Eminent Nigerians across the country were in Ibadan, capital of Oyo State, western Nigeria, on Friday to pay their last respects to the late business mogul and religious leader, Aare Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao as he was buried Friday at his Oluwo Kekere residence in Ibadan.
Arisekola Alao, the Deputy President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs , died in London on Wednesday 18 June at 69.
Attendance at Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba where the general prayers for the repose of his soul, were said before the interment, was impressive and reflected his extent of relationships with people.
Among the dignitaries in attendance were Minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro representing President Goodluck Jonathan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state, Speaker of Oyo House of Assembly, Hajiya Monsurat Sunmonu, foremost industrialist, Oba Otudeko, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, chieftain, Olabode George.
Others were former Oyo State Governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, retired Justice Bola Babalakin, High Chief Eddy Oyewole who represented the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odugade Odulana, Basamu of Oyo and members of Oyoi Mesi who represented the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, retired Archbishop Alaba Job, and Primate Sunday Makinde.
Also in attendance were Architect Muyiwa Ige (son of the late Chief Bola Ige, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Isaaq Oloyede, Central Bank of Nigeria Deputy Governor, A. Adelabu, ace musicians Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade, Liad Tella, representatives of National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), traditional rulers, religious bodies and unions, hordes of beggars and the downtrodden who defied security put in place at the stadium, to attend the prayers.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Ajimobi led the procession, including Ebony Caskets Funeral vehicles that conveyed the remains of the late businessman to the stadium few minutes before ten in the morning.
Shortly thereafter, the Chief Imam of Oshogbo who is the head of Chief Imams in the South-West, Alhaj Sheikh Ajisafe, led the Muslim “Janazat prayers” on the remains of the late businessman.
The remains were later taken to his Ikolaba residence in a long convoy of vehicles where the burial eventually took place after another round of short prayers.
The late businessman was buried beside his mother’s grave. It was gathered that Arisekola personally chose the place before his death. The grave which is behind the main building was agreed upon by the burial committee in accordance with the wish of the deceased.
Arisekola’s remains which arrived from London on Thursday were accompanied by officials of the Oyo State Government.
The mood at Adamasingba, Ikolaba and other parts of Ibadan was, generally gloomy while many who commented on the passage of the businessman, spoke glowingly of his kindness and philanthropy.