Abiola Ajimobi

Former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has expressed sadness on the death of a foremost agronomist, businessman, philanthropist and Chairman of University Press Plc, Dr Lekan Are.

Newsmen report that Are, 86 passed on at the University College Hospital (UCH), in Ibadan, on Saturday after a brief illness.

In a condolence message issued by late Are’s spokesman, Mr Tunji Bolaji, and made available to newsmen on Sunday, in Ibadan, Ajimobi said that Are’s death came at a time his wise counsel was still required by the people of Oyo State in particular and Nigerians in general.

“We however take consolation in the fact that he lived a life of service to the people. He has also left indelible prints in the sands of time,” Ajimobi said.

The former governor said that Are would be missed by all and sundry, especially those whose lives he had touched through his philanthropic gestures.

According to him, “his legacies of good work will continue to live after him. My love for late Dr Are is not because he was my uncle.”

Ajimobi urged the family to take consolation in the fact that the late Laguna, Bobajiro of Ibadanland and General Manager, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority; lived an exemplary life.

“His contribution to the development of his Alma mater, the Government College Ibadan; where he was a former chairman of the Old Boys Association, is immeasurable.

“His investment in the health sector in Oyo State and Nigeria, are worthy legacies that his family should be proud of,” he said.

The former governor described the late agronomist as a man of character, who was very blunt during his lifetime.

“I took after him. He would never deceive you. Whenever you are right, you are right and if you are wrong, he would not hesitate to tell you. There are no two ways to things with him.

“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,” he said.

He noted that Are in his lifetime had shown deep concerns for the development of Oyo State.

“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. In this, we had always been in agreement and that contributed immensely to the cordial relationship we shared.

“We pray for the repose of his soul,” he said.

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