• Asks younger generation to emulate Gen. Adebayo
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, thursday said economic growth and prosperity of Nigeria depends on the oneness of its people irrespective of their ethno-religious backgrounds.
Ambode added that the former military Governor of the defunct Western Region, Maj.-Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), worked tirelessly for the unity of South-west state before he passed on March 8.
He said this at a commendation service in honour of late Adebayo held at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church in Ikeja, describing him as an elder statesman who worked tirelessly for the progress of Yoruba and unity of Nigeria.
The deceased, who died in Lagos at 89 years, served as the governor of the region between 1966 and 1971. The defunct Western Region today has been split down into six South-west states comprising Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti.
At the service thursday, Ambode urged Nigerians, irrespective of race and religion, to unite “to place the country on a sound footing for economic growth and prosperity. Late Adebayo, in his lifetime, pursued the good cause of unifying Nigeria.
“Baba was an elder statesman who was also in love with the unity of Nigeria. He had a mission that is yet to be fulfilled by all of us. I think the time of his death has brought to the fore that main mission that we want to use to unite Nigeria.
“That is why I believe strongly wherever we are, wherever we find ourselves, Baba has made his own difference, the remaining left for all of us is that whether we are in leadership position or any place we find ourselves, we should carry out that mission that he had always exemplified that we must come up strongly in unity and at the same time make Nigeria a very strong nation.”
Ambode explained that the deceased was like a family father to him, noting that he “has a lot of respect for owing by the virtues and legacies he left behind during his sojourn on earth. This is more or less like a family dad to me.
“I feel the pain in all some things we had actually envisioned through Baba which more or less are the kind of baton we in this generation should take. For somebody to have died at the age Baba died, there is so much he has taken away which we, younger governors, will not be able to assimilate enough.
“Apart from being a fine gentle man, elderly man and perfect person, the bottom line was that Baba had the love of the Yoruba race in his heart,” he explained.
He commiserated with the widow and the entire family of the deceased. He said it was gratifying to note Adebayo’s works had resulted in the blessings of God upon the family.
Bishop, Diocese of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rev. James Olusola Odedeji said in the history of Nigeria, late Adebayo would be remembered for hard work, integrity, family virtues, generosity and selflessness in the discharge of duties, among other virtues.
Odedeji, who picked his text from the book of 1Corinthians 15: 58, admonished Nigerians to engage in fruit bearing lifestyle and eschew selfish disposition to affairs and people.
“As Christians and Nigerians, we must make a difference in this corrupt and perverse generation by touching lives and leaving good legacy that is everlasting. Politicians especially should live a life to touch others positively,” Odedeji said.