NAN – It was a large gathering of prominent Nigerians in Epe, Lagos on Friday, as a former Governor of Lagos State, Sir Michael Otedola, was buried at Odoragushin, his home town.
President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Patience, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo were at the burial.
Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State; former governor Peter Obi of Anambra State; Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adeshina and Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro, graced the burial.
Also present were former Ekiti State Governor, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Director – General of Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission, Ms Aruma Oteh, and former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
Billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote and former Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, were also at the event with some other captains of the industry.
Speaking briefly during the funeral mass held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Ibuwon, Jonathan described late Otedola as a man who lived a life of accomplishments.
“Late Otedola brought a characteristic level of uncompromising diligence and commitment to bear on his service to God, country and community,” he said.
He condoled with the family over the loss, praying to God to grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.
Obasanjo described Otedola as a kind-hearted man and a leader with firmness of purpose.
“History will record that when providence placed him in a position of influence and power, he touched many lives in a positive way,” he said.
Fashola said that Otedola left a footprint of excellence and service in spite of his short tenure as governor.
He said that the late governor was a model of “politics without bitterness” as he tactfully engaged and accommodated his political adversaries as governor.
Fashola said that Lagosians would forever be grateful to the deceased for his exemplary leadership.
Amosun described late Otedola as an ambassador of good values, adding that his generosity and leadership qualities were remarkable.
“Everyone, who knows him, testifies to his disciplined lifestyle and gentle disposition,” he said.
Dangote said the former governor was an achiever who served the people conscientiously when he was governor.
Security was heavy at the town as hundreds of soldiers and policemen were seen in all the strategic points in the community.
Some traders made brisk business at the occasion as they responded to the overwhelming demands from guests.
Traffic officials also had hectic time controlling the traffic.
Otedola, who was governor of Lagos State between 1991 and 1992, died on May 5.