It was prayers and tributes galore at the 3rd day Fidau prayers for Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Bayo Fashola, late father of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
The event which held in Surulere, Lagos, had prominent Nigerians from all walks of life in attendance
In his exhortations at the occasion, Missioner of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheik Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, called on Nigerians to shun corruption and pursuit of material possessions and positions saying such pursuits would only lead to frustration.
Sheik Ahmad who spoke on’ Signs of the End-Times’, said the only valuable possession a man should seek while on earth was to impact positively on the life of others adding that the only legacy for which anyone would be remembered after death was his or her good or bad deeds towards his or her fellow beings.
“I see old men on their way out. I see young men going grey and looking older than their age because of frustration. I see children who are a pride to their parents and children who cause pain to their parents. The common denominator is death, the leveler of all beings. The old, the young, the poor and the rich, all must die”, he said.
Quoting from the Holy Quran, the Missioner expressed dismay that many Nigerians engage in the pursuit of wealth and abundance to the utter neglect of those around them including their families pointing out that a man’s struggles would amount to nothing if he could not impact positively on his children and community.
“We are here today to celebrate a man whom Allah has chosen to bless specially. We have seen a man who lived a life of struggles and many internal battles but Allah gave him victory. Some have fought such battles but lost. We pray that he wins a pride of place with the Almighty Allah”, the Cleric said.
He enjoined Nigerians to be more conscious of the people around them and support each other instead of engaging in inordinate ambition which, according to him, is capable of consuming a person without his knowing it.
Extolling the virtues of the late Fashola, the cleric declared, “The best of human being is the one that makes the best impact on the life of others”, adding that concentrating on the pursuit of material things to the neglect of other people around one would end in regrets when one comes face to face with one’s Maker.
Earlier Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola had received the Executive Committee members of the Igbo socio-cultural group, Aka Ikenga, led by the President-General, Chief Goddy Uwazurike at the family house in Surulere during which he reiterated the need to promote unity and understanding among Nigerians as the only viable means to achieve the great nation that they desire.
Addressing members of the group who paid him a condolence visit, Fashola said the promotion of those things that unite the people would in turn promote better understanding among the people adding that this would bring peace and development in the end. The governor, who cited his family’s long relationship with the Igbo, said, “We are joined in more ways than most people understand adding that the cultural and ethnic diversity of Nigeria would continue to be her strength and provide better understanding among the people.
Describing his family’s relationship with the Igbo across the Niger as deep, Fashola pointed out that aside one of his uncles providing the first direct link with his relationship with the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, one of his aunties also married across the Niger.
“Our relationship with you here, people across the Niger, is very deep, perhaps deeper than some people could understand. My Uncle was the first direct link we had and then my aunty also married across the Niger. That is why we now have Ganiu Okafor”.
“So we are joined in more places than most people know and I think our diversity continues to be our present strength, deeper understanding, tolerance and mutual respect”, the Governor said, adding “May the things that unite us and promote our understanding be greater and better than things we do not understand”.
Earlier in his opening remarks, President of the Group, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, said the group had come to commiserate with the governor over the death of his father and also to emphasize that the relationship between Ndigbo and their host state would continue to get better.
Those present at the Fidau prayers included members of the State Executive Council, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Alhaji Tijani Babatunde Folawiyo, Chief Henry Oladele Ajomale, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa, Baba Adinni of Lagos, Imams, Muslim clerics, scholars, dignitaries from different parts of the country, representatives of the various communities in Lagos and members of the Fashola extended family among many other friends and relations of the bereaved family.