By BASHIR ADEFAKA
“Lest I conclude, I will want you all to join me once again in remembering a late Member, Advisory Board of The DEFENDER Newspaper, who died in active service as Ondo State Commissioner for Health and Chairman, Ondo State Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Abdul-Wahab Oluropo Adegbenro. He was General, who died while healing others! He died fighting that Coronavirus would not overcome us as good people of Ondo State!! We will forever be grateful to Wahab Adegbenro and the Adegbenros for this great religious, professional, social, selfless and national achievement!!! May Allah sub’anau wa ta’ala continue to keep and repose his gentle soul in Al-Jannah Firdaus.”
In Akure, the traditional headquarters of Akure Kingdom and capital city of – old and new – Ondo State, South West Nigeria, 15 members of the Islamic faith community will be turbaned today Saturday September 19, 2020.
It is a significant event to come alive and more significant because it happens that part of Nigeria – our country – is my country home; not withstanding that I am son to many tribes of Nigeria and so I have chosen at all times to be fair to all. I recall during the visit to Sokoto between July 1 – 3, 2019 of the Deji of Akure accompanied by Chief Olu Falae, the sitting Chief Imam of Akure and a host of others, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence Alhaji Dr. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on separate occasions pronounced me as “Our Son Donated To Ondo State”. So, lovely to hear for the ears.
To this extent, more like I am born Yoruba, as a Nigerian and Muslim who have listened to Allah’s command in the Qur’an, I am an Hausa-Fulani not only because I have been pronounced son of the Sultanate of Sokoto in Northern Nigeria but because every human being is made to be one and loving towards one another. Furthermore, I have been pronounced son of Igbo from the Palace of Uthoko Neze Achalla, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, South East Nigeria and right on the soil of the tribe of my biological father, the South West, I am pronounced son of the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Abeokuta, Ogun State, I am not just only son of World Court Justice (Retired) and former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Nigerian Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN) but he made me, essentially, his media and publicity consultant right from my days in Vanguard and now as Publisher/CEO of The DEFENDER Newspaper, published by Defender Media Limited. What have I not said? The Ojo Pa Sekere Omo Atiba, Iku Baba Yeye, “Kaaabiyesi Alase Ekeji Orisa”, The Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III not only pronounced me his son but would proudly embrace me in public. Honour to the Deji of Akure Oba Dr. Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi Odundun II, my nearest royal father and Osolo of Isolo, a kingship under the paramountcy of the Deji of Akure, Oba Edward Adejoyegbe Adewole, Oshalade II.
Today’s event holding in Akure Central Mosque, Ojo Oba, Akure affords me yet another long awaited opportunity to appreciate what biologically is mine and so, I greet all the faithful, who have been thought well to be fit for the religious chieftaincies that the Turbaning Ceremony of today will bring to bear on their individuals. I do not think in my grown up age I have witnessed such eventful activity since after my father, Alhaji Kasumu Yesufu Adefaka was turbaned THE GALADIMA OF AKURE by Sheikh Dr. Qasim Yayi Akorede I, the Baba who continues to resonate in my memory being that he was a leading light in how – on account of going to bring Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria from headquarters in Lagos to Old Ondo State (Ondo and Ekiti) – the marriage that produced me was consummated in Lagos. Baba Yayi Akorede I is elegantly father of Sheikh Abdul-Hakeem Yayi Akorede II, the sitting Grand Imam of Akure, who will administer today’s honours to these well-deserving figures and I will take them by few.
Alhaji AbdulGaniy Ogbera, politician, religious leader and community man to the core, he is Chairman Board of Trustees, the Akure Youth in Islam (AYIS), of which I am Member. His role attracting good things to Islam and Muslims for the period the ruling class he belonged to lasted in Ondo State cannot be wished away in a hurry. He will today be turbaned as Otun Baba Adinni Akure Kingdom. I congratulate you Sir.
Alhaji Ashiru Mustapha Sekiri, a successful civil servant and now doing well Akure man from Isolo community, is my well known and appreciated brother. He paid his due as family member. I will particularly remember a day of confusion when he became the only chance to save the life of my wife at labour. He left every other assignment, took his car key and before situation got worse my wife was at the Akure Maternity besides the Deji’s Palace by Arakale/Iro Ijunction side. The baby by that brotherly responsibility of Buoda Ashiru (that time) has just finished writing her school certificate examination. To me, this is more than many other good deeds because it is a way we serve Allah being good towards one another. He will today be turbaned as Otun Asiwaju Adinni of Akure Kingdom. I congratulate Buoda.
