By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
Two former Heads of State, President Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalam Abubakar yesterday, jointly paid a condolence visit to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State and his siblings over the death of their father, Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola, and prayed for peace and tranquility in the country.
Speaking during the visit at Lagos House, Marina, former President Ibrahim Babangida prayed to God to give the immediate family the courage to bear the loss, adding that it is gratifying that Papa left behind an important gift in Governor Raji Fashola.
“In Islam, we do pray for long life but long life does not mean living for 100 years or 500 years. We are gratified that Papa left and he left one important gift, that is Governor Raji Fashola. So we are grateful that God has spared his life to see a Governor that everybody respects in this country and I also pray that one of your children will also take the footsteps you have taken after Papa”,Babangida added.
In his speech, Gen.Abubakar (rtd) declared: “I keep saying that without peace, there wouldn’t be any country, without peace, there wouldn’t be people and without peace there wouldn’t be means of livelihood”.
He also used the opportunity to congratulate the governor on the future he is building not only for Lagos State but for the country, praying that as he leaves his present office, he would assume greater responsibilities in the country.
Abdulsalam added that he and President Babangida were visiting to pay their condolence to the governor and his immediate family . He prayed for the peaceful repose of Pa Fashola’s soul.
In his response, Governor Fashola thanked both leaders for the visit, saying that with the visit, they have not only honoured his late father, but also honoured his family and prayed that honour will never depart from their households.
Fashola also lent his voice to the appeal for peace in the country by both leaders, saying he is doing so because his late father was a man of peace, “Nothing for him was worth any conflict. If things became too difficult, he simply moved on.”
‘’And I hope that the leadership that you both provide for this country will continue to endure and that through that leadership, much more enduring peace would spread around this country and that the promise of this country will come to pass in your lifetime,”the Governor said.
Also present during the visit were the First Lady, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, the siblings of Governor Fashola and some of the grandchildren of Pa Ademola Fashola.