ForeverMissed
This memorial website is created to honour the memory of our beloved Kitoye Branco-Rhodes. Please share your tributes and memories of his time with us. We will remember him forever.
Posted by AMAKA EGBOSIMBA on April 15, 2021
Late Mr Branco-Rhodes was a very kind man.All of my five children benefited from his foundation(Rhodes Foundation)scholarship wise.
He loved God and humanity as well. He was very compassionate and meek.May the Lord reward Him with eternal life in Jesus name.Amen.
Posted by Giuseppe Oricelli on April 14, 2021
Ciao Branco, my Dear Friend, Partner, Grande AMICO. I still very very not believe that you are not here again, I have already lost all our phone discussion, your infinite patience and positive strendch. We are going to Miss you my Friend but we never Forget you forever, everytime Im going to take my plane to come in Nigeria I know that you from somewere you are looking on me. Ciao Ciao Branco my dear Friend. Arrivederci un giorno.
Posted by Eric Akinkuowo on April 13, 2021
It is so sad that you are gone so early my bosom friend and brother, Kitoye Branco-Rhodes.

Kiti was such a wonderful and great brother you want to be with at all time. I met him when I used to frequently visit Doctor Tunji Braithwaite's house when I was working at 158 as a project manager and I used to go there to supervise some renovation works. I got to know Kiti during the time I was going there and he became a brother. Later on, Kiti got married to my darling sister, Olaolu, and I was involved in the planning and process.

We established a relationship from that time and we have been relating together as brothers. It is still so painful that he has to go so early. I pray that His gentle soul rests in perfect peace. Kiti was a solid Christian, a pastor and devoted himself throughout his lifetime as a Minister of God and as a humanitarian because he loved to give and bless people. I can also never forget how he was of great assistance to my family when my first daughter got married and we used Yard 158 at a discounted rate and we also used the centre during my mother's first year rememberance. Since that time my daughter who is an event planner, Avisha Creations, has been a regular customer of Yard 158 as she refers the Event centre to her clients.

I recall a time during NAP that he told me about how he wants me to be the chairman of Lagos State chapter however due to by busy schedule another person was chosen but I actively participated in the group. To say I will mean Kitoye is an understatement as his family took me as their own. My sincere condolences to the family at this time. My darling sister Laolu, I want you to take heart. God will take care of you in the name of Jesus. You will never be put to shame and the Lord will be your guidance and your protector in Jesus name.
Posted by Ike Ezechukwu on April 9, 2021
TRIBUTE TO AKINTOYE BRANCO-RHODES (KITI).
I met AKintoye Branco-Rhodes in 1993, the same year I met Dr. Tunji Braithwaite. I had sought for Dr. Tunji Braithwaite to assist in stopping General Sani Abacha's dictatorship with a proposal to organise National Conference to restructure Nigeria into true fiscal federalism. Coincidentally, as I frequented to see Dr. Tunji Braithwaite on this issue; I noticed that AKintoye as leader of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) was always with him on the issue of stopping General Sani Abacha's dictatorship and his ambition to be the sole presidential candidate of the then five political parties of Committee for National Consensus (CNC), United Nigeria People’s Convention (UNPC), National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN), Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) and Grassroots Democratic Party (GDM).
The first four political parties had already adopted Abacha as their sole presidential candidate; except Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM).
Our constant meeting at Dr. Tunji Braithwaite place saw me becoming one of the leaders of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), with AKintoye, Barr. Oluyede (who happened to always be with Dr. Tunji Braithwaite on the same issue); with Dr. Tunji Braithwaite as a presidential candidate of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) challenging Abacha as a sole presidential candidate of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM).
We all went to Maiduguri for the national convention to elect a presidential candidate for Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM); with ourselves, many delegates and Dr. Tunji Braithwaite vehemently opposing Abacha as sole candidate of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM) at the convention ground. We were gaining overwhelming popularity against Abacha, when we learnt that Mustapha, the CSO to Abacha who was on the convention ground with security men was going to deal with us for opposing Abacha as sole presidential candidate of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM).
It was at that stage we took the next available flight to Lagos; and went to court to challenge Abacha as the sole presidential candidate of Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM).
We were still at the court when Abacha died.
Abdusallam Abubakar as head of state of Nigeria paved way for democratic governance.
Dr. Tunji Braithwaite as our leader, AKintoye as National Treasurer, myself as National deputy chairman(South East) and Barr. Oluyede as National Legal Adviser formed Democratic Advance Movement (DAM).
When the DAM was proscribed after 1999 general elections with some other political parties; we resuscitated Nigeria Advance Party (NAP); while maintaining our DAM various national leadership positions in NAP.
We were propelled in DAM and NAP by cheer sacrifice and patriotism to rescue Nigeria from bad governance; by advocating for restructuring of Nigeria into true fiscal federalism of devolution of power based on resource control and derivation; as the panecea needed for solid political foundation, stability and peace for our overall development in Nigeria.
Akintoye was also part of PRONACO that made a peoples' constitution for Nigeria that was never implemented due to legal obstacles.
We had fought together to rescue the soul of Nigeria from destruction. But many of those who did not fight with us, many who did not care about our good intentions, many who do not care about Nigeria but about their pockets; have taken over the government of Nigeria destroying many people and property.
It is most grieving, most depressing and most wicked; that people who do not have business with governance are the ones who have continually forcefully and corruptly seized power under our democratic dispensation.
I believe more than anything that the bad state of Nigeria depressed Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, AKintoye and many other comrades and patriots to death.
I beg the remaining comrades and patriots not to give up. We have not fought in vain. The death of comrades and patriots who were depressed about the bad state of Nigeria to die; cannot be in vain. There is hope at the end of the tunnel. This war to rescue the soul of Nigeria from wolves and hawks must be won, by the grace of God.
AKintoye was a born again christian. A practising christian. A devout family man. One who wanted the best for Nigerians.
AKintoye, myself and Barr. Oluyede are political brothers. We were actually called sons by Dr. Tunji Braithwaite. He was a true father to us.
AKintoye, Kitoye, Kiti, my brother in the struggle to rescue the soul of Nigeria from destruction. I mourn you. To me you are not dead. Your legacies will continue to speak for you.
Rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Adieu Kitoye! Adieu Kiti! Adieu my brother!!!
- Ike Ezechukwu,
 Interim National Chairman
 Nigeria Advance Party(NAP).

