The cream of the society yesterday trooped to the ancient town of Ikorodu, Lagos State, for the burial of foremost industrialist and business icon, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi.
The burial ceremony took place at his Kunbi Haven residence, situated on Sule Oyesola Gbadamosi Crescent, Kokoro-Abu, Ikorodu.
As early as 8 a.m., sympathisers started arriving at his home. They all described him as a true son of Ikorodu and Lagos State.
At exactly 2.00p.m., the Grand Chief Imam of Ikorodu Division, Sheik Seifudeen Ayinla Ademoritan Olowooribi, leading other Imams, led the congregation in the last prayer for the deceased.
His body was lowered into a vault that was prepared for him many years ago, at exactly 2.15p.m.
The state government was represented at the ceremony by the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Olukunle Ojo, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, Commissioner for Arts, Tourism and Culture Mrs. Adebimpe Akinsola and Special Adviser on Overseas Affairs and Investment (Lagos Global) Prof. Ademola Abass.
Other dignitaries included former ministers Prince Ademola Seriki and Musiliu Obanikoro; former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba and wife, Derinsola; a former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Fatai Adeyinka; Justice of the Court of Appeal Justice Habeeb Abiru ; Director, Eko Hospital, Olorogun Sunny Kuku; Oriwu Sun Publisher Alhaji Monsur Olowosago; Majority Leader, Lagos House of Assembly S.O.B. Agunbiade; Managing Director, AIICO Pension Manager Mr. Equarekhile Longer and others.
Oba of Lagos Rilwanu Akiolu, Ayangburen of Ikorodu Oba Adewale Shotobi were represented by bearers of staff of their respective royal insignia.
In his graveside oration ladden with Qur’anic recitations, Sheik Olowooribi, who was full of encomiums for the deceased, praised almighty Allah for granting Gbadamosi’s wishes.
He admonished sympathisers to think of death and how it would come and ensure that they were always in good stead.
Sheik Olowooribi, who noted that the vault had been prepared long before his death, said: “While some were buried in unknown places or missing, the almighty Allah granted his wish. It is where he wished to be buried that he was buried. Allah is great.”
He said the deceased was good to all who came across him during his lifetime and prayed almighty Allah to forgive his sins.
The deceased’s daughter, Mrs. Kunbi Osinoiki, in a chat with reporters, noted that Gbadamosi built bridges across national facets.
Aside from being an industrialist, she said her father was passionate about drama and dramatists and assisted some of them to prominence.
It was her wish that her father would be remembered by Nigerians for his contributions to the national economic growth as a former Minister for National Development and Economic Planning and Chairman, Petroleum Pricing and Regulating Agency(PPRA) and former Chairman, Nigerian Industrial and Development Bank (NIDB).
Although Gbadamosi was not politically active, she noted that her father served the country in whatever capacity he was appointed because he was passionate about Nigeria.
Ogunleye, who spoke on behalf of Lagos State delegation, noted Gbadamosi’s contribution to the development of the state as a premier Commissioner at age 27.
Ogunleye said the late Gbadamosi did so much for Lagos State and Nigeria and that his shoes would be difficult to fill.
Chief Osoba, who said he was close to the deceased for over 60years, described his death as too sudden.
He urged the young ones to emulate him, particularly for his selfless service to the country.
Yeni kuti, whose late father, Fela Anikulapo, was a close friend of the deceased, said his death was too sudden and shocking.
“It was so sad an end to such a vibrant uncle and an industrialist that provided jobs to many. He was our rock. When Fela died, he was there for us. When my sister died, he was there for us and all through. We would miss him,” she lamented.
Justice Adeyinka, who repeatedly called the deceased by his alias, “ R.A. Jojolo”, said the vacuum created by his death would take a long time to fill.
Seriki described him as “a good man, highly principled, a man of strong philosophy and a man full of ordinary.”
Obanikoro said the late Gbadamosi was an “ extraordinary man blessed with extraordinary records of achievements. A mentor, trailblazer and an excellent Lagosian”.
President Oriwu Club, Ikorodu, Alhaji Shafari Aremu Sule, said the deceased served three tenures as president of the club because of his goodness and the fact that he was morally upright.