The Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Arisekola Alao (pictured, left), has died.
He was 64 years old.
According to a source close to the family who spoke with TheCable on phone from Ibadan, “Aare died in London this morning.”
He did not give details of the death, saying they were still sketchy.
However, governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, has already described the death as “tragic, disheartening and a big blow, not only to Oyo State but also to the entire country.”
His special adviser on media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said he received news of the death of the business mogul and religious leader with shock and disbelief, saying that the passage of Alhaji Arisekola-Alao marks 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,” Adedayo quoted the governor as saying.
“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.”
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,” he said.
“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 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.”
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.