Posted by M. Olayinka ERINFOLAMI on April 1, 2021
I still find it hard to believe you are gone!

Chairman, as we all called you, we are missing your prayers, care and love.

Wherever, whenever he met you, he'll first bless you then ask about yourself and your family. A week before he passed, he called me on phone and asked "how are you doing, your wife and the children...how is 'baba onikun' and the Yard generally". Baba onikun is a name he gave my last son because of his big tommy. You are so caring sir!

God knows best and He knows why you have to leave at this time.

Rest on daddy....we are missing you.
Posted by Ochee Bamgboye on April 1, 2021
Our paths crossed in different ways. First in the late 80's when I worked in your dad's law firm. Only to find out that Dola was also a friend.
And then over the years I met your amiable wife & children. My fondest memory of you was how you painstakinly planned your wife's 50th birthday, leaving nothing undone to make sure that the day was most memorable. You were a wonderful husband & father.

God alone knows why you are gone so soon. You were a man of faith & you ran your race well. May God comfort Olaolu & the children. Continue to Rest in the Bosom of the Lord.
Posted by Bimpe Akinade on March 31, 2021
It was a shock to me when I heard your demise, our Chairman as we fondly called you.
Chairman was a complete gentle, humble, easy going, kind-hearted man who wanted a better Lagos and Nigeria at large.

We know the earth lost you but heaven gains you as you are resting in the bosom of your creator.

We all miss you and love you Sir but God loves you most.
My condolences to Madam and the entire family.

Posted by Paul Adams on March 28, 2021
There's a saying in Nigeria that the life in the barracks is 'soldier come, soldier go!'
I salute your passage, cool, humble, quite but strong soldier of the army of the Most High GOD. Though we mourn your physical passage, we celebrate your glorious transformation into glory knowing that the earth's loss is heaven's gain. Sleep on Pastor Kiti! May GOD continue to greatly uphold sister Laolu and the children you left behind in HIS mighty strong hand IJN. Adieu!
Posted by David Okorodudu on March 27, 2021
I received the departure of Akitoye Branco-Rhodes from this mortal coil with great sadness. I first met him in 1991 when he came to London as a zealous and kindhearted church planter with the Church of God Mission. I was deeply impressed by his passion for the LORD, for his then growing family and for people irrespective of their social status. Akitoye was a born leader who effortlessly succeeded in everything he put his hand to; he was a dynamic and capable servant-leader in the truest sense of the word. He was confident without being haughty; bold but not reckless.He was ennobled at birth but wore his illustrious pedigree with humility and compassion. He understood the obligation of nobility and reached out to the underprivileged with patience and without condescension . God alone knows the secret things. May God comfort Laolu, his devoted and prudent wife of thirty-two years, with uncommon wisdom and understanding. May Laolu and their children be filled with heavenly joy and receive total healing. May the children, rise up and become oaks of righteousness in their generation.May perpetual light shine upon him.And may his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, Rest in Peace. Soli Deo Gloria.
Posted by Oluseun Ogunleye on March 27, 2021
Its was quite devastating and heart breaking to receive the news of Chairmans untimely demise.

