• ‘He is a true Nigerian, African to be proud of’
• We pray to mark centenary next year, says Ambode
Eminent Nigerians, including Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his Ogun State counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday celebrated the doyen of the accounting profession in Africa, Chief Akintola Williams, who clocked 99.
At the event attended by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Ambode described Akintola as a true Nigerian who worked assiduously to lift the country.
He said the elder statesman, who is the first African to qualify as a chartered accountant, deserved to be celebrated for his contribution to the growth and development of Nigeria.
“The main reason we are here is to celebrate a true Nigerian and somebody who has actually contributed to the development of Nigeria. That 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 his chosen 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. This is one Nigerian that we are proud of and we are willing to celebrate him every day,” Ambode said.
He particularly 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. We also wish him well on behalf of all Lagosians.”
The celebrant appreciated all those who found time to be with him on his special day, wishing them long life as well.
Other eminent Nigerians at the event included the first military governor of the state, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (rtd); Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun; legal luminary and philanthropist, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo; former ICAN presidents; captains of industry and members of the diplomatic corps.