Governors Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) yesterday led other eminent Nigerians to celebrate with Chief Akintola Williams, the first African to qualify as a chartered accountant, on his 99th birthday.
Speaking to reporters at the special birthday reception held at his Lagos residence, Ambode described the celebrant as the doyen of accountancy profession and elder statesman, who deserved to be celebrated for his contributions to the country’s growth.
The governor said: “The main reason why we are here is to celebrate a true Nigerian, and for somebody who has actually contributed to the development of Nigeria and he is still alive at 99, he is worth celebrating.
“This is like a prelude to the centenary that we are waiting to celebrate next year, and 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 (MSN). 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.”
He particularly lauded Williams for his role in Lagos State’ growth, saying the state government would keep celebrating true Nigerians like Williams”.
Ambode added: “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.”
Williams thanked those who found time to be with him on his special day and wished them long life as well.
Aside Ambode and Amosun, other eminent Nigerians at the event include former Military Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd); first Lagos State Military Governor Brig.-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson (retd); Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu; foremost banker and founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Otunba Subomi Balogun; legal luminary and philanthropist Chief Chris Ogunbanjo; former ICAN Presidents, other captains of industries and members of the diplomatic corps.