I met Chairman some 15 years ago as a young graduate fresh out of the University. I was referred to Chairman in order to provide support for a very Large Scale Mass Housing Intervention for Nigeria. A Project that will provid shelter and employment for millions of Nigerians.

The above is just one of many projects Chairman was involved with and the common denominator for all these interventions were the positive Economic Impacts that these projects will have on our Nation Nigeria. He was visibly passionate about Nigeria.

Chairman, is a Great Man indeed but he never presented himself more than a humble gentleman. A role model and an invaluable mentor, what an immeasurable loss to the entire continent. I know he had so much more to still offer and we had so many exciting projects to do together.

I will miss the calm, measured way with which he dispensed wisdom.

Rest in perfect peace Chairman
Posted by Folarin Rhodes on March 27, 2021
Dearest uncle, I believe that we are all energy, human beings, nature, everything that has a life source is energy. And energy can never be destroyed. It just transforms. Taking new shapes and is constantly evolving. Thus, I've always viewed and understood death, not as the end, or even as a sad event, but more as a jumping-off point from one chapter to the next. A transition of experiences. Maybe similar to when a person travels from one country to another. You fall asleep on the journey in one country and wake up in another. Excited for what's to come, and grateful for where you've been. Anyway, I hope your journey was smooth. It was great sharing time with you for a while on this human experience, and I look forward to seeing you again one day, in a different space, in a different way. I hope you find peace and joy in your next chapter, and I hope in every way, you feel all the love. 
Posted by Ann Nwangwu on March 24, 2021
I am still in shock after hearing the news of the demise of Mr Akintoye, our Chairman. It’s difficult for me to believe he had passed.

People die everyday. Yet not all of them affirm to us the goodness in humanity and leadership the way Chairman did.

Chairman as we popularly called him was without a doubt the most observant, attentive and knowledgeable man I have met. He was a compassionate and humble man.

He was a God fearing man and was always blessing us whenever he was greeted.

Only God knows why He took him from us this early. My comfort is that I believe he’s in the bossom of the Lord.

I pray that God will give his wife Mrs Laolu & children the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.

I will forever miss him.
Posted by Peterclaver Egbochue on March 23, 2021
The news of your demise shocked me so much...As a young reporter with National Mirror newspaper in 2007, my editor had given me your contact for an interview on the state of the nation. I called to book the interview and you graciously obliged me and that was how our paths crossed. Thereafter, each time I called you, like the first time, you obliged me. You were in deed passionate about making Nigeria a better country for all. You will be greatly missed. May God console your family and grant you eternal repose! Rest in Peace!
Posted by Femi Abraham on March 20, 2021
Oh, so sad to learn that you are gone Kiti.
This has not been a good year, I was just getting over the shock of your dear sister Simi.
Kiti always referred to me as ‘Aburo’ and constantly reminded me that he was my elder sister’s classmate in primary school and they were also at the same University in Rhode Island.
Our days in GRA Ikeja are still very fresh in memory.
What else can I say but to thank God Almighty for your life. I am glad I met you.
To his darling wife(Laolu), children, brothers and entire family, I say
‘Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow’.
May God continue to strengthen you, Amen!
Kiti, RIP, I mean perfect peace because you were a man of peace.
Adieu dear ‘Egbon’
   Femi Abraham.
Posted by Mayowa Oyedara on March 19, 2021
Your Simplicity is one thing I will miss. Rest on Chairman.
Posted by Amenor Ekerete on March 19, 2021

I've tried to refrain from continually asking "Why!?" It appears so unreal inspite of a promising future that was ahead of us. Oh what a great loss to the content of Africa.

Akitoye Branco Rhodes you were such a raised soul, your genuine leadership qualities were clearly reflected in your humility, simplicity, selflessness and innovative mindset which i believe is the hallmark of a visionary leader. I will say Akitoye Rhodes was the president that Nigeria never had.

Never once did I spend time with my chairman without leaving feeling so uplifted. His positive vibes was so infectious no one could have been spared from it. The little moments we spent together awakened the giant in me.

You were a complete gentleman, seen in the love, care and tenderness you showed to your family, to most expecially your dear wife. A colourful soul in possession of the sweetest heart, filled to the brim with love and endless dreams.

In our world today some people are so poor all they have is money but you had virtue, the beauty you emitted to your world transcended the material. You were one who never allowed pride to overcome your self discipline, but it is so sad the world we live in today was never worthy to have one like you because you were not one of them.

