Prominent Nigerians have sent their Condolence messages to the Fashola family following the passage of the patriarch of the family, Alhaji Ibrahim Ademola Fashola, father of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who passed away Monday at the age of 79.
The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, on behalf of himself, his family, the federal government and Nigerians, expressed his sincere condolences to the governor over the passage of his father.
In his condolence message to the Fashola family, President Jonathan urged the family to take heart and be comforted by the knowledge that Pa Fashola died a fulfilled man who lived to see his son become a two-term governor of one of Nigeria’s most populous and vibrant states.
“As they mourn Pa Fashola, President Jonathan urges Governor Fashola, his family and people of Lagos State to give thanks to God Almighty for the octogenarian’s very exemplary and accomplished life,” he said.
Also condoling the Fasholas, Senator David Mark said the family should take joy in the fact that the deceased lived an eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation.
The Senate president in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, urged the governor to bear his loss with fortitude as he was consoled by the fact that his father lived an exemplary life and left a legacy of selfless service to the community.
“Your track record of achievements, especially your excellent performance as the governor of Lagos State, bears eloquent testimony that your father left a legacy of integrity and excellence,” he said.
On his part, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi commiserated with his colleague on the death of his father.
Fayemi, in a statement Monday, said he could feel the pains of his colleague, having lost his own father four years ago.
But he urged him to be consoled by the fact that the deceased lived a fulfilled life and to a ripe old age.
According to him, the deceased will be remembered for being a disciplinarian and a personality who pursued any cause he believed in.
In his condolence message, Fayemi’s counterpart in Oyo State, Ajimobi, described the death of the elder Fashola as a great loss to the family.
Ajimobi, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said: “Papa was a devout Muslim, community leader and a shining example of humility and philanthropy, as he shared virtually everything he had with the needy, irrespective of where they came from.’’
The Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola in a condolence message, by the state’s Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, said the death of the elder Fashola would leave a huge vacuum in the extended Fashola family as well as in Lagos social and political circles.
Aregbesola noted that the death of Fashola would deny him and some of his colleagues the elderly counsel and wisdom they had enjoyed.
“The sudden exit of Papa Ademola Fashola invoked a mixed feelings in me, one of costly loss of a redoubtable father and leader and the other of a glorious exit of papa after a well led life on earth,” he added.
The Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun also mourned the death of the father of his Lagos State counterpart.
In a statement by his spokesman, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, Amosun said he was shocked by the news of the death and described the deceased as a model of industry, discipline and integrity.
“He was a dedicated family man and devout Muslim, who trained his children in the way of Allah. It is not surprising that one of his children, Mr Raji Fashola, later rose to become the governor of Lagos, where he has recorded outstanding successes,” the governor said.
Former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu also expressed sadness at the death of the father of his successor.
Speaking from the United States, Tinubu said the death of the elder Fashola was shocking and saddening irrespective of the fact that he died at a ripe age.
“His demise even at the ripe age of 79 years is a hurtful one and we have indeed lost a true, honest, steadfast and dependable father. Pa Ademola Fashola, a man of integrity was a father no one would want to lose at a time like this.
“There is no greater testimony to this than his son, Babatunde Fashola, the governor of Lagos, who has given a new meaning to good governance and purposeful leadership.”
The late Fashola, a former employee of Daily Times Plc, died at his 31, Oladipo Labinjo Crescent, Surulere residence while Governor Fashola was on a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia along with some top officials of the state.
The governor is expected back in the country Tuesday for his father’s burial.
A statement Monday by the state government, signed by the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Olanrewaju Babalola, confirmed the passage of Pa Fashola, whom it said died after a brief illness.
The three-paragraph statement said the body of Pa Fashola, who was survived by wives, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, would be buried today according to Muslim rites at the Vaults and Gardens, Ikoyi by 1 p.m.