President Goodluck Jonathan and some governors in the South, notably Rotimi Amaechi, that of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, his counterpart in Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and former Governor of Cross Rivers State, Mr. Donald Duke were among dignitaries that stood by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola when he laid his late father, Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Bayo Fashola to rest today.
The deceased was interred at Vaults & Gardens, a private cemetery in Ikoyi, Lagos at exactly 4PM. He was 80. He was stripped of the wooden casket used in conveying to the cemetery and laid to rest in the grave and covered with fresh banana leaves in accordance with Muslim rites after prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos Central Mosque, Alhaji Garuba Akinola.
Looking quite calm in his white babariga to go with a brownish cap, Fashola thanked President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan, whom he said called repeatedly yesterday until he was able to get across to him and all Nigerians that took charge of preparation for the burial before his arrival from Mecca.
“ My thanks you goes to all Nigerians who took charge before I came back. I thank God for all the love from all Nigerians, the President who called repeatedly yesterday until he got across to me, he is here represented by Minister of Youths and Sports and my brother, Alhaji Bolaji Abdullahi.
Our gratitude is indeed immense and we can never fully express it. As for our father, I think that for all of us his children, he was first of all our best friend, a very loving friend who allowed us to be the best we could, guiding and nudging, that is why he has children who are Christians, children who are Muslims. He has children who are married fully across Nigeria. I think if there is any person who did not have any problem is my father. He just got on with life, he did not recriminate. In every position he found himself – good, comfortable, difficult, painful, he just got on. I learnt many things from him. Most of him, is who I am, and I hope I can be as rounded in integrity as he is. He is humble in his attitude to life, humble in life. He died in the month of Ramadan, he died in the Night of Majesty, we had just finished our prayer in Mecca. For me God is great. If God gave him the opportunity to choose how and when he will die, he couldn’t have chosen the day he left, it was such a great time. We thank God”, the governor said.
For the former Governor of Cross Rivers State, Mr. Donald Duke, the late Fashola was a very humble person. “I respected his comportment when I was introduced to him, the way he carried himself, he is very self effacing, he was embarrassed when people want to give him all the accolades as father of a governor, he was very self-effacing, a very humble man”, the former governor said.
Senator Gbenga Asafa described the late Fashola as a willing counsellor whose advice would be missed. “ Papa While alive, was like a father to all those he came across, he was always willing to lend assistance when it was required. I am sure that those of us who benefited from his counselling, that vacuum will be very difficult to fill. He was a great community leader, he was religious to the extent that he was a member of the Executive Council of Lagos Central Mosque and his contribution to the development of the mosque has been wildly acknowledged by all Lagosians. I commiserate with Fashola, my brother, and to all members of his immediate and extended family and pray to God to grant his soul Alujana”, he said.
For the former Public Relations office of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Tunji Alapini, he is a jovial person, he radiate love because he has a permanent smiling face that affects others. That he lived up to 80 we are all thankful to God, he lived a fulfilled life. He called on Nigerian to take the good from him so that people can also remember us when we depart.
Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who said he knew him through his son, Fashola, described him as happy man who has been able to raise a son who has measured to that level.