Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Lagos-based industrialist M’oba Olusegun Aderemi, led the line on Saturday in paying tributes to architectural icon, Chief Fola Alade, who passed away on Friday.
Alade, one of Nigeria’s most renowned Architects, hailed from Aramoko-Ekiti in Ekiti West Local Government area of Ekiti State.
A statement issued by his family in the early hours of yesterday gave no details about the circumstances of his death but only said the details of his funeral would be announced later.
The Ekiti-born architect who designed and built the National Stadium Lagos, the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), the Federal Secretariat Lagos and the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies building in Kuru, Plateau State, among other iconic structures, died at the age of 87.
The family statement reads: “With immense gratitude to God for his faithfulness, our family announces the peaceful transition to glory of our dear father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend, Chief (Arc.) Isaac Fola Alade, OFR, on Friday.
“In total submission to his perfect will, we thank God for the exemplary life and sincerely appreciate you all for your unrelenting prayers, support in diverse ways and particularly your show of love to him all his life.
“The funeral details will be announced later. We kindly request that you continue to remember us in your prayers.”
Governor Fayemi, according to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described the late Alade as an illustrious son of the Land of Honour, an iconic figure in the architectural world who served his fatherland diligently and made Ekiti proud through numerous achievements.
The governor described the late Alade as an emulative pioneer and pathfinder, thoroughbred professional and impactful community leader who lived a life of service to God and humanity.
Fayemi, who hailed the contributions of the late Alade to national development, noted that several iconic public buildings in the country such as the National Stadium in Lagos, the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos and the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, among others, were designed and built by the renowned but now deceased architect.
He added that the much talked about Master Plan of Ekiti State was designed at the creation of the state by the late Alade whose architectural skills were widely believed to be second to none. The governor noted that the late Alade was an outstanding Nigerian who was well recognised in his life time, including an award as “Man of the Year” in 1978 by Daily Times and a national honour of the Officer of the Federal Republic (O.F.R.) in1997.
He said: “Chief Isaac Fola Alade invested his time, resources and energy on many laudable initiatives that impacted positively on the lives of the people and was always ready to support successive administrations in the state with his wealth of experience and extensive national and global contacts.
“For us in Ekiti, this is a huge loss. Chief Alade was an exemplar, a pathfinder. He represented our very best in Ekiti and made great impact in almost every aspect of life. He remained a source of pride and inspiration to generations after him.”
In a similar vein, Lagos-based industrialist and Atayero of Aramoko-Ekiti, M’oba Olusegun Aderemi, described Alade’s death as huge loss to Ekiti and Nigeria at large.
Aderemi, in a condolence message, said the deceased’s commitment to serving humanity was responsible for his huge influence among Ekiti people and Nigeria at large.
He added that Alade’s achievement in the architecture profession made his reputation to spread beyond the length and breadth of his home state.
While praying God to give the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss, Aderemi urged them to be consoled by the fact he lived an impactful life.
“On behalf of my family and the good people of Aramoko, Ekiti State, I commiserate with his immediate family members as well as his associates, and pray that God grants him eternal rest,” he added.