By Ayotunde Makinde
Condolences have continued to pour in over the death of foremost technocrat and boardroom czar, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode who passed on earlier today in Lagos.
In an early reaction, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, and himself an elder statesman, Chief Emeka Anyaoku described Onosode’s death as a great loss. ‘An iroko in the corporate world has fallen,’ he declared.
On his part, the immediate past governor of Delta state, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan said that Pa Onosode was honest, decent and upright all through hence it was easy to run to him for advice whenever the need arose during his tenure as governor.
Uduaghan said that one of Pa Onosode’s princely qualities that was endearing to him, was his simplicity even with his influence and power, adding that in spite of his achievements and attainments in life he remained simply “Mr. Onosode or Deacon Onosode” till his death.
“Pa Onosode was a role model, a quintessential father, archetypal elder statesman, a devout Baptist, a patriotic Nigerian, scion of Delta state and a family man to the core”, the former Governor stated
There were other reactions.
‘His death has deprived Nigerians, particularly the people of Delta State of the services of one of the most consistent administrators of this age,’ wrote Delta State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon Ovwigho Igbuya.
Igbuya who also described the death of the former chairman of Dunlop Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Zain Nigeria as sad and painful, noted that the boardroom guru proved to Nigerians and the international community that there was everything to gain from being principled.
Igbuya’s statement which was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Henry Ebireri urged the younger generation of Nigerians to take a cue from the ideals that Onosode lived for.
“In Nigeria, Onosode stood out. He was a rare gem and a visionary leader with the knack for identifying talents. As the head of then NAL merchant bank of Nigeria, he brought together bright young men and women, some of whom are today in top banking position in the country and abroad. As a presidential adviser to President Shagari and a former president of the Nigerian Institute of Management, he demonstrated exceptional administrative prowess.
Amongst other illustrious plaudits, Onosode, who was an old boy of Government College Ughelli, was also chairman of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey, and the Global Missions Board of the Nigerian Baptist Convention and the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso.