As Makinde, Ajimobi resolve to settle face-off
By Adeola Badru
Leading personalities across all walks of life on Friday, have continued to extol the virtues of the late Agronomist and director of Punch Newspaper, Dr Lekan Are, who died recently after a brief illness.
Among those who paid their last respect the late businessman, were Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the immediate-past governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi; Governor Seyi Makinde, Chief Rashidi Ladoja and a host of other dignitaries.
While speaking at the funeral service for the late business mogul, held at the Cathedral Church of St. David, Kudeti, Ibadan, Prof. Osinbajo noted that the period was not to mourn Dr Are, but to celebrate him.
He added that there have some people who in their lifetimes hardly raised a ripple on the surface of social issues and those whose names have been forgotten.
“Conversely, there are some people who will forever live in the heart of men. As in the words of William Shakespeare: ” When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of Princes.” This is a truism for Dr Lekan Are. The movers and shakers of Nigeria quake at the death of this colossus.”
“It is not for us to mourn Dr Lekan Are, but to celebrate him. Today, he may not be physically present, he not be seen or heard, but we are daily comforted by the evidence of his impactful life.”
“He has indelibly imprinted his feet on the historic sands of time. He imbibed hard work as a virtue. He was a truth-teller who does not care whose ox is gored even at the point of hurting one with the truth and reality.”
“Indeed, the Punch newspaper, where he was a longest-serving director, is an instrument to project societal issues and values which he stood for. He is an embodiment of nobility,” Prof. Osinbajo posited.
In his remark, Governor Makinde described late Dr Are as a multifaceted personality and practical idealist during his lifetime.
The governor pointed the deceased had a benchmark for generations yet to come, adding that he saw and conquered in the field of humanities, education, journalism and hospitality.
His words: “Papa, you came, you saw and you conquered in the field of humanities, education, journalism and hospitality.”
“You had a benchmark for generations yet to come. You will be missed,” Makinde added.
The governor, however, used the opportunity to tell the gathering that the lingering face-off between him and his immediate past predecessor, Abiola Ajimobi had been solved in the interest of peace for the development of Oyo State.
“We have been urged not to fight each other. There is no fight and acrimony again.”
“Where there are such, there will be no progress. This has brought us to where we are today.”
Earlier, former Governor Ajimobi told the gathering that the incumbent governor is his brother, but they would settle their differences.
“The governor is my younger brother. We are quarrelling now, but we will settle our differences.
“I also greet my elder brother, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja. I want to tell you that it was the deceased that always cautioned to stop disrespecting you.”