By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN has eulogised the life and time of Brig.-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson but expressed deep sadness as he condoled with the government and people of Lagos State over the death of the state’s first Military Governor.
Fashola, the 13th governor of Lagos State, described Johnson as an illustrious pioneer, a man of singular vision, integrity and unwavering duty whose loss “is one that is shared by an entire nation.”
He said Johnson was “a dedicated soldier and public servant and a loving husband and father. As the first governor of the newly created Lagos State in 1967, he faced immediate challenges in leading a restive federal capital territory.
“He handled those challenges with tremendous courage and unwavering grace,” Fashola said.
The minister noted that the late elder statesman established a strong administrative structure for the state.
Fashola said: “Beyond governing a state which was at the heart of a divisive national civil war, Johnson was an administrative trailblazer.
“Along with key civil servants like Adeyemi-Bero and Folarin Coker, he laid a template for civil service practices and procedures which set Lagos State apart as a centre of excellence.”
He recalled his appeal during the unveiling of the biography of the late Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson titled, Lagos State: My Life of Service with Integrity, in 2010 that past leaders should document their periods of Stewardship.
Fashola said such documentation that showed the great infrastructure strides like how the Lagos City Hall was built, how the Badagry Expressway was constructed, how the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Complex was built, among several others would serve as inspiration to future leaders that things were successfully done before and could still be done again.
Fashola said he would personally miss the wise counsel and support of Johnson. “During my own tenure as Lagos State Governor, Johnson was always ready with counsel and advice. If there was any public event or occasion regarding the welfare of the state, his towering figure was certain to be found present.
“On behalf of my wife, Abimbola, we extend our deepest condolences to his entire family. His loss is one that is shared by an entire nation,” Fashola said.