University of Uyo immediate past Pro-Chancellor, Gamaliel Onosode dies at 82; President, Governors mourn

The immediate-past Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, University of Uyo, Gamaliel Onosode dies in Lagos, at the age of 82.

A statement released by the deceased family stated that he died in the early hours of Tuesday at Gold Cross Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos, much later after He was said to have been flown back from London to Nigeria on Monday.

A consistent and active player in the corporate world, Onosode mastered the nation’s business terrain, chairing the boards of several multinationals with diverse interests, as he was a former chairman, Dunlop Nigeria Plc; Cadbury Nigeria Plc; and Zain Nigeria, among others.

Onosode was also the founding president of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers as well as the Association of Pension Funds of Nigeria.

A Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, Onosode was also a devout Christian, wearing his faith on his sleeves. He reportedly started the Good News Baptist Church in his sitting room in 1984.

Commiserating with the Nigerian Baptist Convention as well as the government and people of Delta State yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari, described Onosode as an “illustrious son and an evangelist.”

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said the deceased excelled in public service on various occasions.

The statement read in part, “President Buhari believes that Mr. Onosode will be long remembered as an exemplary citizen and leader who made very significant contributions to national development.

“The President urges his family, friends, associates and other Nigerians to honour Onosode’s memory by upholding the virtues of integrity, honesty and dedication to service, which he passionately promoted in his long and highly successful career in the private and public sectors.”

Also, the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday mourned Onosode, who was a former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metuh, the party said Onosode was a “corporate administrator who made immense contributions towards the economic and political development of our dear nation.”

Similarly, a former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, said Onosode was a symbol of integrity and patriotism.

“He was a man of God who righteously acquired resources to support the church in his hometown of Ughelli and in Lagos where he lived an exemplary modest life.

“Gamaliel was my best man at our wedding almost 53 years ago. My entire family, which enjoys close relationship with his family, joins his wife, Susan, and their children in mourning this virtuous man,’’ Anyaoku said.

A former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, said that the country had lost a gem and an “epitome of moderation and simplicity.”

The President, Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, said that Onosode played a role in the stability of the capital market and the economy in general.

Madubuike said Onosode contributed to the country’s economic development as the chairman of various quoted companies and the Nigerian Stock Exchange Investor Protection Fund.

The Managing Director, APT Securities and Funds Ltd., Garba Kurfi, also said that Onosode’s death was a great loss to the entire capital market community.

Like Madubuike, Kurfi said that Onosode was also instrumental to the transformation of the capital market through efficient policies.

“We cannot forget him; Onosode was one of the greatest contributor to the market; the first doyen to be lost and we will surely miss him,” Kurfi said.

Also, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Ibadan, Prof. Olusegun Ajiboye, described the deceased as an exemplary human and an advocate of excellence.

“The late Onasode performed creditably for the good and development of his Alma Mater. Through him, a lot of projects were funded in the university. He was an exemplary human being who pursued ideas. He made sure that the University of Ibadan got back from its fortune and regained its lost glory,” he said.

Also, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has described Onosode’s death as regrettable, especially coming at a time “when his wealth of experience was mostly needed to guide the younger generation.”

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, the governor said, “Chief Gamaliel Onosode was a renowned technocrat and a consummate administrator who also made his mark in his brief stint in politics.”

Amosun recalled that as the head of the Presidential Commission on Public Parastatals in the Second Republic, the Commission’s report, tagged the Onosode Report, was invaluable in the task of reclaiming public enterprises for public good.

The governor commiserated with the corporate community in the country as well as the government and people of Delta State, where the former chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc hailed from.

He urged the family to take comfort in the fact that the deceased led an exemplary life and prayed to God to grant his soul eternal rest in peace.

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