Daughter of the late billionaire, Chief Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez, Mrs. Teju Phillips, said on Thursday that previous Nigerian governments did not allow her father to serve the country in any capacity.

She said this during an exclusive interview with our correspondent in her residence in Lagos.

According to Phillips, who is a former Lagos State Commissioner, the deceased represented many African countries due to his love for service but he was not given such an opportunity in his country till his death.

“He knew how to manage people and endeared himself to them. For this, he was well appreciated. His involvement with the United Nations made him to appreciate people especially Africans. He represented so many countries in the world, he believed in Africa and in a united Africa.

“Unfortunately, previous Nigerian governments never gave him the opportunity to serve the country. His sermon always was that Africa should remain one,” she said.

On the rumour that her late father was a recluse, Phillips disagreed, saying he was a man of the people, who loved justice, equity and had an undying love for humanity.

She said, “He was not a recluse but he cherished his privacy. He would always say you should remain who you are and he was unapologetically proud about being black.”

Meanwhile, a former Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has described the deceased as a true example of what Lagosians are and can achieve.

Fashola, while signing the condolence register at the residence of the deceased’s daughter in Lagos, wrote, “His lifestyle was inspiring and was a source of envy. He truly lived life to the fullest and touched so many.

“He was a true patriot and a colossus. Papa’s fame was legendary and so was his wealth. His life was fantastic and we will miss a patriarch and an example of what Lagosians are and can actually be.”

A diplomat and Permanent Representative of Central African Republic to the United Nations, the late Fernandez served as an advisor to the Angolan Government on Economic matters, a position he held for two years until his appointment as Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations in 1984.