Since he breathed his last breath on Wednesday 18 June 2014, at his London home, it has become a tradition for the family of late Ibadan business mogul and the former Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao to hold Fidau remembrance prayers in his honour every year, and this year is not an exceptional.
The special Muslim prayers, held Tuesday 18 June 2019, at his Oluwo Kekere, Basorun, Ibadan home, was the 5th edition of the annual program.
As usual, it was a convergence of wives, children, families, friends, and associates of the late philanthropist; top personalities, Islamic clerics, captains of industries, etc were all there.
Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniy Abubakri Agbotomokekere alongside other clerics, conducted the Fidau prayers. Some of the dignitaries at the program include the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the last Guber election and a former Deputy Governor of CBN, Chief Bayo Adelabu aka ‘Penkelemesi’; the Agba Akin Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oloye Lekan Alabi;
Alhaji Lamidi Ajadi; wife of the late Garrison commander of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, Alhaja Bose Adedibu; Alhaji Lateef Oyelade; the immediate past Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Muslim wing), Alhaji Taofeek Akeugbagold; Alhaji Solar, a younger sister of Aare Arisekola Alao; one of Aare’s wives, Alhaja Basirat and many others.
It would be recalled that Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao, CON died in 2014, at age 69, and was buried at his Oluwo Kekere residence. He was the first Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Aare of Ibadanland and Vice-President of Nigeria Islamic Affairs Council (NSCIA).
Though Aare AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao is no more his legacies live on; such personality can never be forgotten. He was rich, powerful and influential; his influence in business, politics and the society generally can’t be overemphasized. He was a well-known political and Islamic leader and a notable philanthropist.
In his lifetime, Arisekola’s residence was always like Mecca, filled with people who had come for one help or the other, and he was never tired of helping people. He believed strongly in service to humanity, having experienced the true meaning of poverty.
He was from an underprivileged background but refused to be contrived to that same level permanently. Through resilience and hard work, he was able to build, not only a business empire but also a strong family.
Very prominent of his businesses is the Lister Group, it was a household name in the business world back then, and till today the name remains relevant, as we still have the popular Lister Building and several others in Ibadan. In short, Aare Arisekola Alao’s life and time on the earth could simply be described as ‘phenomena’.