Mr Branco your exit at this time when Africa is in great bankruptcy of genuine leaders like you is liken to a candle that went off in the wind. You should have waited to see your dreams for Africa unveil, but you departed when Africa needed you most.

Mama Africa wail for her departed hero. The children of Africa will weep for a long time at your demise.
Oh what a great loss to Africa!!

We the children of Africa loves you and we say goodnight our father and hero.
Posted by Toyin Adeotoye on March 19, 2021
Kiti, I can’t believe you are gone .
I remember the times growing up in the 70’s. Walking from school at Maryland to the Akinyeles on ikorodu road or the Rhodes in GRA. Summer holiday breaks were fun and exciting times .
The 80’s came and everyone went their way ... got married, left Nigeria.
I didn’t see you again until I met you at Yard 158 with Laolu . Still your warm caring self. You made sure I had all your details and to keep in touch.
Thank God for life , you left a good legacy behind. Continue to rest peacefully.
Posted by Adetunji Idowu on March 19, 2021
Tribute to my best friend....a precious,real nd dear best friend...hilario as i fondly called yu, gazette master. Unbelievable that i will be writing a tribute on you this early in our lives,now i have come to terms with the highest above that he has taken you somewhere so peaceful. Hilario my main man,you definitely will be greatly missed as i think about you everyday since you've been missing,gracious Allah knows best...it shall be very well with the beautiful wife nd family that you left behind,gracious Allah's rahman nd sheikena on them...Amin....rest in perfect peace my own man....it hurts.
Posted by Judith Nnadi on March 19, 2021
TRIBUTE To My Boss
I have known Mr. Akintoye Branco-Rhodes for over 10years. He was my boss for years in Yard 158,event Arena company when I came as a youth copper. We used to call him 'Chairman ',not only in workplace, but whenever we met him in the premises, and some 'Daddy'.

My past work colleagues will agree with me that Chairman was humble, peaceful, compassionate, kind, merciful, and God fearing. Those qualities came from Jesus himself. We felt comfortable, equal and had a very good relationship with him, and he had confidence in us. We were always ready to go the extra mile when he called, especially in times of emergency in our workplace. He was a good person and loved to get things done, even if it took him after hours to do it. He knew he could have called on us anytime to address issues at work.

Chairman would go the extra mile to assist you, or call one of his many friends or brothers to do the same if he can't , just to make sure that you are comfortable.
He Loved politics. He believed in fairness. When there was a conflict he had to deal with, he used to say, "throw water on that, man", or you all are big people, try and work it out". Strife was not part of his life. He brought fun and joy to us and others.
Gone but not forgotten. It's really hard to accept sudden death like his, and we will never get accustomed to it.

Gone before us too soon, Chairman, Boss, Daddy.
Certainly, the Precious memories of you will remain in our hearts. In everything, we all can say , Jesus gives and takes, blessed be his holy name.

I extends condolences to the Bronco-Rhodes Family
Posted by njoku pat on March 19, 2021
A MAN THAT LOVE GOD, MEEK, KIND & LOVING

My Chairman, who was like a father to me, my Adviser was the meekest person I have ever met. He was a great man yet so humble. He was a man whose love for God could not be hidden. He was such a loving father even to us who are not his biological children. He was an easy going man who desires good for everyone. A great positive thinker, always positive, always encouraging, known by his popular greeting "
BLESS YOU" wherever you meet him. Hmm, What can I say? The earth did not know his value therefore heaven has taken him.

My Chairman, we love you but God loves you more. For me, you deserved more than what you got here on earth, you have gone to where good people, godly people like you are celebrated. Though I write with tears but inwardly comforted that you are in a better place. Rest in hope of resurrection My Chairman till the morning breaks
Posted by Adepeju Adebajo on March 19, 2021
The Rhodes family, Kitty and Simi especially were a key part of our growing up in GRA. Koye being older was “out of scope”, but kitty was cool and adventurous. You settled down to being such a family man, and loved your family dearly. Kitty is much missed. Rest In Peace with the Lord.
Posted by Adebayo Adebakin on March 19, 2021
How painful was the news of your demise to my soul. It hurts so deep.....

How I long to hear again and again the response you give when compliments was paid to you saying "Bless you"

My first experience with you as Head Operations of Big Event Company gave me an insight to your great personality. You were an epitome of courage and resilience in the face of adversity and trials. A Fighter, a risk taker and an astute business extraordinaire who displayed an unusual bravery and faith in the midst of troubled waters and uncertain circumstances.

Through you we learned confidence and the need to be fearless when faced with with difficult business decisions and opposition.

A lover of God, a coach to so many of us and a true father, who is ever willingly to make sacrifices for his family and others also. Your large heart and forgiving spirit is second to none.

