Tears, wailing as Arisekola-Alao is buried

The ancient city of Ibadan literally stood still on Friday as the remains of the late Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola-Alao, were buried amidst wailing and crying.

Arisekola AlaoThe main bowl of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex where prayers were held for the late Islamic leader was thronged by eminent personalities from across the country, representatives of the federal government, politicians, religious leaders, community leaders and ordinary folks.

The body of the late business mogul and philanthropist, which had arrived in Nigeria from the United Kingdom, was received at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan toll gate by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, his wife, Florence, and other dignitaries from where it was driven to the Lekan Salami Sports Complex.

Some of the people who thronged the stadium to pay their last respect to the late Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, could not hold back their tears, as his corpse arrived the sports complex at exactly 10.05 am.

On hand to receive the corpse were his children, some of his associates and religious leaders including the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Kola Daisi, Mr. Oba Otudeko, Chief Ebenezer Obey, Justice Bola Babalakin, Gen. David Jemibewon, Gen. Raji Rasaki, Chief Yekini Adeojo, Senator Teslim Folarin, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu and Mr. Musiliu Smith among others.

Clerics from all the states in the South-West led by the President-General, League of Imams and Alfas in the Yoruba speaking states, were also at the stadium, while President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abdul-Jeleel Adesiyan, the minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and the Chairman of Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Jide Adeniyi.

Shortly after the prayers, the corpse of the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland was moved to his Oluwo Kekere residence in the Bashorun area of Ibadan with a select group of mourners where it was interred.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Ajimobi extolled the virtues of the late religious leader, describing him as a philanthropist of philanthropists, who served the poor and also helped the rich during his lifetime.

“Aare was to the Nigerian masses what the late President Nelson Mandela was to South Africans. He served the poor and helped the rich. He came to serve humanity and served them to his very last.

“He was accommodating, spiritual, religious and intelligent. He had been serving the poor from the age of 19. He was the greatest philanthropist of our time. Aare gave everything he had for the benefit of the people,” Ajimobi remarked.

The governor said it was the good works done by the late business mogul that motivated his government into declaring seven days of mourning and a public holiday for him, a feat which he said was unprecedented in the history of the state.

In his sermon, the National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, said that the vacuum created by the death of Arisekola-Alao would be hard to fill.

“There are so many rich people in Nigeria, and particularly in Oyo State, but not all of them has the philanthropic spirit as Alhaji Arisekola. He was generous to a fault and he lived a purposeful life,” he said.