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Professionals in the Marketing Communications Industry on Thursday, January 23, 2020, paid their last respect to the late Alexander Opeyemi Akinyele, at the Night of Tributes organized by the Body of Fellows of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in Ikeja.

At the gathering, Public Relations practitioners described the late Mr Akinyele, a former Nigeria’s Minister of Information and former President of the institute, as one of the best Public Relations professionals that the country has ever produced, and he will be greatly missed.

Vice President of NIPR, Comptroller Adewale Adeniyi, who represented the President of the institute, Mr Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, said, “The late Akinyele contributed immensely to the institute and plans are on the way to immortalize the departed icon. Personally, Akinyele was a great mentor and his advice have impacted my public relations career remarkably.”

Managing Director of CMC Connect Limited and President of African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, in his tribute, said, “Sir Akinyele was a peace maker and he helped unite the institute during crisis period. Often, when we are dissatisfied with happening in the management of the institute, we ask him to intervene.”

Coordinator, Body of Fellows in Lagos, Rev Abraham Olusola-Niyi, said, “Chief Alex Akinyele was a man of many parts; a consummate communication practitioner, mentor and role model to people in the trade, accomplished businessman, pacifist, national builder, passionately romantic, great father and cultural icon. He excelled in everything he touched. We are sorely going to miss him.”

“Judging by our own standards, one can say without fear that Chief Alexander Akinyele was a successful man. A man of vast tentacles, a Communicator, Public Relations Practitioner, Philanthropist, and an Industrialist of so many functional companies,” he added.

On his part, Managing Director of ADSTRAT BM, Mr Charles O’Tudor, said some of the lessons he learnt from the icon is to stick to what he believes in. He suggested that a foundation or a collection of his works be published to immortalise him.

At the event, the children, who were present, thanked the institute for paying tributes to their father and also applauded the move to immortalise him. While speaking about her father, Ms Bimbola Akinleye said she was delighted to hear all the good words about her father and thanked the institute for organising the event to honour him.

The first son of Mr Akinyele, Mr Akinrinmola Akinleye, said, “The institute has always been there at every major milestone with our father. I recall when he celebrated his 80th birthday, the Institute played a major role. Here today again, you are doing this in his death. What is even more elating is to hear beyond this, the institute is considering immortalizing his memory.”

The tribute was a gathering of all the gladiators in the public relations professions, including the doyens of the practice, Mazi Mike Okereke, Dr Rotimi Oladele, and Mrs Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Ronke George, Dr Fassy Adetokunboh Yusuf, Mr Basil Agboarumi and the media community to mention but a few who spoke greatly about the contribution of the icon to the PR practice in the country.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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