By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has named Onikan Stadium after the first military governor of the state, Late Brig. Gen Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson, describing him as an iconic figure in the history of Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu, who made this known at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos, where personalities from all walks of life gathered to bid farewell to late Johnson, explained that the gathering was to celebrate the lifetime of the late first military governor but not to mourn him.
The Governor explained further that the late Johnson stood out as a special person for his leadership and charismatic prowess.
He added that even though late Johnson was man of authority but never authoritarian, stating that the day was to sing the praises of a true Lagosian.
While stressing on the contributions of the late first military governor to the state, Sanwo-Olu stated that late Johnson built the maternity annex at Onikan Health Centre and an additional ward at Igbobi Orthopedic Hospital, adding that he equally opened five new Government Colleges in each of the five divisions of the state.
“His regime witnessed an increase in the state’s revenue from N36.7m to N99.7m. The increase was largely due to the revenue allocation formula that had just been introduced and increased revenue from crude oil, which was partly shared out to the State Governments”, said Sanwo-Olu
“Under his leadership, the state government generated the larger proportion of its earnings from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). According to the government then, the IGR was known as “sources under the control of the Lagos State Government”.
“The late Mobolaji Johnson administration began the construction of Ikorodu and Mushin General Hospitals. It also modernized the General Hospital, Lagos, by building the new mortuary block, physical medicine department, sewage treatment plant and installation of a standby generator. The administration also commissioned the nurses hostel, doctors flat at Marina, Isolo and Harvey Road Health Centres”, he added.
“The Gen. Johnson administration also introduced the harmonized teachers’ salaries and conditions of service to enhance the status of the profession and commenced the implementation of the Universal Primary Education (UPE).
His administration also completed projects under the Lagos Water Supply phase 1 Expansion Programme and designed the Owo Water Works as an alternative to Iju Water Works to serve Ojo and environs. Other strides of the administration are: Construction of the Victoria Island Sewage Scheme for Ikoyi, Lagos Island etc.; introduction of the regulations for motorcyclists to wear crash helmets; introduction of Traffic Courts; establishment of Agricultural Extension Works Stations; construction and commissioning of the Government Printing Press at Isheri road in Ikeja; and so on”, said Sanwo-Olu.
The Governor stated that late Johnson set Lagos on a course and a race of an unending quest for improvement, innovation and development, stating “We remain inspired and grateful as we celebrate the life and times of this great man, and more importantly his service to our people, borne out of deep conviction, and executed with grace and without blemish”
“We will miss him, even as we keep in our minds the lesson of his enviable life – that hard work pays and the power of vision cannot be blighted by human inadequacies”, the Governor stated.
In his comment, the former Executive Governor of the state and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, described late Johnson as a servant leader and a man of incorruptible character.
Tinubu added “He embarked on re-engineering and rethinking to assemble talented cabinet to show transparency at the time. All the talented cabinet did well and he showcased courage as well. He lived a life of principle and contentment. He ran a clean and transparent administration”
Also, at the farewell event, past Lagos state military administrators including Brig. Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola (rtd), Brig. Gen Raju Rasaq (rtd) and Rear Admiral Ndubisi Many (rtd) showered encomium on the late Johnson, commending him for his leadership prowess during his military service.