The world indeed has missed a rare gem but we comfort ourselves in this, that we shall surely meet again on resurrection Morning.

Adieu My Governor.
Posted by Temidayo Jeremiah Taiwo on March 19, 2021
It’s still hard to comprehend and I still find myself asking why you had to leave us this soon but I’ll take solace in the exemplary life you lived.
I know you are gone but you will live with us forever! Daddy Rhodes, you will always be remembered!!
Sun re o, daddy ❤️
Posted by Nath Wilson on March 19, 2021
ADIEU DEAR BROTHER

Like a Prophet on a Mission
Faithfully You bore the Message
A Humanity to fulfill divine Mandate
Replenish the space in Multilayers
Far and near All arose to a noble call

No mountain too high or valley too low
No roadway too rough or pathway skewed
Nothing ever impossible, non intractable
This Gospel You espoused and preached
So birth the Vision, Dreams and Ideas

A Broth in the Mix to the boil
Better place to exhale and Become
Light to obliterate brooding darkness
Break new Grounds and take Horizons
So lofty Charges set to attain

Alas my Chair', my Brother, my Friend
You did not tarry but rather left
So sudden, oh so surreal, my refrain...
And thus the Platter shatters,
A Cloud to clear or Veil to lift?

This brew-Broth aborted lest serving
Now does death's sting triumph,
Over a Star-Destiny so chequered?
Doth restitution any Hope offer,
To speculate else a Re-script?

So Adieu, dear dogged Mentor
Kind and gentle heart that never judged
Time honoured Legacy all to cherish
The Golden path to all Saints' Assembly
There, together we'll unveil all Mysteries.

Peacefully rest in the Lord's Bossom!

Posted by Achike Chude on March 19, 2021
                    THE MAN WHO OPPOSED ABACHA

                          By Achike Chude

Aso Rock was in some panic. Out of the five political parties formed and controlled by the military authority, one was proving difficult and uncooperative. The political parties, Committee for National Consensus (CNC), United Nigeria People’s Convention (UNPC), National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN), Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN) had all endorsed and given automatic presidential tickets to the dictator, General Sani Abacha. All he needed was to choose whichever of the parties he desired and the rest was a done deal. The Grassroots Democratic Party (GDM) was expected to do the same but some within the party declined, insisting that Sani Abacha must test his popularity in a national convention to be held in Maiduguri. The position was endorsed by the national executive council meeting of the party. But battle was not over. Very soon, the fight within and outside the party on the fate of the convention went all the way to the seat of power at Aso Rock where 'Jerry Boy,' influencial army general and long time friend of the Head of State was in support of automatic endorsement. The pro-convention group was made up of a more 'radical' assemblage of young elements supported by the very powerful chief security officer to the Head of State. The pro-convention group won the battle of supremacy and the convention went to Maiduguri. But not without safeguards to ensure that after all had been said and done, only one candidate among the contestants would emerge victorious - Sani Abacha. They had the fear factor to intimidate recalcitrant members of the political elites and money, plenty of it, to appease the cooperative ones. But they were still worried because by then, Dr Tunji Braithwaite, radical lawyer and fiery politician, known for his consistent call for a people's revolution to overthrow the 'rats and cockroaches' infesting our country had declared himself unafraid of Abacha and also thrown his hat in the ring. He would be among the five that would contest against Abacha.

On the day of the convention, the city of Maiduguri was taken over by soldiers armed to the teeth. Their intention was unambiguous, and their motivation high. Their instruction was clear; General Sani Abacha, the maximum ruler of the military dictatorship must be chosen as the presidential candidate of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDM). Already there was a consensus by certain critical but compromised segments of the Nigerian society that Nigeria will not survive if Sani Abacha did not successfully transform from a military president to a civilian president. According to these sets of people, in a country of over 200 million people, Sani Abacha was the only qualified Nigerian to run for president. To that affect, all sorts of people had mobilised themselves on 'pilgrimage' to the Head of State to 'beg' and 'plead' with him to save Nigeria from imminent collapse by becoming our civilian president. The million man matches were being organised all over the place for the pleasure and ambition of the head of state. One after the other, some traditional rulers as well as some Christian and Muslim leaders including professional groups and artisans all spoke with one voice; "Abacha Must Be President"

