President Muhammadu Buhari; President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina; and the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) have mourned the passing of pioneer Chairman of Nigerian Think Tank Group (NTTG), Dapo Williams ( DW), who died at the age of 61 in London on Saturday.
The United Kingdom (UK) chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had weekend announced the sudden death of Williams, a leader within the Nigerian UK Diaspora community.
The Nigerian Community in the UK has since been thrown into deep mourning and an indescribable sense of loss as the news of his passing filtered out.
Buhari, who condoled with Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora over the sad loss of Williams, described him as a prominent member of Nigerian UK Diaspora.
Sympathising with the family and friends of the deceased, the President recalled his meeting with Williams in January this year, during a town hall meeting with Nigerian professionals in the UK.
“He was passionate about our country, deeply committed to a Nigeria that attains her position in the comity of Nations. It’s sad to lose such a hopeful, ebullient soul so soon,” Buhari recalled, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
In his condolence message, President of the African Development Bank described Williams as an eminent and well accomplished Nigerian in the UK.
“I am saddened by the death of Dr. Dapo Williams, an eminent and well accomplished Nigerian in the UK.
“We never met, yet you very strongly supported me. I never got to see you face to face to say Thank you. Thank you very much. You were so kind. May God comfort your family. Rest in peace,” Adesina said.
Also reacting to his sudden death, NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described the death of Williams as an irreparable loss to his family, Nigeria and the UK communities.
Dabiri-Erewa, in a condolence message issued in Abuja, further described Williams as “a quintessential gentleman, a worthy patriot, and highly respected leader in the UK Nigerian Diaspora community as well as in Nigeria.”
NIDCOM boss said late Williams was a worthy agent of change in all facets of life and humanity and served as the NTTG pioneer chairman.
She said: “A selfless man, who always put the needs of others before his. He was on the frontline of mobilising support from Nigerians in Diaspora to assist the Nigerian government’s efforts in battling COVID-19 pandemic as a member of the Nigerian Diaspora COVID-19 Eradication support group.”
Dabiri-Erewa prayed God to give his family and friends the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss and grant him eternal rest.
The 61-year old erudite scholar was a multiple Masters degree holder with a Ph.D from University of Salford and had numerous professional certificates from several prestigious institutions, including Harvard Busines School and University of Cambridge.
Until his death, Williams was a real estate practitioner with over 30 years of experience in the Building Maintenance Industry and a highly respected community leader in the UK.
He was also an expert in the oil and gas, automobile products retailing, construction, education, employment, legal advice and guidance industry sectors.
Williams was also the Chair of a Forecourt Petroleum Product retailing outfit in Kent and member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in London and Kent.
A generous and kind-hearted man, Dr Williams, popularly known as DW was loved and respected by many who met and knew him. He was humble, modest , lively, and down to earth.
He was the Patron of many UK-Nigerian Community Projects and President of many socio-political organisations.
Williams supported many community initiatives and organisations, including the Nigerian Events Awards UK, Gathering of Africa’s Best (GAB Award), and Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards.
He was a dedicated APC-UK member and a founding member of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in the UK.
Williams was conferred with the title of Otunba Fiwagboye and Otunba Tayese and he has been awarded several community and professional awards.
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