Activities dovetailing into the burial of Chairman, University Press Plc, Dr Lalekan Are began on Monday with business associates, friends and family members lauding Are’s brilliance, resilience, hard work, excellence, astuteness and discipline.
Leading the session of tributes at the event held in Ibadan, a former governor of Oyo State, Dr Omololu Olunloyo particularly praised Are’s sense of discipline, distinction in academics, sports and bravery.
He averred that Are’s bravery, unusual faith, optimism in fighting various battles, was epitomised in his living on one kidney for 46 years out of his 86 years on earth.
Noting that their paths crossed in 1947, Olunloyo, in his tribute titled, “Lalekan’s 86 Dramatic Years”, disclosed that Are remained the moving spirit behind his work as Commissioner for Education on the International School in the University of Ibadan, where there was American-type racism.
Describing Are as his psychological backbone, Olunloyo avowed that Are’s footprints in agriculture, publishing, banking, insurance, finance, newspaper publication, hotel business was bound to stand the test of time.
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In particular, Olunloyo maintained that Are had written his name in capital gold in his commitment to reinventing the original Government College, Ibadan (GCI), by investing in rebuilding the school infrastructure, supplying water, electricity and motivating old students to be more committed to reinventing GCI.
In his own tribute, Oyo state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, described Are’s advice as always useful during politicking and achieving success in life.
Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Rauf Olaniyan, particularly noted that hard work, honesty were key attributes for anyone to sustain business and relationship with Are.
Speaking, Dr Jide Fatokun of the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority, described the late Are as a go-getter.
Furthermore, Fatokun described Are as “always first among equals” and an astute person with the ability to identify talents and utilize them to achieve a cause.
He added that Are upheld federal character in his appointments whenever he headed organisations and committees.
Chief of Staff to the Oyo State governor, Mr Bisi Ilaka lauded Are’s passion for all his ventures ranging from Agriculture to development of GCI among others.
Rendering his own tribute, an engineer, Mr Lere Adigun, said Are stood out for his honesty, punctuality, neatness, hard work and commitment to the upliftment of Ibadan land.
On her part, daughter of the late Are, Olufunke Igun, described her father as a devoted husband and father.
Other dignitaries present included wife of the deceased, Mrs Olabisi Are; wife of former governor Rashidi Ladoja, Mutiat; former President General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Bayo Oyero; Maye Olubadan of Ibadan land, Chief Bayo Akande and his wife, Onikepo; members of the Aboderin family and members of the Oyo State executive council.