Buhari, Saraki, Govs, Others Mourn PUNCH Chairman, Wale Aboderin

The Chairman, PUNCH Nigeria Limited, Mr. Gbadebowale Wayne Aboderin, is dead.

He died on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 6.05am after a heart surgery at the First Cardiology Consultants, Ikoyi, Lagos, at the age of 60.
Aboderin took over as the Chairman of the company’s Board on May 1, 2011, following the retirement of Chief Ajibola Ogunshola as the Chairman of PUNCH on April 30, 2011 after 24 years of meritorious and dedicated service.
Before the appointment, Aboderin, businessman and first son of the founding chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, the late Chief Olu Aboderin, was appointed a member of the Board of Directors on May 21, 1984. Aboderin, who became vice-chairman of the company on July 2, 2010, was born in London, United Kingdom on April 17, 1958. A trained pilot, he was also a basketball enthusiast.

Aboderin was also the founder and chairman of Dolphins Female Basketball Foundation, a charity organisation in Lagos which he founded years ago when he returned to Nigeria after living in the United States for years. He was a former chairman of the Lagos State Basketball Association (a position he held for eight-and-a-half years) and a one-time vice-president of the Nigerian Basketball Supporters Club.

A former member of the Nigerian Handball Federation, Aboderin, was an alumnus of the Government College, Ibadan. He was a founding member of the board of trustees of the Word of Life Rehabilitation Centre, a ministry committed to the rehabilitation of drug addicts and substance abusers. He was also Chairman, PUNCH Commercial Printing Limited and Lukahed Properties Limited, PUNCH’s subsidiaries.

A devoted family man, he is survived by his wife, Titilayo, a chartered accountant and children.
He’ll be remembered for his resourcefulness —Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday described the deceased as a respected entrepreneur and philanthropist.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said Aboderin would be remembered for his resourcefulness, managerial proficiency and invaluable contributions to the media and sports industry.

The statement read, “The President prays that God Almighty will comfort all who mourn him and grant his soul eternal rest. The President equally commiserates with all members of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, the media and sports industry in the country on the death of the respected entrepreneur and philanthropist.’’

He left indelible footprints on the sands of time – Saraki

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, also expressed grief over the demise of Aboderin.

Saraki, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the deceased as a philanthropist, sports lover and a businessman “who left indelible footprints on the sands of time.’’

He noted that Aboderin led an exemplary life worthy of emulation and contributed immensely to national development through the media, youth and sports development, among others.

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 children, the Punch Newspaper Group, the media industry in Nigeria and the government and people of Oyo and Lagos states on the sad incident.”

His death is a huge loss – Dogara

Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, said the death of the PUNCH chairman was “painful and a huge loss.”

His condolence message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan.

Dogara said the late chairman brought “experience and expertise” to bear in the management of the newspaper organisation.

He added that his death was a huge loss, not only to the media industry but also the nation as a whole, considering his influence, vast network and pivotal role in revolutionising the media work.

“As one of the numerous readers of Punch newspapers over the years, I noticed that the late Aboderin’s tenure as chairman had completely changed the fortunes of the tabloid, making it one of the most informative, educative, authoritative and influential newspapers in Nigeria,’’ Dogara said.

He noted that his death would create a huge vacuum in the industry as his guidance and inspiration would be sorely missed by those he mentored and left behind.

His death saddens me – Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said he was deeply saddened to learn of Aboderin’s demise.

Tinubu, in a statement by his media office on Thursday, said, “We lost Wale at a rather young age when we still needed him to continue to be with us. 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.

Noting that his death was a huge loss to the Aboderin family, both immediate and extended, Tinubu added that the media and sports worlds, which he traversed and impacted positively, had also lost an outstanding partner.

“My deep sympathy and condolences to his wife and children. I mourn with the Aboderin family, the Punch Newspaper, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria and the media generally. I hope and pray that God grant his family the strength to carry on and continue with those legacies he lived for. May God also grant him eternal rest, ’’ Tinubu said.

Aboderin’s death painful, says Ortom

In his message on Thursday, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said Aboderin’s death was painful.

He said the government and people of Benue State joined millions of other Nigerians to mourn him.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, described the late Aboderin as a worthy son of Nigeria who contributed immensely through his medium to the development of the country.

He prayed God to console his immediate family, relations and the entire management and staff of Punch Nigeria Limited.

His death, a big blow to media industry – NPO

Also, the Nigerian Press Organisation consisting of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said it was saddened by Aboderin’s death.

This was contained in a statement signed by the NPO President, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, on Thursday.

The statement read, “We are saddened at the news of the untimely death of the Chairman of the Punch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Gbadebowale Aboderin, who died on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

“Wale, a consummate sport enthusiast, was jovial, amiable and easy going. His death is a big blow, not just to the Punch Group, but to the entire media landscape of Nigeria and Africa.

“He followed generations of media owners who served the public purpose. We offer our condolences to the Aboderin family and the Punch Group. May his soul find peace; perfect peace.”

Also, the Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Mr. Gbemiga Ogunleye, said the good Lord knew best regarding Aboderin’s death, adding “May his soul rest in perfect peace.’’

He made his mark as a philanthropist – Atiku

In a statement on Thursday by the media office of former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, he described Aboderin’s demise as a great loss to the Nigerian media industry, praying to God to grant the Aboderin family and PUNCH the fortitude to bear the loss.

It added, “Atiku feels the pains of the immediate Aboderin family in particular, the media and the teeming lovers of PUNCH newspapers worldwide. 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 and is a monumental loss to the fourth estate of the realm and the nation at large. Wale had been in the vanguard of sustaining the vision of his late father and founder of the PUNCH newspaper and he also made his own mark as a philanthropist and founder of the Dolphins Female Basketball Foundation.’’

It’s hard to say goodbye to a kind gentleman – Fayose

In a condolence message, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, said the death was not only shocking but also devastating.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, the governor said it was difficult to say goodbye to a kind gentleman who recently celebrated 60.

Fayose added that Aboderin not only consolidated the legacy of his father but also raised the flag higher as PUNCH Chairman.

He said, “He was an epitome of humility and kindness and transacted and ran business with a human face. Apart from his position in the foremost newspaper house, he was a sport enthusiast and helped in building the careers of many youths in basketball among others.

“The newspaper industry in Nigeria has lost a great man whose contributions to the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria were invaluable.

The governor said, “On behalf of the good people of Ekiti State, we sympathise with his immediate family, the entire Aboderin family, PUNCH newspapers, NPAN and all others whose lives were touched by this illustrious son of Nigeria,” he said.

In a condolence message, the Chief Executive Officer, Charmondel Holdings Limited, Mr. Igho Sanomi, noted that the incident would be a painful loss to the organisation and the media world, adding that the good Lord would comfort the Aboderin family and PUNCH “during this emotionally challenging period.’