FUNERAL arrangements for Dr. Alex Uruemu Ibru, Founder, Chairman and Publisher of Guardian Newspapers Limited, who died on Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Lagos, have been announced by the Ibru family.
According to a statement yesterday by Olorogun Oskar Ibru on behalf of the Ibru family, the funeral events will hold in both Lagos, where he lived most of his life, and Delta, his state of origin.
The events will begin with a Service of Songs on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 in Lagos. This will be followed on Thursday, December 15, 2011 by a Commendation Service. The Lagos events will end on Thursday with a Lying-in-State at the Rutam House, headquarters of Guardian Newspapers Limited, from where the body will depart for the airport en-route Agbarha-Otor in Delta State.
The programme continues on Friday, December 16, 2011 with a Service of Songs at the Ibru Centre, Agbarha-Otor. On Saturday, December 17, 2011, there will be a Lying-in-State at the Ibru Centre, followed by the Funeral Service, at the All Saints Cathedral, Ughelli.
Interment at the Ibru Centre follows immediately after the funeral service.
The funeral programme, according to the family, will come to an end on Sunday, December 18, 2011 with an Outing Service at the All Saints Cathedral, Ughelli.
Meanwhile, more corporate organisations and eminent Nigerians have continued to pay tributes to the late publisher of The Guardian Newspapers Limited, Mr. Alex Ibru. The management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, commended his contributions to national development.
During a condolence visit to The Guardian, the LUTH’s management team led by the Director of Administration, Ayo Olagunju, described the late Ibru as a very hardworking and respected professional of high esteem who, in his lifetime, served humanity.
“As a renowned industrialist, he also contributed immensely to national development. His demise is not only a loss to his family or your establishment, but to the entire nation. However, we take solace in the fact that he is resting in the bosom of his maker”, Olagunju said.
In its condolence message to The Guardian, the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) said “we share with you the deep pain of this irreparable loss. While we take consolation in the word of God, please accept our sympathy.”
In the same vein, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) wrote: “It is with profound sadness that I write on behalf of the entire shareholders, directors and staff of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), to extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy on the passing on of Mr. Alex Ibru, publisher of The Guardian Newspapers.”
The Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities (CAANU) has commiserated with Guardian Newspapers Limited (GNL).
In a condolence letter to GNL’s managing director, Mr. Emeka Eluem Izeze, CAANU’s Chairman, Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho and Public Relations Officer, Pastor Adebowale Adelakun, said Ibru “was a man who was ever close to the yearnings of the people, a man who the spoils of office could not change.”
CAANU added: “He was a philanthropist per excellence and a quintessential business mogul who never forgot his roots in Agbaraha-Otor, Delta State of Nigeria.
“The intellectual depth of the newspaper he founded (The Guardian titles) remains an inspiration to all sound minds. A trail blazer, The Guardian became the first newspaper to devote massive columns to educational and alumni-related issues.
“Mr. Alex Uruemu Ibru would be greatly missed by all our members and others who love excellence.
“We pray God to grant to the Management and staff of your organization, the fortitude to bear this great loss.”
In its tribute, Oguns Advertising Agency Limited said “we sincerely commiserate with the management and staff of The Guardian and the Ibru family on the passing on of the publisher of the flagship of Nigerian journalism – Alex Uruemu Ibru.
“We are consoled by the fact that he lived a good, accomplished and exemplary life and pray that God grants his family and The Guardian press the equanimity to bear the loss.”
Also, Omega Funeral Home said “we wish to sincerely express our condolences to you and the entire Guardian Newspapers on the demise of Mr. Alex Ibru who passed on to higher glory.”
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State yesterday said that the late publisher of The Guardian, Alex Ibru, had already written his history before his death.
Fayemi, who is also a former employee of The Guardian, stated this during his condolence visit to Ibru’s family, adding: “The question to be asked is, what will be said about us after we have all gone? Of Alex Ibru, his history has been written long before he died. He was a patriot, an intellectual and someone that gave freely out of what he had in order for our country to be where we are today.”
Also, some dignitaries yesterday paid condolence visit to the Ikoyi, Lagos residence of the publisher of The Guardian, Mr. Alex Ibru.
Among those who visited yesterday were the former Minister for Health and Human Resources, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; business mogul, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas; former Minister for National Planning, Rasheed Gbadamosi; Consul of Switzerland, Mrs. Marlies Allan; Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu and others.
Adelusi-Adeluyi described Alex Ibru as a man that lived an enviable life, saying “the country will be better if Nigerians could emulate his enviable lifestyle. It is so sad that the country has lost an illustrious son that had the interest of the people at heart.”
Allan said it was with mixed feelings she received the news of Alex Ibru’s death. “I am devastated by the loss and also concerned about the wife, Maiden, who is my very good friend and the lovely children he left behind. One has lost a friend but God’s time is the best.”
Gbadamosi said Ibru was a gentle and humble man to the core, adding: “A salute to a business mogul.”
Also, Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko in a letter of condolence delivered to the Abuja Bureau of The Guardian by the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Dahiru Maishanu yesterday, Wamakko said: “I can only imagine how upset the entire Ibru family is in this grieving period.
“Indeed, the country has lost a great man of humility and an epitome of integrity. I am truly saddened over the passing away of this true friend of the people of Sokoto State.”