By Our Correspondent
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode joined other prominent Nigerians to extol the virtues of late eler statesman, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi.
They made the tributes during a “Night of Tribute’’ in honour of Ajayi, a lawyer and an Afenifere Chieftain, who died on November 4 at the age of 91.
Commenting on the life and times of the Ijebu-Igbo born politician, Ambode said the thoughts and ideas of the late Sir Olaniwun Ajayi proffered workable and enduring solutions to the myriads of challenges facing the country.
The governor was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule at the event held at Civic Centre, Lagos on Monday night.
He said history and posterity would index the contributions of Ajayi to the socio-economic and political development of the nation.
“His thoughts and ideas on the path which our nation should tread for economic transformation and political emancipation are well captured for these current and future generations.
“His was a life spent in the service of ensuring that this planet was impacted positively. We, as leaders, need to key into his ideas to move our nation forward,’’ Ambode said.
Also, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said Ajayi was faithful to the values of his generation.
Sanusi described him as a loyal, patriotic, honest and disciplined icon, which emphasised greatly on good character.
He urged political leaders to emulate the exemplary life of Ajayi.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the President of Dangote Group of Companies, described Ajayi as a fearless and passionate man who was among those that fought for Nigeria’s independence.
“He was more passionate about his country and his community that he promised to renovate his primary school in Ishara, Ogun, (Wesley Primary School), but unfortunately, he could not get it done.
“I am donating N60 million to that project in his memory,’’ he said.
Dr Oby Ezekwesili, a former Minister of Education, said Ajayi lived and passed on his values.
“We have to keep up with the values and legacies he left behind by living the values we believe in.
“His legacies will endure for all times,’’ Ezekwesili said.
In his view, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Founding Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, described Ajayi as a statesman, technocrat and philanthropist.
Bakare said the late icon was a father-figure with valuable life lessons that he passed on to others.
Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe, said Ajayi was a diligent, transparent and visionary politician who was concerned about the poor, vulnerable and downtrodden in the society.
Akinkugbe described the late politician as a great thinker and doer, who was allergic to mediocrity and practiced the tenets of democratic socialism.
In his tribute, a former Chief of Army Staff, retired Gen. Alani Akinrinade, said that as a patriot, Ajayi never failed to live by example in enthroning federalism, democracy and the rule of law.
“That spirit should be entrenched as a guiding principle for our leaders of today to make Nigeria better,’’ Akinrinade said.