The founder of popular Kakanfo Inn and the longest-serving director of PUNCH Newspaper, and chairman of University Press, Dr. Lekan Are, died on the 18th of January 2020.
He died at the age of 86.
His death came as a shock to many, as the industrialist was well-beloved by many and admired by the Yoruba society.
In reacting to the news of his death, many Nigerians, both leaders and ordinary citizens who have heard the account of the icon have a lot to say about him.
Sit back as we bring you all we know about the agronomist and astute businessman below.
Biography of Dr Lekan Are:
Dr Lekan Are was born on March 31, 1933, in Ibadan, Oyo State. He married Mrs Olabisi Ara, nee Ogunsola and they both had 3 children, two boys, and a girl. His children are Funke Are (First Child, female), Ayo Are (Second Child, male) and Damola Are, (his last-child, male.)
His wife is 84 years old. He married her from the Ogunsola family.
Dr Lekan Are was born during a time when people do not know their exact time of birth. Some accounts have placed the time of his birth at December 2nd, 1933, while others placed it on March 31, 1939, but from his age of 86 years, he must have been born in 1933. Also, close members of his family told us that he only celebrated his birthday in the month of March.
He did his secondary education at the Government College Ibadan (GCI) and attended the University of Ibadan. He also attended several universities and courses abroad.
He participated in every election, by casting his votes. He walked to his polling unit and back to his house during every election cycle. He did this with his wife, Olabisi Are.
He lived at Oni and Sons, Ring Road, Ibadan from 1980 till the time of his death.
Profile of Dr Lekan Are
Dr Lekan Are was a foremost Agronomist in Nigeria. He catered to many businesses while he was alive, and his doggedness saw him head many prestigious institutions among which are:
The University Press
Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority (Ibadan)
Old Boys of the Government College, Ibadan
Cause of death
Dr Lekan Are died of a brief illness at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
Several dignitaries and leaders from across the country have paid tribute to Dr Lekan Are since his passing. Some of them are:
Engr Seyi Makinde: The Executive Governor of Oyo State.
Governor Seyi Makinde paid a visit to the family of Dr Lekan Are after his death and promised that Oyo State will make his burial a celebration of life
“Anyone who is of his age already collected a visa to the other side,” Governor Makinde told the wife of late Lekan Are, Olabisi.
He further said: “Dr. Are contributed immensely to the economy of Oyo State through education, hospitality, and Journalism. We will make his burial a celebration of life.”
President Muhammadu Buhari
The President, in a State House statement signed by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, condoled with the family of Dr Leka Are. President Buhari in his tribute to Dr Lekan Are urged his bereft family to “find solace in the good deeds and the good life lived by the departed”.
The president said Are’s contributions in the hospitality industry will be missed.
“President Buhari condoles with friends and associates of Chief Are, whose outstanding contributions to the hospitality industry in Oyo State and the nation will be sorely missed,” part of the statement read.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Are will be missed by PUNCH Newspapers, who was the longest-serving board member of the media outlet.
Sanwo-Olu extolled his diligence and hard work as a businessman.
Former Governor of Oyo State, Chief, Senator Abiola Ajimobi:
In his tribute to Dr Lekan Are, the former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has extolled the wisdom of the late businessman, expressing regret at his death. He said he departed at a time Oyo State needed his wisdom.
“We however take consolation in the fact that he lived a life of service to the people. He has also left indelible prints in the sands of time,” Ajimobi said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said the wife is 83 years old. A relative of the wife just confirmed that she will clock 85 this March.