laudable contributions to the growth of several sectors. As a state, we will particularly miss Dr. Are’s inimitable contributions to the development of one of our iconic secondary schools, Government College Ibadan. We are equally proud of his contributions that have made The Punch newspapers a leading light in the Media sector.

“On behalf of the Government and the good people of Oyo State, I commiserate with the Are family, the GCIOBA family, The Punch and other associates and pray that the good Lord grants them the fortitude to bear the loss,” the statement read.

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