Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Assembly speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and others have mourned the passage of Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson, a member of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), the apex leadership body of the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC). Nelson, a former Executive Director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and ex-South-West Zonal Women Leader of the All Progressives Congress, died on Sunday at the age of 66.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, described the death of Chief Kemi Nelson as a great loss to Lagos State, especially the ruling party, considering her unique position as one of the great mobilisers in the party. The Governor described the late Lagos APC Women Leader as a “passionate, trustworthy, committed, extremely loyal politician, leader, women advocate and an invaluable asset to APC and Lagos State.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu said “The death of Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson is a painful and big loss to me personally. It is also a great loss to the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), our party, APC, the deceased family and friends.
“I am saddened by the passage of this indefatigable, devoted, loyal, committed, progressive democrat and team player who played remarkable roles in the success of our party at the state, zonal and national levels during her lifetime.
“Chief Kemi Nelson as a consummate politician and committed leader of her people, especially women, contributed immensely to the growth and development of our great party as APC Women Leader in Lagos and South-West. She also did her best for our dear Lagos State during her tenure as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
“She will be missed dearly by her family, friends and the entire political class, particularly GAC, chieftains and members of the ruling party across Lagos State and Nigeria.
“I pray that God would grant the soul of our beloved GAC member, Chief Kemi Nelson, eternal rest and comfort to the immediate and political family she left behind.”
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC Presidential candidate also expressed sadness over the passing of Nelson. In a statement he personally signed, Tinubu lamented: “I was shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of activist, prominent politician and one of my closest associates, Yeye Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson.
“A nationalist and grassroots mobilizer, Mrs. Nelson ranked highly within our progressive front. She was relentless, she was dedicated and she worked assiduously for the creation of the Nigeria of our dreams. She could well have achieved and sustained personal success as a private citizen concerning herself solely with the welfare of her family. Instead, she was passionately committed herself to politics as a vehicle for her to contribute to the common good.
“Throughout the course of her life, Mrs. Nelson did much for the development of Lagos, the cause of progressivism and the progress of Nigeria. As Commissioner she began the Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Centres in various Local Government Areas across Lagos which, to this day, continue to empower disadvantaged women, men and youths in the State.
“We shall never forget Yeye Nelson. For her past sacrifice for Lagos and indeed Nigeria; she will be remembered. For her commitment to the womenfolk and the downtrodden she will be celebrated.
“I will always remember Yeye for her loyalty, sense of duty, abiding compassion for humanity and for always being there for us and our progressive cause.
Also, Obasa said that with the passing of Chief Kemi Nelson, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Lagos State has lost a very bright light. Obasa, in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Eromosele Ebhomele, described the death of the politician as a huge loss to Lagos state, the party she served with so much passion and enthusiasm, members of the party and Nigeria.
“The shock is indescribable. It is so huge and painful, one that will be difficult to heal for a long time. Indeed, we lost a very bright light that had always brought the desired radiance to our party.
“Chief Kemi Nelson was a coordinator of women and she carried out her tasks with so much ease, enthusiasm and effectiveness to the admiration of everyone of us.
“She never hid her passion for a better Lagos and Nigeria through democratic governance. She was dilligent and excelled in every position or committee she found herself.
“While I, like many others she held in high esteem, will personally miss her, I pray that God would strengthen every member of her family, her friends, associates, those she mentored, the GAC and our party,” Obasa prayed.
Chief Kemi Nelson, former Executive Director of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and influential politician, was a senatorial candidate in 1992. She lost the election to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, now presidential candidate of the APC ahead of the 2023 election.
In 1999, she pitched tents with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and served in the administration of Asiwaju Tinubu as Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.