President Muhammadu Buhari , Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the spokesperson of Buhari’s 2019 presidential campaign, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), have expressed their heart felt condolences to the family of the Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, Mr Gbadebowale Aboderin, who passed away at the age of 60.
Buhari also commiserated with all members of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the media and sports industry in the country on the death of the respected entrepreneur and philanthropist.
According to the President, the late Aboderin, who was greatly admired by his peers in the media and sports industry, will be long remembered for his resourcefulness, managerial proficiency and invaluable contributions to the growth of these sectors.
The President prays that God Almighty will comfort all who mourn him and grant his soul eternal rest.
Also condoning with the Aboderins, Saraki in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja, described the late PUNCH chairman as a philanthropist, sports lover and a businessman who left indelible footprints on the sands of time.
He 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.
Saraki said, “It is indeed painful that he left us at a time his rich experience is needed to move the country forward. 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.”
He prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased eternal rest and his loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss.
In his own comment, Tinubu described Wale Aboderin’s demise as a huge loss to the media industry.
In a statement through his Media Office signed by Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said he was saddened that Wale died at a young age of 60 when the country needed him the most.
Tinubu said, ” At 60, he still had a lot to offer us but within those three scores though, he made appreciable impact and touched and changed lives.
“As Chairman of Punch, taking over from his uncle, the actuary ,Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, Wale continued to maintain and sustain the excellent journalism Punch is noted for, ensuring that the newspaper remains where it should be.
“Though he trained as a pilot, he was also a sports enthusiast. He particularly loved basketball to the point that he floated Dolphins Female Basketball Foundation. He was at one time the Chairman of our Basketball Association in Lagos.
“His death is a huge loss to the Aboderin family, both immediate and extended. The media and sports worlds, which he traversed and impacted positively, have also lost an outstanding partner”.
On his own part, Atiku Abubakar, in a condolence message signed by his media office on Thursday, 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.
Atiku said, “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 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 prays that the soul of the deceased shall find rest in eternity, and also that God grants the family rhe fortitude to bear the loss.
On his part, the Director, Strategic Communications, President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, SAN, said he received with utter shock and disbelief the news of the passing away of Wale Aboderin.
He said, “Mr. Wale Aboderin, whom I usually call “my egbon”, was a close friend, a gentleman per excellence, kind, humble to a fault and extreely jovial.
“He graciously attended my party at the Civic Center, Lagos sometime last year to celebrate my conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“My deep condolences go to his immediate and extended family members, his friends and entire staff and management of Punch Newspapers. Nigeria as a whole has lost a rare gem at his prime, but we are all consoled by the fact that he left behind a very big shoe and indelible footprints that would be very difficult to fill or erase.”