The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on Thursday led other eminent Nigerians to celebrate Chief Akintola Williams, the first African to qualify as a Chartered Accountant.
Williams clocked 99 on Thursday.
The governor described him as a true Nigerian who worked assiduously to lift up the country.
Ambode, who spoke to reporters at a special birthday reception held in honour of Williams at his Lagos residence, described the celebrant as the doyen of accountancy profession and elder statesman who deserved to be celebrated for his contribution to the growth and development of the country.
According to the governor, “The main reason why we are here is to celebrate a true Nigerian. Somebody who has actually contributed to the development of Nigeria and he is still alive at 99, is worth celebrating and this is like a prelude to the centenary that we are waiting to celebrate next year. That is why you can see that Ogun State governor is here too.
“Apart from the fact that Chief Akintola Williams is the Doyen of the Accountancy Profession, we see him as a founding father of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); he is also the founding father of the Musical Society of Nigeria.
“So, he has too many parts and this is one Nigerian that we are proud of and we are willing to celebrate him every day,” Ambode said.
He commended Williams for his role in the development of Lagos, saying the state government would continue to celebrate true Nigerians like him.
“That I am here today is more or less to say a big thank you to him for lifting up Lagos; for lifting up Nigeria and we also wish him well on behalf of all Lagosians. We will continue to celebrate true Nigerians and he (Chief Williams) is just one true Nigerian, an elder statesman that we should all be proud of,” Ambode said.
Williams, in his response, appreciated all those who found time to be with him on his special day, and wished them long life as well.
Other eminent Nigerians at the event included former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd); first Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (rtd) and Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
Others include foremost banker and founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun; legal luminary and philanthropist, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo; former ICAN presidents, among other captains of industries and members of the diplomatic corps.