The Grassroots Democratic Party was the only party standing during that dark period of 1998. It was not that the party, also described by the late assassinated former governor of Oyo state, Bola Ige as a part of the "five fingers of a leprous hand" was no longer part of the five parties formed with the blessings of the powers that be. No! It was because there were certain young, radical elements within the GDM that did not agree with the vision of the Abacha government and loyalists for continuity. They had constituted themselves as a threat to the successful military-to-civilian transmutation of General Abacha. The heartland and headquarters of that challenge, opposition, and defiance was Lagos. The leader of that resistance was a certain Akintoye Branco-Rhodes, son of Olayinka Rhodes, Lagos business man socialite, and Baamofin of Lagos. His mother was Elizabeth Abimbola Rhodes, the then Iyalode of Lagos. Akintoye was just 34 years, and as the Lagos state chairman of the Grassroots Democratic Party, was the youngest party chairman in the country. He had sworn that Abacha would not be allowed to become a civilian president. It was a threat he had issued publicly in the media, a media that became too scared to report Akintoye's warning to the military government. And they had a reason to be afraid. The military crackdown had begun earlier in August 18, 1994 as the government sacked the Executive Council of NUPENG PENGASSAN, and the NLC, and closed down three newspapers: the Punch, Concord group, (owned by Abiola) and The Guardian.

By this time, bomb explosions across the country had become the order of the day, accompanied by the assassinations of prominent opposition people in the country. The bombings, suspected to be perpetrated by elements within the military, were used as a pretext to further the brutality of the junta.Odion Aikhane, Gani Fawehinmi, Barrister Femi Aborishade, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chima Ubani, General Alani Akinrinade, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and many others were arrested at different times. Wole Soyinka and others who could make, it had fled into exile. It was in the midst of these acts of brutal repression that Akintoye and the rebels within the Lagos GDM dared to stare the lion in the face.

The government, anxious to have a successful national convention in Maiduguri where it was planned that Abacha would be carried unopposed, come what may, knew about the rebellion and the renegades in Lagos. The government solution was to ensure that they did not have a plane that would take them to Maiduguri. And with a few hours to go for the commencement of the convention, the South-West delegates led by Branco-Rhodes was truly grounded and stranded. No plane was found for a flight to Maiduguri. Not even a charter flight. But the talents and tenacity of the young man were incredible. His faith that they would be at the convention was strong and unyielding. He had a brainwave and went in search of the General Manager of then Nigeria Airways and informed him that a plane was needed for Abacha's convention in far away Maiduguri. Frightened at the possible implication of being accused of botching a pro-Abacha convention, the helpless and hapless manager quickly made a Jedda bound plane available to the delegation. The half empty plane would drop them off in Maiduguri and proceed on the original destination to Jedda.

Thus the denouement and grand finale to the crisis was set at the El Kanemi stadium in Maiduguri where Nigerians with nothing but raw courage as weapons, faced off against their fellow Nigerians armed with AK 47s, armoured tanks and tears gas, intent on protecting and preserving the ambition of one man. And the people with courage almost won. At least they won the popularity contest as they energised the entire stadium of plebians, grassroots and hoi-poloi to the extent that the crowd began to shout anti-government, anti-Abacha rhetorics. And the inevitable happened. Suddenly the lights in the stadium went off, 'government magic' as attested to by Fela Anikulakpo Kuti began to happen and suddenly General Sani Abacha emerged as the presidential candidate of the Grassroots Democratic Party.

Angry and disappointed, the Lagos delegation returned to the state, called a world press conference and, in full view of the media, proceeded to burn their membership cards of their political party. But the profound prophetic statement made by Akintoye Branco-Rhodes came to pass. Sani Abacha did not succeed in transmuting into a civilian president. He died on June 8th 1998.

This is a fitting but true tribute to Akintoye Branco-Rhodes, the friend who became a true brother to me. He passed away to eternal glory on Friday 19th 2021. May his soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.
Posted by Obinna Nkwocha on March 19, 2021
My earliest memories of Chairman, as we fondly called him, were coming to work for him at the Nigerian Intervention Group NIG- a political pressure group organisation, in the fore front for the advocacy for good and accountable governance. Where he displayed deep love and concern for this country.

Later, I joined The Big Event Company BEC, one of the Strategic Business Units of his Ziklag Group and the operators of Yard158 Events Arena. There I knew him up close and personal, and, it wasn't the normal "oga and omo se " kind of relationship. He took me under his wings and he loved me like a son. I grew under his wonderful and insightful tutelage.

Chairman, was so many things rolled into one, he meant different things to different people in a good way. He always had a good and encouraging word for everyone, his smiles were broad and infectious, a peaceful and loving man, he made everyone around him feel at ease with themselves, a good family man, calm, kind, honest, a man of few words, never begrudges anyone and bears no grudges. He helped total strangers without the expectation of anything in return. He has positively impacted several lives through his charity- Ziklag Foundation. So unassuming despite his wealthy background and rich heritage. Chairman had the ability to truly and completely forgive anyone who offended him and love them genuinely once again; that's the man he was. A gentleman and a gentleman.

