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Night of Tributes: Sambo extols sterling qualities of late maritime icon,  Otunba  Kunle Folarin

The Hon. Minister of Transportation, Mu’Azu Sambo, has eulogized the late Otunba Kunle Folarin for his well-regarded intellectual contributions in Nigeria’s maritime industry.


Otunba Kunle Folarin died on 8th of November  2022, few weeks to his 82nd birthday.

Sambo made the eulogies on Thursday, while giving the keynote address at the Night of Tributes held in Lagos in honour of the late Otunba Folarin.

Bemoaning the death, Sambo said:  We are gathered here today in memory and honour of our dear colleague Otunba Olakunle Folarin. The nation has lost a maritime repository of knowledge, an experienced maritime practitioner, a voice of the ideal, a highly cerebral gentleman and most importantly, a friend.

“Death has taken away a genuinely warm individual, a loving husband, and a father, and it has deprived so many others, including us all, of a good friend.

“While we mourn the loss of our dear friend, we pay tribute and celebrate a life that was well lived. A life committed to excellence and best practices in the country’s maritime sector.”

Sharing briefly on his last meeting with the late Otunba Folarin, whom he said suggested several actions that could benefit the Nigerian maritime industry, Sambo promised to ensure that those suggestions are brought into action.

He said: “I remembered vividly his last meeting in my office, sitting opposite me as he speaks with glee on the numerous intervention that President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration can on a short-term introduce to the maritime sector. He spoke from a depth of conviction, years of experience and sincerity of purpose. His passion was infectious, his conviction was palpable, his banters were endearing, and his suggestions were valid.

“There was a lot in the pipeline through the ingenuity of this intellectual doyen that will further enhance the dynamics of operation in the country’s maritime sector, and in honour of his memory,  I will ensure they are brought to fruition and also include those I cannot achieve in the handover note to my successor. Every moment of his life was dedicated to improving the maritime sector; either in passing down knowledge or being a constructive critic to ensure the ideals are upheld in the sector. He served well and lived well.”

Sambo added that, “Life can be fleeting. But a life lived to the fullest stays in fond memories. Otunba through his decorum and grace endeared himself to many. May his legacies endure, may his eternal voyage to the undying land be smooth, and may the Almighty Allah repose his soul and grant the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.”

According to Sambo, the wise old man Seneca’s words “if one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable” should encourage all to live daily with the knowledge of life’s brevity and daily do good, so that stories of honour , sincerity and triumph would be told when they pass away too.

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