President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan opened the floodgate of tributes for Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola-Alao, the Nigerian businessman who died in London today.
Jonathan said he received with great shock and sadness, news of the death of the renowned businessman and religious leader and sent messages of condolence to the Arisekola-Alao family as well as the people of Ibadan and Oyo State.
President Jonathan urges his family, relatives, friends, associates and dependants to be comforted by the fact that Alhaji Arisekola-Alao lived a very fulfilled life, and in passing on, left behind a legacy of significant and commendable achievements.
National leader of APC Bola Tinubu in an initial reaction to the news of the death of the Muslim leader and philanthropist said Arisekola’s demise was truly sorrowful and shocking.
” That such a great man like this who still had so much to offer his people and country could die so suddenly is painful and a huge loss”.
Tinubu said Arisekola-Alao’s death has left a great vacuum both in the religious and socio-political spheres of the country and he will be missed.
” I console first with his family, the Muslim Umah and the government and people of Oyo State. His unexpected departure has left us all in some sort of a quandary because he was one of a kind, rare and specially gifted. He touched the lives of the ordinary and great people and lived a life of service. He will be difficult to replace. Tinubu said.
” He will remain some sort of a legend because in his lifetime he took on great challenges and left a legacy of service. His greatness is in the service he rendered his immediate community and his staying power was his wisdom and open mindedness to work with others to find solutions to problems. He was a great man who lived a great life. May his soul rest in peace”.
In his own reaction, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said the demise of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao was a loss to Nigeria.
Atiku said in a statement by his media office in Abuja that he was shocked and saddened by the death of Arisekola-Alao.
The former Vice President noted that the colourful and astute businessman was passionate about Nigeria.
“Arisekola was a devout Muslim and community leader. He was generous and loved his people; the quality of his humanity and compassion was unprecedented. The country will surely miss him,” Atiku said.
“I visited him recently after the death of his wife and he hosted me to lunch in his palatial Ibadan home. He related well with all Nigerians,” the Turakin Adamawa recalled.
He expressed his condolences to the family and people and government of Oyo state over the loss.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola also expressed shock and sadness at the passage of Arisekola.
In a message of condolence to the family of the deceased, the Governor said the passage of the frontline politician and religious leader would leave a vacuum that would be very hard to fill in Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general.
According to the Governor, Aare Arisekola would be sorely missed by all for his widely acknowledged philanthropy, statesmanship and entrepreneurial leadership.
Arisekola died in London yesterday. He was aged 69.