We Lost a Fine Public Servant, Gentleman, Sanwo-Olu Laments at Tribute to Late Aide

Segun James

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, lamented that he lost a devoted aide and dependable public servant, his former Deputy Chief of Staff (DCoS) Mr. Gboyega Olumade Soyannwo, who died last week.

He said this at a Night of Tributes to share memories of his moments and encounters with Soyannwo.

Also, colleagues of the deceased in the government, shared their encounters with the Soyannmo.

55, Soyannwo breathed his last on May 15, after a brief illness. He is survived by wife and two children.

Sanwo-Olu, and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, led members of the State Executive Council, members of the state’s legislature and the judiciary to the Night of Tribute held at Alausa Sports Ground, as part of the funeral programmes organised for the deceased.

Sanwo-Olu, in an emotive tone, described the late Sayannwo as the “rallying point” in the Governor’s Office, extolling the deceased’s commitment and his dedication to any cause to which he had conviction.

The governor, who said Soyannwo’s death was a personal loss to him, revealed that he and the deceased had been together for 20 years, as they both had their stints in the banking sector, before moving to the government together.

Sanwo-Olu recalled that the late Soyannwo was the first staff in his team immediately he declared his intention to run for governor, noting that the deceased showed up in his house 24 hours after with a well thought-out strategy to go about party primaries.

“From the moment I was sworn in till today, Gboyega had made me a better manager than I was. He helped me to be a better governor. He managed my daily itinerary and understood what the job entails.

“For once in the last five years when I appointed him as my Deputy Chief of Staff, I never had the cause to raise my voice at him because he fully understood the dynamics and tedious tasks of his office. He was the rallying point of my office.

“Gboyega made indelible impacts in the lives of each and every one of us. In the classes of the past and current cabinet, we have just lost our strongest confidant and a true bridge builder.

“Gboyega would call me 33 times in 25 minutes and each call would be quick to get my final approval for tasks listed in my itinerary. I’ve lost a great friend, brother and cherished colleague. Lagos has lost one of its finest public servants. I will forever be thankful to God for making our paths cross.”

Sanwo-Olu said the deceased was “fiercely loyal” and never coloured his official duties with friendship throughout his career, adding that smooth organisation was not only his main skill which stood him out as a professional banker.

“Give him a very difficult spreadsheet to analyse or transactions that anyone has no idea to unravel, Gboyega would resolve it in a simplified way. That’s how he started in banking industry,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He continued: “I certainly will not be here to mourn Gboyega’s death, but to celebrate his life and legacy left behind in service of our great country. He has done more than anyone can expect of a 55-year-old. He showed us there is reward for hard work. Gboyega taught all of us how to live well and make lasting impact on humanity.”

Hamzat recalled his first meeting with the late Soyannwo in 2018 ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primaries, pointing out that the deceased was a man, who was careful with promises.

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