2nd February, 2015
Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola SAN, Monday expressed shock and grief at the passage of the Asoju Oba of Lagos, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, describing him as an epitome of humaneness and dedication to service.
In a letter to widow of the late elder statesman, Chief (Mrs.) Olivia Abosede Okoya-Thomas, the governor, who said the passing of Chief Okoya-Thomas was a tremendous loss to him personally and to Lagos state, pointed out that both he and the people of Lagos had been the beneficiaries of the deceased’s great wisdom and philanthropy over the years.
In the letter dated 2 February 2015, Governor Fashola told Chief (Mrs.) Okoya-Thomas, “It is with great sorrow that my family and I heard of the passing of your husband, Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, the Asoju Oba of Lagos and a great statesman. In the years I knew him, his moral and physical strength, and his dedication to service were an inspiration to me”.
The governor said Lagos state was indeed lucky to be the home of the Late Chief Okoya-Thomas because the state felt his impact in various sectors, “especially in education, where he was, until his death, Chancellor of Lagos State University, and Sport, for which he was a great patron”.
Saying that he would miss not only the elder statesman’s wise counsel, but also his person and all he stood for, Governor Fashola declared, ” have very fond personal memories of Chief Okoya-Thomas. He was always blunt when dishing out his sage advice but I knew it was because he genuinely cared about the welfare and progress of the State and its people”.
The governor, who prayed that God would grant the Okoya-Thomas Family the fortitude to bear the great loss, added, “History will remember Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas as a great philanthropist. His legacy will live on because he made his mark in the private and public sectors and in the lives of numerous individuals”.
He told the widow of the deceased, “On behalf of my family and the people of Lagos State, I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and your family during this time of mourning. My prayers are with your family in this trying time. Mama, I pray that God will grant you the fortitude to bear this heavy loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” the statement said.