Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has mourned the late Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, Chief Sunny Odogwu, saying Nigeria would miss his contributions to the building of a new Nigeria.
Odogwu, the billionaire publisher of the defunct Post Express Newspapers, died on Tuesday at the age of 87.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta on Wednesday, by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo described the deceased as an “inspiring and frontline indigenous industrialist, an accomplished administrator, a foremost businessman and a tireless philanthropist.”
“I was sad because we will miss his contribution to the building of a new Nigeria of his dream but I am grateful to God for such a life well spent in the service of our fatherland.
“Sunny grew his insurance business and started diversifying into other industrial sectors in 1972. By 1984, he had branched out into other industries or areas of investment such as property development, shipping, finance, industrial relations and hotel management under Sunny Iwedike Odogwu (SIO) group of companies.
“It is, therefore, gratifying that he had himself built a sprawling business empire, which is a modern day employer of thousands of people.
“He was, indeed, a patriot who had made sterling contribution towards the socio-economic development of our dear country.
“He was a formidable pillar of the Nigerian society evincing those values that inspired others and shaped the nature of socio-economic and political engagements on several fronts,” the statement read.
Yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari commiserated with the government and people of Delta State over the passing of the billionaire publisher, describing his death as a loss to the entire nation.