I have so many fond memories of how things would come to a head at work, with everyone feeling down and despondent. He would rally us round, by calling for a meeting, wearing his trademark smiles and that aura of calmness, he would point us to a pathway and we always, always, found a solution. Even at the point of disagreements with third party patrons; he was a great customer service person. He taught me that in business "you don't burn bridges "

Chairman sir, death has nothing on you, for you have transitioned to be in a better place, where there are no more deaths, no more sorrows, no weeping and pains.

I know you would want us to be of good cheer, be peaceful and love ourselves.

Till we meet again when the saints triumphant. You will always be in our hearts . We love you!!!
Posted by Christian Wogu on March 18, 2021
TRIBUTE TO PASTOR AKINTOYE BRANCHO RHODES, MY POLITICAL MENTOR
Writing this tribute means that I have ultimately accepted that Pastor Akintoye
Brancho Rhodes is no more. It has not been easy to come to terms with this reality.
It means that I would no longer see the man whose presence alone, without words,
carried so much weight. It would mean that when his widow, our National Chairman
walks in now in her leadership gait, Brancho Rhodes would not emerge with her as
he had never failed to do.
Brancho Rhodes was a great man. He spoke rarely. However, whenever he did, it
would be with insight, wisdom, details and poise. I always listened to him with
rapturous attention whenever he was to make a speech. It was always like he never
should stop.
I call him my political mentor both privately and publicly because he truly is. Aside
of the late legend, Dr Tunji Braithwaite of blessed memory, under whose feet most
of us cut our political teeth, Brancho Rhodes was one political gladiator in Nigerian
politics to be reconned with. I never imagined that he would return to his Creator so
swiftly.
Brancho Rhodes, we all called you “Chairman” because leadership seemed to have a
seat naturally with you. You wanted so much for Nigeria; for Lagos State; and for
Nigeria Advance Party that you loved with unparalleled passion.
I’m concerned for our National Chairman, Mrs. Barr ‘Laolu Brancho Rhodes whom I
have never known, for more than a decade, without your physical companionship. I
truly pray to the God of heavens to grant her, with the entire family, the fortitude to
keep holding the forte now she’d seemingly have to engage without that
quintessential physical backing.
I would miss you in more ways than words could describe.
Fare thee well Chairman.
Christian Udomsinachi Wogu Esq.
(National Legal Adviser, Nigeria Advance Party
Former Gubernatorial Candidate, NAP, Abia State
Currently, Presidential Aspirant)
Posted by Fola Odetoyinbo on March 18, 2021
Akintoye, I find it hard to believe that you have gone we had discussed and worked on a number of future ideas, alas not to be.

You never judged me, always shouldered my angst, gave me counsel, but did not judge, in fact you passed judgement sparingly; a great strength in a person. I smile when I think of seeing you at your most annoyed; it hardly met the criteria of being classified as angry.

A very strong man, as he did not need to put on the false bravado and do the things, that we as men, feel that we have to do to act like a "man." I smile once again when I think that the he was younger than me and most of our set, but one always saw him as being older. That's because of the way he carried himself, his conciliatory and intelligent, gentlemanly manner.

A good man, as one says, he had the courage to walk the walk. I loved the way that you interacted with your immediate family, nothing was too small, a constant guardian, set a great example; many lessons learned. I was always welcomed and it is a great honour to have watched the way Laolu and you invested so much love and effort in your children.

We discussed politics and business endlessly, but you had the courage to step into the field, regardless of the dangers. In many ways I saw you as a throwback to the old style good Nigerian fighting in an arena dominated by the new Naija. Your mission was always at odds with those in power and you did not care.

You faced many setbacks on multiple fronts, but always got back up, your response always amazed me, and in hindsight I realise that you had real faith in God. Last December, I asked you for some advice for a friend’s ailment, you gave me the best advice; it was purely spiritual. You told me that the person just had to have belief in himself via God that he would make a full recovery, how right you were, he’s already walking.

I am going to miss you, strange in ways, I have barely known you properly, more than a decade and known many others much longer, but I did not hold them so close.

I will miss the heartfelt “bless you” at the end of every conversation. Hence it was at your funeral I found out that you happened to be a pastor, it seemed so natural that you would be one. You never imposed your faith on me, but constantly spoke about love, compassion and occasionally faith. Akintoye, Nigeria needs more people of faith like you, those who have the courage to take a stand, who make an impact, without hubris.

I have lost a real friend.

