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Ex-finance Minister, Soleye, dies four days after 90th birthday

Former Finance Minister, Dr Onaolapo Soleye, has died on Wednesday at the age of 90. Soleye marked his 90th birthday on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun…

Former Finance Minister, Dr Onaolapo Soleye, has died on Wednesday at the age of 90.

Soleye marked his 90th birthday on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Our correspondent gathered that the former commissioner of finance in Ogun State died in the early hours of Wednesday at a specialist hospital in Ibara GRA, Abeokuta.

A statement from the Soleye family announcing the death reads: “With heavy hearts but with gratitude to God Almighty for a long, impactful and positively eventful life, the family announces the passing of Pa Dr Onaolapo Soleye, the father of our late brother, Maj Gen OO Soleye (rtd). He turned ninety years only last Saturday.

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“Papa served the country and humanity in various capacities rising to the position of an Associate Professor in the University of Ibadan, Commissioner for Works in Ogun State and Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria amongst others.

“He was a true lover of God and humanity and this translated into his unwavering commitment to church activities as well as ready support and assistance to all who came across him, in any way that he could.

“The loss of Dr Soleye is surely not that of the Soleye family alone. It’s our father that has just passed and we must all prepare to be part of his rites of passage.

“Burial details will be announced by the family in due course. Until then, please pray for the repose of Papa’s soul and God’s comfort upon his family and other loved ones.

“May the soul of Dr Onaolapo Soleye rest in peace. Amen”

Dr Soleye is survived by his wife, Mrs. Modupe Womiloju Soleye, and four children – Olamide Soleye, Abimbola Fadimu, Oluwafunmilakin Soleye and Eyitayo Soleye – grandchildren and great grandchild.

He lost his first son, Major General Lola Soleye, earlier this year.

Soleye was a commissioner in the Old Western Region and a commissioner holding different portfolios such as Lands, trade, industry and commerce after the creation of Ogun State.

He was also Minister of Finance during the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari in the 1980s.

The Senator representing Ogun East and former Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, paid tributes to the former minister, describing him as a “remarkable man whose unwavering dedication to acts of kindness and good deeds impacted greatly on a lot of people.”

Daniel in a statement personally signed said “I bear true testimony to the facts about Dr. Soleye as a great leader, a mentor and a man of impeccable principles who inspired countless individuals. As an alumnus of the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, he was a great inspiration and mentor to many of us.

“As a former Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State and later as Minister for Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Soleye distinguished himself as a prudent financial manager, and acquitted himself as a first class economic administrator in the application of Nigeria’s resources. His commitment to a better Nigeria was unwavering.

“The passage of Dr. Soleye is a personal loss to me because I share very deep relationships with him as a younger friend and confidant. I benefited immensely from his several unconditional supports during trying times.

“My deepest condolences to members of his family; the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Matemilola; His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo, GCFR, former President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (who is also Dr. Soleye’s bosson friend); sons and Daughters of Owu Kingdom and Egbaland in general at this painful and trying times as I am consoled by the legacy of good deeds and forthrightness that Dr. Soleye left behind.”

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