Soyannwo was a confidant, faithful believer in collective dream of Greater Lagos – Governor Sanwo-Olu

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The remains of the late Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Gboyega Soyannwo, were committed to mother earth on Thursday at the Vaults and Gardens, after a funeral service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David Parish, Victoria Island.

Governor Sanwo-Olu and his wife, Ibijoke; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Abimbola Salu-Hudeyin, Head of Service, Olabode Agoro and Chief of Staff, Tayo Ayinde, attended the funeral service to bid the late Soyannwo farewell.

The service was also attended by members of the Lagos State Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries, All Progressives Congress, religious and traditional leaders, captains of industry, entrepreneurs, and public servants, as well as family, friends, and associates of the deceased.

The late Soyannwo, who was appointed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2019 as Deputy Chief of Staff and re-appointed in 2023, died on May 15 after a brief illness at age 55.

Speaking during the funeral service, Governor Sanwo-Olu, described Soyannwo as the engine room of his administration, whose death has created a big vacuum.

He implored family of the deceased to take solace in God that the deceased lived a good life and touched many lives positively while on earth.

The Governor, who described the late Soyannwo as “a brother, an armour-bearer, a confidant, and a faithful believer in the collective dream of a Greater Lagos,” said the late Deputy Chief of Staff, was a team player par excellence who worked tirelessly for the success of his administration.

He said that the late Soyannwo was a firm believer in impactful governance, adding that he was dutiful and passionate about development.

In her emotional tribute, which moved some of the congregation to tears during the service, the widow, Mrs. Yewande Soyannwo, eulogised her late husband.

She said she had spent the best of her life with Gboyega, whom she described as a great partner and lover, having spent 24 years together as a couple.

She appealed to family, friends, colleagues, or anyone the late Gboyega Soyannwo might have offended while on earth for not meeting their expectations to forgive him, for death is inevitable.

“If I don’t give my tribute, it will be a disservice to Gboyega. Who am I to question God? Gboyega was intentional about everything, even when he is frowning.

“As your wife, I bless the day I met you. I bless the womb that brought you forth. I bless the children that God gave us. Everyone that matters to me matters to Gboyega. We had our issues, but they were nothing deep. What else can I say? I just want to thank God for giving him to me.

“I pray for strength to carry on. For the people Gboyega may have offended, who probably thought he didn’t give them a contract or help facilitate it, he had no power over that. Some relationships turned sour. He didn’t have the power to award contracts. Please forgive him,” she pleaded.

In his exhortation, Pastor Dapo Akinosun, who read from Proverbs 22:29 and Romans 12:14, prayed for the repose of the deceased, urged those who are still alive to use their position to better the lives of the less privileged in society, by being selfless in service, as exemplified by Jesus Christ.

During the funeral service, prayers were offered for the entire Soyannwo family and Lagos State Government by the Lagos State chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Stephen Adegbite.