Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the late Chief Kingsley O. Mbadiwe as a man who left an indelible mark on Nigeria’s political landscape. Obasanjo said Mbadiwe’s towering figure on the country’s terrain, his diligence and sincerity of purpose in public and private life have remained benchmarks that have served as guide to his children in particular and the Mbadiwe family in general.
Speaking as the guest of honor during the official inauguration of a 50-room hotel built by Ambassador Greg Mbadiwe to immortalize his parents yesterday, Obasanjo remarked that he was particularly happy to attend the event in honor of one of Nigeria’s finest politicians.
While commending Greg Mbadiwe and the family for celebrating their parents with what he called tangible and durable hospitality legacy, he described the hotel as a fitting memorial to the late Mbadiwe and his wife Celia.
The former president said Nigerians would continue to miss the flamboyance of Mbadiwe, a political figure, popularly called Timber and Calibre, who, he said, brought a breath of fresh air to politics in his time and impacted positively on the lexicon of the House during his heyday. He also said the hotel would create jobs for Nigerians and serve as a means of livelihood for many families.
Former Secretary-General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who was the chairman on the occasion, also described the late sage as a political heavyweight who contributed immensely to the unity, growth and development of Nigeria.
Anyaoku urged Nigerians to emulate the Mbadiwes by celebrating success and immortalizing achievements, noting that the world over, people are celebrated when they distinguish themselves in their area of specialization.
In his welcome speech, Ambassador Greg Mbadiwe, chairman of the board of directors, KingsCelia Hotel and Suites, said he conceived the project to celebrate his parents, who sacrificed so much for their children.
He said, like other children, they had their peculiar challenges while growing up but, through their parents’ advice and support, they were able to overcome the challenges.
The hotel, built on the plot of land where he was born, was recently upgraded and positioned to offer upbeat hospitality service in honour of his parents and service to humanity.
“It is an eloquent testimony to the hard work of our parents and the pains they went through while bringing us up. Building the hotel on the plot of land where I was born brings a lot of nostalgia. This is our way of remembering their good work,” Mbadiwe said.
KingsCelia Hotels and Suites, located in the Jibowu area of Yaba, Lagos, was literally besieged by prominent Nigerians at home and abroad, from as early as 10am, who desired to be part of the epochal event, without recourse to the heavy downpour that shut down traffic in most parts of the city.
While jointly cutting the tape to declare the hotel open, Anyaoku and Obasanjo prayed that God would make the business fruitful and serve the purpose for which it was built.