Home Opinion The Life, Times, Impact of Chief Arc. GY Aduku

The Life, Times, Impact of Chief Arc. GY Aduku


The Life, Times, Impact of Chief Arc. GY Aduku

By Nathan Oguche Emmanuel, PhD

_As the former Minister of State for Health, Chief Gabriel Aduku will be laid to rest on Saturday, 20th April 2024, this article examines the life, times and impact of the revered nationalist and icon, Chief Gabriel Yakubu Aduku._

According to the holy books, there is certainly a time for everything, meaning there is time to be born and a time to die.

This scenario again, attests to the fact that God has a purpose for everything, including the departure of man from the planet earth.

So it is with Chief Gabriel Yakubu Aduku,  the Amana Ogohi Anyigba who, in the eyes of man, came, saw and conquered according to human expectations.

Amidst the transient and ephemeral nature of life, certain individuals ascend beyond the ordinary, leaving an indelible mark on the richness of our shared history.

Chief G.Y. Aduku, OON, epitomized such a persona – an architect of unparalleled vision and a builder of humanity in every sense of the word.

As the people bid farewell to this remarkable soul who transitioned to the world beyond on 10th March 2024, we pause to reflect on the legacies he leaves behind, a legacy etched in the hearts of countless individuals whose lives he touched positively.

Politically, Chief G.Y Aduku could be likened to a proverbial cat with many lives. He endured setbacks, tribulations, and humiliation, but the more his detractors tried to push him down, the more he rose, remaining relevant until his last breath.

Given the humiliation and undeserved inhumane treatments he endured from different quarters while he was alive and during various phases of his political trajectory, it is remarkable that only a man of such grace could have lived up to the age of 80.

As a prominent figure of impeccable reputation, Chief Aduku was accessible and approachable to all. His phone number, a simple Airtel line, resided in the contact lists of many, as he erected no walls or barricades around himself.

On numerous occasions, he would field calls, many from acquaintances as well as from people he didn’t know; he extended his assistance, addressing their challenges, embodying a beacon of hope.

From church members to professional and political associates, from couples with marital squabbles to community crises, from students to relatives, Chief Architect GY Aduku was a man who made himself available to everyone.

Rising from a young graduate of Architecture to later become the President of the apex professional body of his profession, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Architect GY Aduku engraved enviable impact in the architectural profession.

His masterpieces are now ingrained in our architectural heritage, across major cities in the country. However, Chief’s legacy transcended bricks and walls; he constructed not only buildings but also dreams, nurturing them to fruition.

As the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Igala Education Foundation, Chief Aduku dedicated himself fully to ensuring the preservation of the founder’s vision with sanctity and sincerity.

He did not only uphold the founder’s vision, but also expanded upon it by inviting more individuals to join the Board. During his tenure, esteemed figures such as Prof. Sunday E. Atawodi, the late Professor Seidu Onailo Mohammed, Dr. Mrs. Jummai Amodu, and Barrister Jimoh Umoru Sharubutu joined the ranks.

One of Chief Aduku’s remarkable achievements as the Chairman of BoT of Igala Education Foundation was the expansion he brought by reaching out to all stakeholders since according to him, “education is too important to be in the hands of the government alone.”

As a result, Chief Aduku’s tenure saw significant financial support for awardees, with Chief David Edward Onoja, the immediate past Deputy Governor of Kogi State, and his friends, generously contributing a sum of thirteen million naira to the 26 awardees in 2020 and 20 million naira to 40 recipients of the prestigious award of excellence in 2021.

Chief also championed the mobilization of the grassroots to support the noble venture established by the late Professor Francis Sulemanu Idachaba, when in 2013, he took the message of education to all the nine local government areas in Kogi East, calling on the traditional and religious leaders, heads of schools, parents, community leaders, and other stakeholders to support the noble venture.

He also encouraged stakeholders through committees. This Committee comprised distinguished personalities like Prof. J.I Omada, the then Executive Director of Igala Education Foundation, Prof. S.S Usman, Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of Igala Education Summit, Mrs. Omachonu Ejamaka, as Secretary of the LOC, a position this writer later assumed throughout the period of Chief Aduku’s tenure, thereby bringing him intimately close to Chief Aduku.

Despite being a politician, Chief Aduku maintained an apolitical stance when it came to matters concerning Kogi State or the Igala Kingdom. Although he was a founding member of the PDP and remained steadfast in his commitment to the party, even during times when others abandoned it, his circle of friends and associates transcended political affiliations, religion, age, gender, and social class.

Chief G.Y. Aduku was more than just a successful professional whose architectural masterpiece adorned the major cities of Nigeria. Beyond the steel and concrete of his structures, it was his profound empathy and compassion that truly distinguished him.

Therefore, he was not only a successful architect, but also someone whose impact on humanity surpassed even his stellar contributions to the architectural profession.

When asked, “Daddy, do you ever rest?” he quickly responded, “Is there rest under the sun, with its countless challenges and difficulties? If the challenge is not about you, it is about others. Only the dead truly rest.” The bitter reality of his passing away now makes this statement resonate deeply within the souls of those who came across his way.

As we mourn the passing of Chief G.Y. Aduku, we also celebrate a life lived with purpose and passion. His departure leaves a void in our world, but his spirit will continue to inspire generations to come.

Let the people therefore, honor his memory by carrying forward his legacy of compassion, innovation, and service to humanity. Though he may have exited this world, the architecture of his legacy will endure, and the impact of his exploits will stand like a monument on the sands of time.

Chief G.Y. Aduku, the Amana Ogohi Anyigba will certainly be remembered through his legacies, an indication that those living must learn the lessons of time and tide, the lesson of give and take, the lesson of God is all in all and above all, the lesson of life after death.


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