‘A great scholar’ — Obasanjo, Adeboye pay tribute to late Fola Alade, foremost architect

‘A great scholar’ — Obasanjo, Adeboye pay tribute to late Fola Alade, foremost architect
Fola Alade

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), have paid tribute to Fola Alade, a foremost architect who died in June.

Alade, the first architect to become a federal permanent secretary in 1976, died at the age of 87.

The deceased designed several historic structures such as the national stadium; Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS); federal secretariat, Lagos; Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic building in Kuru, Plateau State; Ife University Teaching Hospital complex; Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Ibadan; University of Maiduguri, among others.

Speaking at the funeral service which held recently, Obasanjo described the deceased as a great friend, architect, scholar, civil servant and colleague.

According to Obasanjo, his late wife, Stella, used to bring him letters from Alade when she visited him in prison.

“Fola’s children didn’t know how friendly and how close we were until they started looking into the records and found letters that I wrote to Fola when I was in prison,” he said.

“Fola was one of those who gave me courage to survive in prison. I pray that my worst enemy will not go to prison. The worst thing in prison is isolation and I was isolated.

“Fola was constantly sending letters and money to me. I looked forward to his letters in prison and also wrote back to make him know I received them; I acknowledged all he did for me. He made me develop affinity for Ekiti and understand the dialect almost to the point of speaking it.

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“Working with Fola was delightful and he became a permanent secretary because he was not orthodox. He achieved what he and I wanted for the country.”

In his remarks, Adeboye said the deceased architect was an extremely intelligent and pleasant man.

“I thank God for the life of my departed friend. I look forward to meeting my friend again on resurrection morning,” he said.

Also speaking, Alani Akinrinade, a former chief of army staff, described Alade as a meticulous professional.

On his part, Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, foremost pharmacist and legal practitioner, urged the federal government to honour the late architect.

“He lived a long, good life in service to Nigeria. He was gifted, creative and the kind of architect Nigeria ought to recognise in life and death,” he said.