Emmanuel Alayande University Management Mourns Prince Ajibola Afonja

The authority of Emmanuel Alayande University of Education, Oyo has joined families, friends, associates and indigenes of Oyo town in mourning the departure of an illustrious son of Oyo kingdom, Prince Sulaimon Ajibola Afonja, who died on Sunday, May 19, 2024 at 82.

According to a release from the University Registrar, Mrs. Olubunmi Siju’ Asunmo, after the Management’s condolence visit to the private residence of the deceased, she described Prince Sulaimon Ajibola Afonja as a father and friend of the University. He was a great man and an enigma.

Quoting her release, “With a heavy heart, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Olaniyan has received the news of the passing of a friend of the University and a father-figure, Prince Sulaimon Ajibola Afonja who died on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Prince Afonja was by every standard an enigma whose influence and guidance would be sorely missed. It must be put on record that baba Afonja was to be the Chairman at our University’s First Anniversary, held on December 20, 2023 but was held up at Abuja on an assignment. As a true leader and lover of progress which he was, he paid a congratulatory visit to the Vice-Chancellor after returning from Abuja with a sincere apology to the University Management. Indeed, the void left by his departure is profound and very deep to us”

“The renowned Accountant and community leader’s life was undoubtedly a tapestry of distinguished service, professional excellence, and unwavering commitment to the betterment of Oyo town, Oyo State and Nigeria as a nation.”

The University Chief Administrative Officer described Prince Ajibola Afonja’s life “as one that epitomizes integrity, kindness, and generosity. His advice was always rooted in experience and compassion. His philanthropic spirit, which uplifted countless lives, was a testament to his belief in the power of giving and community support. He truly demonstrated this until his last breath”, the release stated.

Born in Oyo town in 1942, his early years were marked by a relentless pursuit of education and self-improvement, leading to his qualification as a Chartered Accountant—a credential that set the stage for a career defined by integrity and professionalism. His expertise in financial management and governance earned him a place among Nigeria’s most respected accountants.

His contributions to the corporate world were substantial. As a former Non-Executive Director of First Bank of Nigeria, Prince Afonja’s insights and leadership were invaluable. His tenure as Chairman of the bank, spanning two consecutive terms, was characterized by strategic vision and steady stewardship, helping to solidify First Bank’s standing as a pillar of the Nigerian banking industry. Under his guidance, the bank navigated the complexities of the financial sector with resilience and foresight.

In 1993, Prince Afonja was called to serve his country in the capacity of Minister of Labour and Productivity under the interim government of Chief Ernest Shonekan. In this role, he worked tirelessly to improve labor relations and productivity in Nigeria, addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing the workforce at the time. His tenure was marked by a commitment to fairness, workers’ rights, and the promotion of harmonious industrial relations.

As a University, we join his family members and all Oyo sons and daughters in celebrating his legacy and accomplishments. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Olaniyan prays that his soul be accepted among the pious and that God grants him eternal rest.

Rest in peace, Prince Sulaiman Ajibola Afonja. Your legacies live on, Sir!!!

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