Renowned businessman, Bode Akindele, is dead

A frontline businessman and philanthropist, Chief Bode Akindele, has been reported dead.

It was gathered that Akindele, who was chairman, Madandola Groups, passed on in Lagos on Monday, at age 88.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State described the death of the foremost Ibadan businessman and philanthropist as a great loss to Oyo State in particular and Nigeria in general.

Makinde, in a statement made available to journalists by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, said, “The news of the death of our revered elder statesman, Chief Bode Akindele, the Parakoyi of Ibadanland and chairman, Modandola Group, came to us as a shock.

“I remember that only a few months ago when the state put out calls for support towards the Oyo State COVID-19 Endowment Fund, Baba Akindele was one of the elders who responded by donating N25 million to the state.

“It is sad that we lost such a noble elder and philanthropist at such a moment as this. I pray to God to grant his entire family and the state the fortitude to bear this loss.”

Reacting to the death of the late Parakoyi of Ibadanland, the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, expressed shock over his passage barely four days after the death of former Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

Olubadan said, “Even though a man who lives up to 82 can be said to be advanced in age, when people mourn their loses it is because the vacuum left behind by them is always difficult if not impossible to fill.”

The Parakoyi of Ibadan is the founder of the Bode Akindele Foundation. Akindele was renowned for his philanthropy which spanned several decades.

The business mogul was said to have donated several million of naira to governments both at the federal and state levels towards the fight against COVID-19.

The deceased had, for some decades, awarded scholarships to indigent students at various educational levels.

The Bode Akindele Youths Initiative also collaborated with the University of Ibadan in giving vocational training to students in a bid to be self reliant after graduating.

The Baba Ijo of Methodist Church Nigeria, Agbeni, Ibadan, owns a large business empire operating under the Modandola Group of Companies. The group of companies was named after his late mother.

The group, with headquarters in the United Kingdom, engages in maritime business, property and real estate, manufacturing, investments, finance and flour milling.

The subsidiaries of the Madandola Group include Standard Breweries; Diamond Foods Limited; United Beverages Limited; and the Associated Match Industry.

His mother, Rabiatu Adedigba, was a wealthy Ibadan trader with political influence.

Akindele, who attended Olubi Memorial School, Ibadan and Lisabi Commercial College, Abeokuta, said at different fora that at the commercial school, he received the training that helped him to build a successful business life.

After completing his secondary school education, Akindele and some of his friends nursed the idea of travelling to the United Kingdom to study Law, but the growth of his business activities eventually took precedence.

He got his first paid employment in 1952, as secretary to an assistant district officer and later became a cadet manager with the United Africa Company where he was an assistant to the expatriate manager in Oyo. Akindele left UAC foods for the Western Nigerian Union of Importers and Exporters.

He registered his first company at the age of 20. He bought a land in Agege, a Lagos suburb and constructed a 80ft by 350ft warehouse where he stockpiled and grade cocoa. Importation of goods and the high volume of cocoa exports led to an interest in clearing and forwarding and road haulage, so he set up a company, Coastal Services Limited.

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