Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, have expressed shock at the death of Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Gbadebowale Wayne Aboderin.
Aboderin died on Wednesday, May 30, at 6.05am; after a heart surgery at the First Cardiology Consultants, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He was 60.
The Aboderin family of Kudeti, Ibadan, said the deceased was also Chairman, Punch Commercial Printing Limited and Lukahed Properties Limited, in a statement released in Lagos, yesterday.
“He attended the Government College, Ibadan and trained as a pilot in the United States.
“A sports enthusiast and philanthropist, Gbadebowale was the founder and chairman of the Dolphins Female Basketball Foundation. He was a former chairman of the Lagos State Basketball Association and one-time vice president of the Nigerian Basketball Supporters Club,” the family added.
He was survived by his wife, Titilayo and children.
In the president’s tribute from Abuja, contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari commiserated with the Aboderin family, members of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the media and the sports industry on his death.
“He was respected entrepreneur and philanthropist,” the president said and expressed the belief that “Aboderin, who was greatly admired by his peers in the media and sports industry, will be greatly missed.,” BUhari said.
The president prayed that “God will comfort all who mourn him and grant his soul eternal rest.”
On his part, Saraki, also expressed grief over Aboderin’s demise.
Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, also described the late Aboderin as “a philanthropist, sports lover and a businessman who left indelible footprints on the sands of time.”
The senate president noted that the deceased “lived an exemplary life worthy of emulation and contributed immensely to national development through the media, youth and sports development, among others.”
He commiserated with the immediate family; his wife and two daughters, the Punch Group of Newspapers, the media industry, sports enthusiasts and his loved ones, over the colossal loss.
“My heart goes out to his wife, Titilayo, his two daughters, the Punch Newspaper Group, the media industry in Nigeria and the government and people of Oyo and Lagos states on the sad incident.”
Meanwhile, frontline People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential hopeful, Atiku Abubakar, equally expressed shock and anguish over Aboderin’s sudden demise.
Atiku, in a condolence message signed by his media office, yesterday, said he felt the pains of the immediate Aboderin family in particular, the media, especially the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) and the teeming lovers of Punch newspapers, worldwide.
“In today’s world, 60 years is too young an age for anyone to pass on with their lofty dreams.
“Wale Aboderin’s untimely departure is certainly heartbreaking; painful to the family, a monumental loss to the Fourth Estate of the Realm and the nation at large,” the Waziri of Adamawa said.
The former vice president noted that “Wale had been in the vanguard of sustaining the vision of his late father and founder of the Punch group of newspapers and that he had also made his own mark as a philanthropist and founder of Dolphins Female Basketball Foundation.
Atiku prayed that the soul of the deceased “find rest in eternity, and also, that God grants the family the fortitude to bear the loss.”