The memory of Engineer Funsho Williams came to life on Tuesday as members of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State chapter, gathered to remember him.
Williams who was a leading governorship aspirant on the platform of PDP in the state was assassinated at his home in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi on July 27, 2006.
Paying tributes to his memory, PDP described Funsho Williams as a committed, dedicated, and principled leader, who was out to ensure the betterment of the people of the state.
The chairman of PDP in Lagos state, Engineer Deji Doherty said, “His good work, his legacy, his ideology, that’s what we are remembering. His legacy of good governance, of what he stood for, his perseverance, determination, his belief in delivering dividends of democracy to the people, that’s it.”
Also speaking, former Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja, said the late political icon, would be remembered for his commitment to good governance, and also to the welfare of the people of Lagos State.
She recalled that the late Williams, an engineer turned politician, had actually wanted to contest the governorship seat of Lagos because he believed he had what was needed for the betterment of people of the state.
According to her, “Charity begins at home, he was very passionate even as a civil servant working in Lagos State as an engineer constructing roads, and so on, he did a wonderful job.
“So he believed that it was necessary for him if he wanted to impact on the people to be at the helm of affairs so that he can impact very well.’’
The former minister said that the party is proud of the legacy he left behind and urged party leaders and members to continue to persevere and work hard, noting that those who won the crown of glory never won it by being complacent.
“The message I would pass to members is that they should continue to persevere and they should continue to work hard, those who win the crown of glory don’t win it by being complacent and that spirit of can do, they should continue with it,” she said.
Adelaja also urged members of the party to be loyal to it, saying lack of loyalty and perseverance could be among the reasons why the PDP in the state has not been able to move forward.
Adelaja emphasized that’’ Funsho Williams was a committed person, he was principled, he knew what he wanted and he was going for it. So members should continue with his legacy and not just allow it to fizzle out”.
Funsho Williams grew up in Lagos. He attended St. Paul’s Catholic school at Ebute Metta and later St Gregory’s College, Lagos.
In 1968, he studied at the University of Lagos, attaining a degree in civil engineering. He then went on to attend the New Jersey Institute of Technology for his Master’s degree.
He returned to Nigeria in 1974.
Upon his return, he joined the Lagos State civil service where he spent 17 years working on construction projects in Lagos State.
Williams was a Permanent Secretary by the time he left the civil service in 1991.
He went into business, but he shortly returned to public service, as a Lagos state Commissioner under Colonel Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s Military Administratorship.
In the mid-1990s, Williams decided to enter into politics. He first joined the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and later moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
After a short time, Williams again switched parties, this time to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Williams had stood twice before in the Lagos State Governorship (Gubernatorial) election.
At the time of his death, he was hoping to be nominated as the PDP Gubernatorial candidate for Lagos State.
On July 27, 2006, Funsho Williams was found bound, strangled, and stabbed at his home in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
Williams was laid to rest at the Victoria Court Cemetery, Lagos.
He was survived by his wife, Hilda, and four children.