First Bank

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ogbeni Oja, Bayo Kuku Is Dead!

Man of commerce, Bayo Kuku is dead.

Here are the details

Again, death has silenced the cadence of the day with the quiet of the night. It has claimed the life of a veteran socialite, Dr. Bayo Kuku. The dirge of life resonates again, this time in the household of Kukus. Death, the dreaded dialogue between the spirit and the dust has finally manifested like a dark pall, shielding the late millionaire’s mortal soul from the beams of life. Alas, Ogbeni Oja is dead; the millionaire philanthropist has gone to sleep where earthly crusts weigh upon the eyelids, keeping it closed six-feet underground. Really, nothing lasts forever; as the seasons turn, so does human life wither to age and disease, everything vanishes like morning dew. This grim reality currently benumbs the heart of Abe Kuku, the son of the deceased. No one who knew Kuku will ever forget him; millions who never met him but felt they knew him will remember him for what he was worth: a humanitarian and successful business magnate who lifted himself by the jockstraps to confront poverty, the affliction of his childhood and conquer it. Kuku’s story resonates with an inspiring peal in whatever tenor or language it is recounted. It speaks to the diligence and eventual rise to eminence of a hard worker from the backwaters.

 He died this morning  after a protracted battle with undisclosed illness. Though he was over 80 years old at the time of his death, still his death served as a rude shock to his friends, family and business associates. Many of the sympathizers, who thronged his residence to commiserate with his family, expressed their regrets at the untimely death of a man widely acknowledged as a fair and compassionate philanthropist.

Kuku was once the Vice Chairman of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and the President of Nigerian Stock Exchange. He will be buried in Ijebu Ode, his homestead at 11 am tomorrow.  (Dr.) Bayo Kuku was born 14th September 1930 in Ijebu-Ode Ogun State. He attended University College, London (1959-62); and University of California (1962-63). He started his career as a State Counsel at the Federal Ministry of Justice (1963-64) and rose to become the Executive Vice-Chairman of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (1964-81) and Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (1981-83).He also served as Member, Federal Board of Tax Appeal Commission (1967-73); Chairman and Acting Pro-Chancellor, University of Ife Governing Council (1978-79) Founding member, Board of Directors FBN (Merchant Bankers) Limited; Member, International Bar Association (IBA); and in several committees.

Chief Kuku headed the Board of Directors of various companies and he was the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (1987-91). He has received many awards, including the Distinguished Service Award of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (June 1991); DCL (Honorius Causa)-Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife (December 1992); Fellow, University College, London (December 1994); and he became Honorary Citizen-City of New Orleans, USA (1977).He is the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebuland, Chairman-Council of Ijebu Chiefs, Honorary Life Vice President-Ijebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

His numerous philanthropic activities include Endowment of Professional chairs in Nigerian Universities, Annual prize-Best Student in Oil & gas Law, University of Lagos, scholarships to indigent Students etc. He is married with children. Chief (Dr.) Bayo Kuku was conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in recognition of his far reaching and outstanding contribution to Nigeria


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