London — A late Nigerian-British Mayor, Tayo Shitu, who died in May 2011, was immortalised at the weekend in London with the launch of a foundation in his name to uphold his legacies.
The Tayo Shitu Foundation (TSF) was launched by leaders of the London Borough of Southwark to propagate the late politician’s political and humanitarian ideals.
The current Mayor of Southwark, Lorraine Lauder and leader of the Council, Peter John in their remarks at the occasion described the late Shitu as a good leader who served his people with passion and left lasting legacies.
The mayor of neighbouring London Borough of Lambeth, Christiana Valcarce in her speech said Mayor Shitu’s name would never be forgotten because of his humility and selfless service to the people.
Shitu’s widow, Abike Afusat and his son, Michael, who is a councillor at Southwark thanked leaders of the council and all those who contributed in making the foundation a reality.
Tayo Shitu, who hailed from Osun State, came to the UK as a student at the age of 33 and over the years served as a councillor representing Peckham in Southwark council and eventually became its mayor in 2010.
Daily Trust recalls that in an interactive session with the media in London in January last year, the late mayor had criticised the discriminatory system in Nigerian politics, saying if he were in Nigeria, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to be mayor (chairman) in a council other than the one he hailed from.
He attributed lack of genuine development in Nigeria to the artificial boundaries and discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, religion or state of origin placed on the citizenry in their own country.
The TSF which will be run on a voluntary basis aims to foster leadership and partnership and to recognise achievements of young people, especially among ethnic minorities in London and the UK.