Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, has described the first Military Governor of the State, Brigadier- General Mobolaji Johnson as an administrative trailblazer who laid the template for civil service practices and procedures which set Lagos apart as a centre of excellence.
Fashola said this in his message of condolence to the Government and people of Lagos State over the death of the former military administrator.
The Minister, who served for two tenures as the 13th Governor of Lagos State from 2007 – 2015 in a message signed on his behalf by Hakeem Bello, his communications adviser, also described General 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.”
“General 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,” the Minister said.
The former Governor also noted that the late elder statesman established a strong administrative structure for the State, Fashola declared : “Beyond governing a state which was at the heart of a divisive national civil war, General 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.”
Recalling his appeal, as Governor, during the launch 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 noted that such documentation that showed the great infrastructural 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 General Johnson. “During my own tenure as Lagos State Governor, General 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,” he said.
“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.