FORMER president, Olusegun Obasanjo has described the late Akintola Williams as a Nigerian who was so pervasive and persistent in his contributions and influence particularly to the accounting profession and the nation in general. Williams was the dean of Africa’s accounting profession.
Williams passed away today just a few weeks after his 104th birthday party in his Lagos home.
In a statement made public by his special assistant on media, Kehinde Akinyemi, former president Obasanjo stated that Williams was both a national and international accounting legend and an icon.
Going down memory lane, the former President relayed his over 50-year relationship with Pa Williams, saying “I had directly and indirectly enjoyed his advice and support. In his cucumber cool, sober and unruffled disposition, he inspired you and warmed you to himself. ”
“His reflections and piercing insights and insistence for truth and accountability cannot but inspire you. I often admired his calm mien and disposition and when I asked a friend, “why is he always so calm, composed and methodical? He answered, “It is because he has strong internal antenna for controls!”
“He was so pervasive and consistent in his contributions and influence that the accounting professionals in particular and the nation in general must keenly feel his departure. He was an icon and an unusual specimen of human being as well as a nationally-renowned and globally-acclaimed accountant.
“I must confess that my interactions with Mr. Akintola Williams were tangential for a number of reasons. When those of us in the military in the province like Kaduna, where I was, came to Lagos in the mid-1960s, we were looking at the likes of Mr. Akintola Williams at a distance with great admiration and in awe.”
Obasanjo added that, having lived for 104 years, Pa Williams cannot by any stretch of the imagination, be considered to have died an untimely or premature death.
“I pray that the Almighty will grant him sweet repose and give you and other members of his family the strength to bear the heavy and irreparable loss,” Obasanjo was quoted as having said.