Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has commiserated with the family of the late business mogul and former presidential aspirant, Chief Harry Ayodele Akande, who passed on on Saturday.
He was 77.
In a statement on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, the governor described Akande’s death as an unfortunate and irreparable loss, not only to members of his family and the people of Oyo State, but to the entire nation.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said the late Akande worked his way to the top, built a solid business empire and became influential across the globe through dint of hard work, brilliance and diligence.
Fayemi said the Ibadan-born billionaire ventured into politics with the intent of using it as a tool for social and economic change, but could not achieve his dreams of ruling the country as a presidential hopeful of the then All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).
The governor said the late Akande played politics without bitterness because his decision to participate in it was to deepen democracy and create a system that would cater for the masses and not for self-aggrandisement or wealth acquisition.
“The news of Chief Akande’s death came as a shock. He was indeed a great man, and a refined politician who envisioned a system that would cater for the Nigerian masses. There’s no doubt that he had a great reputation across the globe as a successful businessman and a peace-loving politician.
“This is a great loss not only to his family and the people of Ibadan, but the country as a whole. We are, however, consoled by the fact he lived a good life, impacted many lives and left a good name and legacy.
“It is my prayer that the Lord will grant him eternal rest and give his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Ekiti State, I commiserate with the Government and people of Oyo State,” the governor said.
The late Akande, according to a statement by his son, Olumide, died after a brief illness.
The statement said the late Akande, the Agba Oye of Ibadan land, was born on March 3, 1943.
“Chief Harry Akande was an astute businessman of international repute whose legacy and influence cut across continents.
“But by far his greatest passion was for a better Nigeria that guaranteed equity and justice for all. It is our fervent hope that this will be a reality in the not too distant future.
“His passing is a huge shock to his immediate and extended family, friends and associates. We are all grappling to make some sense of it.
“As we seek the repose of his gentle soul, we ask you to in turn uphold us in your prayers while we pass through this very turbulent period of our lives occasioned by the loss of someone as dear as him,” the statement said.