God must have a reason; I know that you have gone to him.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by AMAKA EGBOSIMBA on April 15, 2021
Late Mr Branco-Rhodes was a very kind man.All of my five children benefited from his foundation(Rhodes Foundation)scholarship wise.
He loved God and humanity as well. He was very compassionate and meek.May the Lord reward Him with eternal life in Jesus name.Amen.
Posted by Giuseppe Oricelli on April 14, 2021
Ciao Branco, my Dear Friend, Partner, Grande AMICO. I still very very not believe that you are not here again, I have already lost all our phone discussion, your infinite patience and positive strendch. We are going to Miss you my Friend but we never Forget you forever, everytime Im going to take my plane to come in Nigeria I know that you from somewere you are looking on me. Ciao Ciao Branco my dear Friend. Arrivederci un giorno.
Posted by Eric Akinkuowo on April 13, 2021
It is so sad that you are gone so early my bosom friend and brother, Kitoye Branco-Rhodes.

Kiti was such a wonderful and great brother you want to be with at all time. I met him when I used to frequently visit Doctor Tunji Braithwaite's house when I was working at 158 as a project manager and I used to go there to supervise some renovation works. I got to know Kiti during the time I was going there and he became a brother. Later on, Kiti got married to my darling sister, Olaolu, and I was involved in the planning and process.

We established a relationship from that time and we have been relating together as brothers. It is still so painful that he has to go so early. I pray that His gentle soul rests in perfect peace. Kiti was a solid Christian, a pastor and devoted himself throughout his lifetime as a Minister of God and as a humanitarian because he loved to give and bless people. I can also never forget how he was of great assistance to my family when my first daughter got married and we used Yard 158 at a discounted rate and we also used the centre during my mother's first year rememberance. Since that time my daughter who is an event planner, Avisha Creations, has been a regular customer of Yard 158 as she refers the Event centre to her clients.

I recall a time during NAP that he told me about how he wants me to be the chairman of Lagos State chapter however due to by busy schedule another person was chosen but I actively participated in the group. To say I will mean Kitoye is an understatement as his family took me as their own. My sincere condolences to the family at this time. My darling sister Laolu, I want you to take heart. God will take care of you in the name of Jesus. You will never be put to shame and the Lord will be your guidance and your protector in Jesus name.
his Life

Akintoye Olumide Hilario Branco-Rhodes

Born into the prominent Lagos family of lawyer and industrialist Chief Yinka Rhodes (Bamofin of Lagos) and Chief(Mrs) Elizabeth Abimbola Rhodes (Iyalode of Lagos), Akintoye was the third of his parents' four children. 
Kiti as he was fondly called had his primary and secondary education in Lagos at Maryland Convent Private School Ikeja and Shepherd Hill Baptist Academy Obanikoro before proceeding to attend college and university abroad. 
He attended American College of Switzerland, Leysin Switzerland and Barrington College, Barrington, Rhode Island USA. He read Economics at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston Rhode Island USA. 
Upon completion of his education abroad in 1986, he returned home to join their Family business Rosabol Nigeria Limited. 
In 1989, he married Laolu Braithwaite his childhood sweetheart and together they raised a family of seven children.
As an entrepreneur,  in 1991 he founded Ziklag Limited with a vision to bridge infrastructural deficits in the country. He held  Directorships in other companies and in 2007, he became Chairman of Eri-Eco International, a company which developed a 25-year regional masterplan for the comprehensive physical and socio-economic development of Zamfara State in North Western Nigeria.
As a young man Kiti demonstrated a passion to influence his society and make a difference by engaging the political class. This he did over the course of more than two decades by actively integrating in the political process,  not as a mainstream politician but as a dynamic democrat and Statesman.
A devout believer in Jesus Christ, Kiti was both Evangelist and an ordained Pastor. He began his ministry of church planting as a missionary in the UK with late Archbishop Benson Idahosa's Church of God Mission in 1991. Over the years he went on to serve the Lord in various capacities across the Christian spectrum at home and abroad . 
Kiti lived a full Spirit-led and purpose-driven life of service to God and humanity. On the 19th February 2021 he ended his work on earth and joined the Saints Triumphant. He is survived by his siblings, wife, children and a grandchild.
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Shared by Onafarasin Babatunde Baba... on March 19, 2021
Kiti I'll forever continue to remember you cos you were a complete humble simple and very soft person right from when we both met in college in BAPTACADS i'll never forget way back then whenever it was time for Break your late self now and myself and also Abayomi. Okerinde and Ayano would take a walk to where the man who came to sell SAMCO milk would park his Bus and before we all knew it you would have ordered for the 4 of us of which you now told us he was the man who supplied Family, we both met again in Apapa Club after quite a long time in a wedding party and on that day you were with one of the Adebowale twins knowing you both I made sure i treated you both the best way I could. Akitoye you are resting peacefully in our almighty heavenly father's bosom cos our almighty heavenly father knows best. RIP