By Mathew Dennis
Eminent Kwarans have continued to express grief following the demise of a foremost industrialist in the state and the Asiwaju of Offa, Chief Emmanuel Olatunji Adesoye(OON, CON).
Adesoye who was on 25th April, 1938 died yesterday morning at the age of 79.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late Adesoye as a worthy son of Kwara State, who used his wealth, knowledge and enterprise for the growth and development of the state and Nigeria in many spheres.
“Chief Adesoye was one leader whose lifestyle of simplicity, compassion and hard work will remain unmatched. Adesoye College which he established is a living testimony of his passion to free humanity from the clutches of ignorance.”
Saraki added that through his confectionery industry, the popular Okin Biscuits, he fed the hungry and ensured that thousands of Nigerians were gainfully employed either as direct workers in the company, wholesalers or retailers of his product. His visionary leadership and giant strides in lifting humanity is worthy of emulation, adding that the late Adesoye was a leader in the nation’s private sector.
The Senate President commiserated with the immediate family of the deceased, the Oloffa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II, and the government and people of Kwara State over the sad loss.
In the same vein, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, AbdulWahab Oba, said the state has lost an industrialist, philanthropist and administrator pleni-potentiary in chief Adesoye.
According to the governor, as a former Chairman, Expert Committee on Machine Tools, Oshogbo (1985), Member, Federal Government Export Promotion Board (1980), Vice-chairman, Kwara State Government Think Tank on Industrialization (1997), Chairman and Managing Director of a number of companies, “late E. O. Adesoye had contributed immensely to the industrial development of the state, indeed, Nigeria”.
The Governor said as the first Northern Nigerian Student to qualify as a Quantity Surveyor and the second Nigerian to attain that height, Chief Adesoye would be greatly missed for his boldness, intelligence and charisma that have endeared him, not only to the people of Offa, but to everyone that crossed his way.
He prayed for the peaceful repose of Adesoye’s soul and those of others before him.
Also, the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly Dr. Ali Ahmad, in a Statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdul Rahman Sanni, noted that Chief Adesoye had contributed significantly towards the socio- economic transformation of not only, Offa, Kwara state, in particular, but the northern Nigeria as a whole, through his entrepreneurial skills, would be greatly missed.
The Speaker, while describing Chief Adesoye as a “great patriot, industrialist and humanitarian per excellence, said the Asiwaju of Offa’ s giant stride, in education, industrialising Offa, Kwara State and the northern Nigeria, would remain indelible in the anal of history of Nigeria.”
Similarly, the Offa Descendants Union (ODU) home and abroad has described the passing of Chief Adesoye as a colossal loss to the community.
Speaking with this medium yesterday, the Secretary General, ODU, Mrs. Wasilat Adenike McCarthy said, “Chief Adesoye’s demise is a great loss to Offa community considering his contributions.
“He was the President of ODU for 18 years, brought industrial activities and employed several Offa indigenes. His philanthropic deposition will be missed by our people.”
McCarthy added that Adesoye has impacted knowledge on the people just as his college is still graduating students in different disciplines.
“We’ll continue to emulate and appreciate him because he was always there for us at the time of needs,” she submitted.
Speaking on the development last night, the President of Kwara Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (KWACCIMA), Chief Ahmed Raji Adeoye, said, “The great industrialist is a real gem that will be sorely missed by the state and country at large.
“He has contributed to the industrial growth of the state and we want people to emulate his contributions most especially in the education sector.”
Also, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has sympathised with the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufuatu Gbadamosi Esuwoye 1, over the death of the Asiwaju of Offa, Chief Emmanuel Adesoye.
In a statement by the party’s spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, he described the late industrialist as epitome of knowledge that had used his intellect to add values to the economic and industrial growth of the country.
The late Adesoye was a community leader, a principal industrialist and the founder of Adesoye College, the first Nigerian Secondary School to attain international prominence.
He also founded Okin Biscuits, Okin Malt, Okin Foam, Okin Express, Noble Brewery, Olabade Company, Okin Holdings, among others.
He attended African Bethel School Ebute-Metta Lagos 1948-1951, St Marks School, 1952, Offa Grammar School 1953-1957 and Yaba Technical College, 1958. Adesoye was also at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology Enugu 1959, South East College of Arts, Science, and Technology UK 1961 -1963 and a fellow, Institute of Quantity Surveyors, London, 1965.