One of Nigeria’s most renowned Architects, Isaac Fola Alade is dead.
A statement issued by his family on Saturday gave no details about the circumstances of his death but only said the details of his funeral would be announced later.
The family statement reads: “With immense gratitude to God for his faithfulness, our family announces the peaceful transition to glory of our dear father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend, Chief (Arc.) Isaac Fola Alade, OFR, on Friday.
“In total submission to his perfect will, we thank God for the exemplary life and sincerely appreciate you all for your unrelenting prayers, support in diverse ways and particularly your show of love to him all his life.
“The funeral details will be announced later. We kindly request that you continue to remember us in your prayers.”
Architectural masterpieces bearing his insignia are the 1004 Housing Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos, defunct Federal Secretariat building, Ikoyi, Lagos and the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Others are the Remembrance Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Satellite Town, Lagos, Nigerian Air Force Base, Ikeja and the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies building, Kuru, near Jos.
Yet others are the National Judicial institute, Abuja and Nigerian Embassy buildings in 11 countries.
Fola Alade graduated from the Nigerian College of Arts & Sciences and Technology, Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University) in 1961 as one of the first four Architecture graduates.
Thereafter, he completed his post graduate studies at the Architectural Association School of Tropical Studies, London in 1965, on a Commonwealth Scholarship.
He was the first Architect to become a Federal Permanent Secretary in 1976, a post he held until his retirement in 1979 after which he established his private practice Fola Alade Associates in 1979.
After his post-professional training, he became an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Architects’ Registration Council of the United Kingdom in 1963.
He joined the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing as a Resident Architect in the old Western Region and later Lagos City Council.
In 1969, he became the first Registrar of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria. He served as the General Secretary of the Nigerian Institute of Architects.
He was appointed as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the Federal University of Port Harcourt in 1990.
President Buhari, Governor Fayemi mourn
Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Kayode of Ekiti State have mourned the passage of the iconic architect.
The president in a condolence message by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Sunday, noted that Alade left behind a legacy of brilliance and diligence.
Buhari joined the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Royal Institute of British Architects and Architects’ Registration Council of the United Kingdom in mourning the first architect to become a Permanent Secretary in Nigeria.
Late Alade also served as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the University of Port Harcourt.
The president commiserated with government and people of Ekiti over the loss, believing that Alade’s contributions to development of the country in design, building and administration would always be remembered by posterity.
He particularly noted the contributions of Alade to the historic structures like National Stadium Lagos, Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Federal Secretariat Lagos and Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies building in Kuru, Plateau.
He prayed Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest, and comfort his family.
Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, according to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described the late Alade as an illustrious son of the Land of Honour, an iconic figure in the architectural world who served his fatherland diligently and made Ekiti proud through numerous achievements.
The governor described the late Alade as an emulative pioneer and pathfinder, thoroughbred professional and impactful community leader who lived a life of service to God and humanity.
Fayemi, who hailed the contributions of the late Alade to national development, noted that several iconic public buildings in the country such as the National Stadium in Lagos, the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos and the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, among others, were designed and built by the renowned but now deceased architect.
He added that the much talked about Master Plan of Ekiti State was designed at the creation of the state by the late Alade whose architectural skills were widely believed to be second to none. The governor noted that the late Alade was an outstanding Nigerian who was well recognised in his life time, including an award as “Man of the Year” in 1978 by Daily Times and a national honour of the Officer of the Federal Republic (O.F.R.) in1997.
He said: “Chief Isaac Fola Alade invested his time, resources and energy on many laudable initiatives that impacted positively on the lives of the people and was always ready to support successive administrations in the state with his wealth of experience and extensive national and global contacts.
“For us in Ekiti, this is a huge loss. Chief Alade was an exemplar, a pathfinder. He represented our very best in Ekiti and made great impact in almost every aspect of life. He remained a source of pride and inspiration to generations after him.”