By Adeola Ogunrinde
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday described the late literary icon and foremost industrialist, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, as one of the founding fathers of modern day Lagos who offered selfless service to the service of the State and the nation.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja during a reception organized by the State Government in honour of Gbadamosi, said the late economist and industrialist was a true Lagosian who contributed immensely to the development of the state, adding that the government and good people of Lagos would forever cherish his contribution to the growth of the state.
Speaking at the event, which was well attended by captains of industry, politicians, and stakeholders in the arts industry, among others, Governor Ambode said Gbadamosi served the state at a young age as Commissioner for Economic Planning and ended his service to the state at his old age as Co-Chairman of the Lagos at 50 Celebration Committee.
He said: “I stand here on behalf of all Lagosians to celebrate selflessness. Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi was an illustrious son of Ikorodu; a true son of Lagos; a patriotic Nigerian; an elder statesman; a thoroughbred economist; a lover of arts per excellence; a consummate businessman; and above all a selfless Nigerian.
“He was not just a father but one of the founding fathers of modern day Lagos. We, in Lagos State, will forever cherish his contribution to the growth and development of Lagos State. He was a fine gentleman; a father; an uncle; and a very lively person. We, in the State Government, will miss him so much.”
Besides, the Governor described Gbadamosi’s death as a personal loss to him, saying the late industrialist was a brother, counselor and big uncle to him, and that he (Gbadamosi) has surely earned a place of exemplary leadership in the government of the state.
He recalled Gbadamosi’s days as the Commissioner for Economic Planning in the State whereby he contributed to laying a solid foundation for the development of the state, saying that his appointment as Co-Chairman of Lagos at 50 Committee was reached after a careful study of those who have served the state selflessly.
While also recalling the backlash that trailed Gbadamosi’s appointment into the Committee on health grounds, the Governor said he (Gbadamosi) stood his ground and never allowed it to deter him from selflessly serving the state, and urged other members of the Committee to make the events to celebrate the state bigger and more successful in his memory.
Besides, Governor Ambode urged Gbadamosi’s family to be strong and take solace in his dreams and vision of a modern Lagos as well as his legacies.
The Governor, however, assured that because of Gbadamosi’s love for arts, the State Government would intensify initiatives to promote arts more than ever starting with arts exhibition in January, 2017 to bring the old and the young together and create the framework for youth engagement.
In her tribute, President of Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chief Mrs Nike Akande, said the late Gbadamosi personified the value of hard work, adding that he was an amiable and hardworking industrialist who was always bringing deep intellectual insight into national issues.
Akande also said Gbadamosi had an incredible passion for the progress of Lagos and he was a leading industrialist, lover and supporter of the arts.
On his part, veteran actor Olu Jacobs said Gbadamosi was passionately committed to standing with the people and was always particular about the welfare of the arts and artists.
Responding on behalf of the family, Gbadamosi’s eldest child, Mrs. Morounkunbi Osinoiki, thanked the State Government for organizing the tribute in honour of her late father, saying it was well appreciated by the family.