Tribute to Bamidele Aturu, a great social crusader
While time and the challenges of life may have caused some to forget, it is difficult for some of us to forget for many reasons.
As the current Provost of Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo the institution Comrade Aturu graduated from in 1987, I have the moral obligation of bringing to remembrance the demise of the Ogbagi-Akoko-born special gift to Nigeria and humanity.
Reminiscently, Barrister Aturu, was the Alumni representative on the College Governing Council.
He canvased vigorously for the emergence of an alumnus Provost and joined other few members of the ACE Alumni community to persuade me to apply for the position of Provost in 2014.
Unfortunately, he passed on before I was even shortlisted for interview.
Similarly, as the President of the Students Union between 1986 and 1987, I saw in Aturu, a patriot and a role model.
He was imbued with uncommon courage, doggedness and absolute moral integrity.
Aturu is remembered for some of his deep and thought provoking quotes while he was the Student Union President of Adeyemi College of Education.
Famous among his anti-corruption quotes is: “Poverty does not respect religious, geographical or ethnic boundaries, a poor man in the south is also a poor man in the north, our common enemies are the looters of our common treasury and other corrupt office holders both in khaki and agbada.”
He is surely a missing link in the on-going anti-corruption campaign in the country.
Another memorable quote from Comrade Aturu is: “Nobody is completely useless, at least he would serve as a bad example to be cited.”
He was indeed an orator par excellence. According to his course mates in college, nobody met Aturu and remained the same, if he couldn’t convince you, he would confuse you.
Though we mourn Aturu because he departed life at the unripe age of 49, the lessons of his short but achievement-packed life should be the concern of every person and institution that survived him.
To have produced such an iconic lawyer and nationally acknowledged human rights crusader remains an indelible achievement for us at Adeyemi College of Education.
More than before, the country needs his likes now.
While he is no more, I know his legacies live on in the hearts of the million souls he directly and indirectly touched in his life.
His immense contributions to the legal profession, the judiciary, social justice, human rights and politics will forever be remembered.
Even in death, his dream of having an eminently qualified alumnus to head his beloved alma mater came to fruition.
We pray that the Nigeria of his dreams would also come to reality in the not-too-distant future.
Adieu, Comrade Bamidele Aturu.
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