‘COVID-19 has depleted ranks of the nation’s leadership’ – Obasanjo mourns Kanu, Akin-Olugbade

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the coronavirus pandemic has depleted ranks of leadership in the country.

He made this known while reacting to the death of Ndubuisi Kanu, former military administrator of Lagos and Imo states, and Bolu Akin-Olugbade, billionaire businessman.

Both persons died from COVID-19 complications recently.

In a statement signed by Kehinde Akinyemi, special assistant on media to Obasanjo, on Thursday, the former president said both men will be missed by many.

Obasanjo condoled with Gladys, Ndubuisi-Kanu’s wife, saying her husband was a dedicated officer, a gentleman and a real patriot.

He said having followed and watched with keen interest, “Admiral Kanu’s inspiring career traversed soldiering, public administration, pro-democracy activism and business”.

“It is noteworthy that in the course of his military service which straddled more than two decades, he acquitted himself as a dedicated officer, a gentleman and a real patriot,” he wrote, in a condolence letter.

“From the thick of the Nigerian Civil War where he commanded various regiments and corps, to the post-war re-organisation of the military, he distinguished himself as a seasoned military officer to which I could bear witness.

“Admiral Kanu was acknowledged as a disciplined, detribalised, transparent and humane public officer with an enviable track record. He left behind an impeccable record of leadership, a legacy of forthrightness, thoroughness and unwavering commitment to public good.”

In a separate letter to the family of Akin-Olugbade, Obasanjo described the late businessman as a passionate Nigerian, who was always in defence of its unity as he was devoted to his roots.

He said Akin-Olugbade would be greatly missed by his community, local government area, state and the nation in general, submitting, “all Owu people have lost a great son.”

The former president said “given Bolu’s pedigree, it is not surprising that the life of his brilliance as a lawyer began to show itself right from his days at the University of London, University of California (Los Angeles) and Cambridge University where he had his legal education”.

“Ever resourceful and conducting himself with dignity and forthrightness, the late lawyer and business mogul acquired a well-deserved reputation for his deep knowledge in legal matters and business acumen. It is thus not surprising that he had the way of ingenious participation in several areas of the economy,” the letter read.

“In spite of his privileged background, Bolu did not lose the common touch. He was as passionate in his defence of Nigerian unity as he was devoted to his roots. No wonder, he actively promoted the history and culture of his local community who also immensely benefited from his wise counsel and generosity.

“As Aare Ona Kakanfo and a prominent son of Owu Kingdom, our much-respected brother contributed to better understanding and harmony among our people.

“He was a committed and an effective representative of his people and worked for their progress. His unfaltering support for the general interest of Owu Kingdom and its Chiefs-in-Council cannot be over-emphasised. He was loyal, devoted, dedicated and faithful generally to Owu cause and interest.

“As the Chair of Owu Empowerment Committee, he gave in cash and kind. Bolu will be greatly missed by his community, Local Government Area, State and the nation in general. All Owu people have lost a great son.”

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