Ibadan-born billionaire and former presidential aspirant, Harry Akande, died on Saturday aged 77.
The Agba Oye of Ibadanland, died after a brief illness, his family said in a statement in Ibadan.
Spokesman for the family, Olumide Akande, described the death of the business mogul as a huge shock to the family, friends and associates.
The deceased, according to him, was “an astute businessman of international repute whose legacy and influence cut across continents.”
He added:”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.”
Akande was chairman of Akande International Corporation (AIC) with interests in healthcare, engineering, building construction and power.
He was a one-time presidential aspirant on the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) platform.
Makinde mourns him
In a condolence message last night, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State described the death of Chief Akande as a great loss to Oyo State and Nigeria.
The governor said the passing on of Akande at this time meant that Ibadanland and Oyo State have lost another great man.
Makinde, speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Taiwo Adisa, prayed God to grant repose to Akande’s soul and grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
According to the governor, Akande’s fame as a businessman and his decision to join Nigerian politics to make a difference were classic, adding that his conduct gave courage to the younger generation of businessmen, most of whom he said have gone ahead to emulate Akande and are making good their dreams.
Makinde said: “The news of the death of the Agba Oye of Ibadanland and internationally renowned businessman, Chief Harry Akande, came to me as a shock.
“His death meant another great loss to Ibadanland, Oyo State and Nigeria.
“Chief Harry Akande’s renown as an international businessman who tried to make inroads into Nigerian politics to make a greater impact on society remains classic.
deepening democracy through participation in politics will go into the annals of history, especially his role in building formidable opposition politics.
“This is one death too many and we can only pray to God to halt these deaths and allow our elders make more impact on humanity.”