Alhaji Jimoh Ibrahim Akindele. This is one particularly unputdownable structure in the Akure Muslim Community that I have always thought should be honoured right here on earth before we all rise to the presence of our Lord one day. He is the very unsuspecting brain behind many of the successes of the modern day Islamic activities both within Ondo State and beyond. Many great academicians, journalists, doctors, lawyers who are successful today cannot forget in a hurry ‘An-Nur’ as Old Boys and Girls of Muslim Unity Nursery and Primary School, whether Oke-Aro, Shagari Village, Ore, or even Idimu, Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State. Although his good work had been appreciated by his appointment as CHAIRMAN ONDO STATE MUSLIM WELFARE BOARD during the Olusegun Mimiko Administration, he could no have been more honoured than what he gets today as he will today be turbaned as Baba Egbe Adinni of Akure Kingdom. I congratulate you Buoda.
Alhaji Sheikh Abdullahi Soliu Kewugbemi. Many may call this great figure Ebira but to us in Ondo State, he is a purely Akure breadth son of friend of my father. His capacity has particularly sent me agog as I keep asking Allah, how wonderful are you my Lord! This is a great benefactor to many in terms of welfare, economic empowerment and even those who are today Alhajis and Alhajas because of his Hajj Benefits Programme through which they have visited the House of Allah in Makkah and Mosque of His Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Madinah. I was a living witness to how he sent 11 Hujjaj to Hajj in 2019. I am aware of many crying people whose tears he wiped off and many homeless he has made to be under shelter of their own today. He will today be turbaned as the WAZEER of Akure Kingdom. I appreciate you my big Sheikh.
Alhaja Hawawu Akorede, my submission will not be completed if I have not mentioned this quintessential mother of all of us and Wife of late President-General, League of Imams and Alfas, South West and Edo/Delta, Sheikh Dr. Qasim Yayi Akorede and step-mother of the sitting Chief Imam of Akure Kingdom. Mama was one of Muslim women in our growing up days who made it attractive for us to aspire to go to Makkah. I will not forget in hurry how she took good care of us when we branched on our way from Akure Muslim College, sometimes she gave us food and we would eat, sometimes she would gathered us including the sitting Chief Imam Abdul-Hakeem Yayi Akorede II and offered us guidance and good advice just like she would offer to her children and she had son among our age bracket. I am happy today to witness your honour once again Mama as you will be turbaned today by your own son the Chief Imam as Iya Ewe Musulumi of Akure Kingdom. Congratulations Alhaja.
From the information available to me, others who will be turbaned today include: Alhaji Abdulazeez Abdulsalam, Alhaji Ibrahim Isiak, Alhaji Sulaiman Amossa Ajijola Anobi, Alhaja Medinat Ademola Omo Oroki, Alhaja Osenat Saka, Rukayat Kikelomo Kolawole, Alhaja Risikat Adeyemi, Alhaja Fausat Aliu, Alhaja Misirat Ishola and Alhaji Yinusa Aborisade.
Lest I conclude, I will want you all to join me once again in remembering a late Member, Advisory Board of The DEFENDER Newspaper, who died in active service as Ondo State Commissioner for Health and Chairman, Ondo State Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Dr. Abdul-Wahab Olurope Adegbenro. He was General, who died while healing others! He died fighting that Coronavirus would not overcome us as good people of Ondo State!! We will forever be grateful to Wahab Adegbenro and the Adegbenros for this great religious, professional, social, selfless and national achievement!!! May Allah sub’anau wa ta’ala continue to keep and repose his gentle soul in Al-Jannah Firdaus, even as I continue to appreciate Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for collapsing the flags to fly at half mast for seven days and declaring a public holiday in appreciation of the late Hero.
To the religious chieftains of today, you all have the assurances of the best wishes of the entire membership of the rest of us who survived Dr. Adegbenro on the Advisory Board, management of the media organization. Ma asalam.
*WAKE UP is column for opinion article Akure Prince and Lagos-based Journalist, Alhaji Bashir Adefaka. Reach him via his email: email@example.com or call/whatsapp him on phone via 08163323906.