Mr Gamaliel Onasode, technocrat and administrator, has died at the age of 82, the family confirmed today in a statement.
Gamade’s son Ese also confirmed the boardroom guru died at 8.15am on Tuesday at the Gold Cross Hospital, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The former presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Peoples Party (APP), who died from a protracted illness, was flown into the country from London on Monday.
Born in Sapele, Delta State on May 22, 1933, he was educated at Government College, Ughelli and the University of Ibadan where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics.
A committed Baptist, Onosode was an executive of NAL Merchant Bank of Nigeria before chairing Dunlop Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Zain Nigeria Limited (now Airtel), among several other private and public sector businesses and initiatives, including the Niger Delta Environment Survey.
In the Second Republic, he was the Presidential Adviser on Budget Affairs and Director of Budget to then President Shehu Shagari. He contested for the presidential ticket of the APP in the Fourth Republic with the catchphrase “Character & Competence”.
Onosode was also a former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos among other positions he held before his death.
A flurry of tributes trailed the death of the leading boardroom player in the nation’s corporate environment. From President Muhammadu Buhari was a heartfelt condolence to the family of Onosode, describing the late technocrat as “a colossus in Nigeria’s private sector who also excelled in public service on various occasions”.
In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari also commiserated with the government and people of Delta State, and the Nigerian Baptist Convention on the passing of their illustrious son and evangelist.
The president also said that Onosode would be long remembered as an exemplary citizen and leader who made very significant contributions to national development.
The president urged his family, friends, associates and other Nigerians to honour Onosode’s memory by upholding the virtues of integrity, honesty and dedication to service, which he passionately promoted in his long and highly successful career in the private and public sectors.
Former Vice-President of Nigeria and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Atiku Abubakar, in his reaction described the late Onosede as a man of integrity and an exemplary disciplinarian.
Atiku, in a statement released by his media office in Abuja, said Onosede was not only straight in all his business dealings, but carried himself with admirable composure, standing straight and tall and speaking loudly and clearly right up till his 80s.
“Onosede was a big man who didn’t necessarily look the part. He was in trim, good shape and his tastes were simple,” Atiku said.
The governor of Onosode’s home state, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, expressed deep shock on hearing the death of the technocrat.
Okowa’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ehiedu Aniagwu, stated that his boss described Onosode’s death “as a great loss to Deltans and Nigerians in general”. He said the late Onosode was a great technocrat, administrator, astute and disciplined politician who engraved his footprints on the sands of time, having served his fatherland meritoriously in different capacities.
While condoling the people of Urhoboland, Okowa pointed out that Onosode’s death came at a time when his service, contribution and ideas were most needed.
Also, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, expressed sadness over the death of Onosode describing him as “one of the few Nigerians who ruled the boardroom”.
“He was a quintessential businessman and a master in his field and deeply religious. It was not therefore surprising that he rose to become a leading boardroom player in Nigeria’s corporate environment,” Ambode said.
Expressing sadness over the demise of the foremost player in the business community and former president of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, described Onosode’s death as regrettable, especially coming at a time when his wealth of experience was mostly needed to guide the younger generation.
“Chief Gamaliel Onosode was a renowned technocrat and consummate administrator who also made his mark in his brief stint in politics,” the Ogun State governor said.
His predecessor, former Governor Gbenga Daniel also expressed his deep condolence, stating that he was a distinguished boardroom player whose contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s socio-political and economic development were immense.
Meanwhile, the renowned funeral home, MIC registered its presence at the deceased’s residence with three different flower arrangements.