THE Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland and Aare of Ibadanland, Alhaji Abdul-azeez Arisekola-Alao is dead.
Aged 69, Arisekola-Alao, died Monday morning in London, United Kingdom. His body would arrive Ibadan for burial on Thursday, a family source has confirmed to Nigerian Tribune.
Wailing mourners from all walks of life visited the Oluwokekere, Bashorun, Ibadan home of Alao, immediately Nigerian Tribune exclusively broke the news of his death.
From all turnings that lead to Arisekola-Alao’s house, on motorbikes, automobiles, people came calling to ascertain Alao’s demise, asking “is it true Arisekola-Alao is dead?
Religious leaders, political office holders, traditional chiefs and well wishers were all around to register their condolence with the Arisekola-Alao family.
Shouts of Aare! Aare! Arisekola rented the air as people made different tunes in expressing their feelings.
While these were going on, Alhaji Lateef Oyelade, a close confidant of Arisekola-Alao ensured that all doors leading to Arisekola-Alao’s main building was locked.
Early callers to Arisekola-Alao’s house include the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, members of the Oyo State Executive led by Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
Others are Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi, Taofeek Adeleke, Lekan Alabi, Alhaji Rasheed Adesokan, Dr K.K. Oloso, Alhaji Akewugbagold among others.
Meanwhile, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has described the death of the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao, as tragic, disheartening and a big blow, not only to Oyo State but also to the entire country.
Consequently, Ajimobi has declared seven days of mourning in Oyo State and announced Friday as a public holiday.
The governor stated this in a statement issued in Ibadan, on Wednesday by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo.
He said that he received the news of the death of the business mogul and religious leader with shock and disbelief, saying that the passage of Alhaji Arisekola-Alao marked the end of an era in the history of the state.
“Aare cannot die as those who lived the kind of life he lived, with imprints in the lives of millions of people, never die. He lived a life that was devoted to the lives of others. It is indeed the end of an era for us in Ibadan and Nigeria in general,” the governor said.
Governor Ajimobi described the late Alhaji Arisekola-Alao as a devout Muslim, shrewd businessman and a philanthropist whose commitment to the cause of the downtrodden in the society was unequalled.
“Uncle Arisekola-Alao was an upright, consistent and principled man. He called a spade by its name without minding whose ox was gored.
“Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland was also a pillar of support to our administration whose wise counsel had helped tremendously in the success story so far recorded by our government,’’ he remarked.
Although he said that the death of the late religious leader was painful and that the vacuum that would be created by his passage would be hard to fill, the governor, however, said that Alhaji Arisekola-Alao lived a fulfilled life.
“He was a fulfilled man, fulfilled in all his earthly assignments. I am sure he died very happy with himself. Besides, Arisekola-Alao also used his God-given endowment to touch the lives of several millions of people. He was a source of joy to those who came across him,” he said.
Governor Ajimobi commiserated with the family, friends, associates, religious leaders, the Muslim Ullammahs and indeed, the entire people of the state and prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased.
He urged them to take solace in the imperishable life devoted to humanity that he lived.[Nigeria Tribune]