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Beyond transition, Adesokan’s legacies live on

By Gbenga Akinfenwa
02 April 2023   |   4:00 am
Though dead and far gone, the legacy, good deeds and contributions of the late foremost diplomat and defence analyst, Alhaji Omooba Rasheed Adeniyi Adesokan, the Balogun Mumini of Yorubaland to humanity, will continue to reecho in the annals of history.

The late Adesokan

.The Balogun Mumini Of Yorubaland Returns To His Creator At 75

Though dead and far gone, the legacy, good deeds and contributions of the late foremost diplomat and defence analyst, Alhaji Omooba Rasheed Adeniyi Adesokan, the Balogun Mumini of Yorubaland to humanity, will continue to reecho in the annals of history.

Baale Rasheed, a lover of education, who supported many youths through Scholarship and regular weekly youth forum in his Bodija 7 Oluyole, Ibadan, Oyo State, and a veteran of Nigeria Civil war as a soldier, died at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, on Saturday, March 25, after a brief illness. He was aged 75.

The late Islamic leader, who was one of the founding mentors of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) in 1994/95 at one of the caucus meetings held in his Bodija, residence, emerged as a non -Ibadan Community Baale in the elitist area of Ibadan – Bodija due to his support for community transformation. Thus, a Prince of Oyo town was installed as Baale Bodija by the then Olubadan of Ibadan land.
According to Prof. Rashid Aderinoye, a retired Professor of Adult Education, University of Ibadan, and Proprietor of Reflective International College, Ibadan, in his condolence message, said as Baale, Adesokan most times, presided over meetings of the Committee of Baales in the land. He always used such occasions to demonstrate leadership by walking his talking to the extent that most of them emulated his Islamic examples.

Said he, “In his usual interaction with Islamic Scholars, he enquired on how best to disseminate the excellent messages of the Holy Quran and the Hadith to those intellectuals and undergraduates whose knowledge of Islam is very low. He came to a conclusion that to do this he needed to be equipped with Islamic knowledge.

“He decided to become a regular customer of Iwo road Islamic material centre where he bought many Islamic books. At this point, he started learning the Qur’an using face-to-face and on-line efforts. His commitment and dedication yielded result as he memorised and recited verses of the Qur’an to the admiration of his teachers.”

He noted that following the late philanthropist’s regular daily interaction with scholars, he brought the idea of reaching out to people both Muslims and Christians through blended teaching approach.  “To start this, he got the support of the defunct Sunday Sketch Editor, Mr. Aragbaye, who acceded to sell a 2” by 6” space to accommodate inspiring messages of the Qur’an every Sunday under the title: ‘In the Light of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith.’ This was a regular educative release for the period of 1986 till the paper folded up.

“Along with this innovative approach, he established a well-known Centre For Islamic Information, this was a multi-approach to Islamic knowledge dissemination as Islamic books were published for free distribution for willing people, Yusuf Ali translated Qur’an were freely sent on request across the world, a weekly releases by name “Iqra series” from the Centre to youth and adult readers in addition those who on their own interest approached the centre to accept Islam.

“A very great example were group of masquerade worshippers under the leadership of Abosinde voluntarily burnt their masquerade relics and embraced the worship of Allah alone after reciting the belief in Allah and that Prophet Muhammed (SAW) is His messenger.”

It was learnt that part of the core programme of the Centre was the weekly coverage of Jumu’ah services by buying 30 minutes airtime on Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) and Ondo State broadcasting Corporation between 1986 to 1993.

Another major output of the Centre was the identification of areas that needed a befitting mosque.  After such survey, a modern Mosque with essential needs for worshippers was put in place. Among such mosques were the University College Hospital Central Mosque, the Premier Hotel Ibadan central Mosque, the Ibadan end tollgate Mosque, the Ogere tollgate Mosque and the Are street Mosque to mention a few.

Also eulogizing the contributions of Adesokan, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in her condolence message, described the late Adesokan as a true patriot, honest straightforward and trustworthy person.

The NIDCOM boss said the global community, as well as the Muslim community in Nigeria will miss the wisdom and counsel of the late community leader.

She recalled that despite the fact that she had never met the late President of Nigeria Society of International Relations, he had critically assessed NiDCOM after one year of its existence, and had given the Commission encouraging and inspiring accolades, urging the Commission not to rest on its oars.

“It is indeed sad and painful that Nigeria will lose such a good man when the country needed his words of wisdom more during this challenging period.“

The National Secretariat of Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) also described his death as “a great loss of a role model, mentor and philanthropist.”

In a condolence message by the National President of the association, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, he said Adesokan has since 1985 started sponsoring various Islamic programmes in the media both print and broadcast, as well as publication of many Islamic books, pamphlets and Yusuf Alli-English translated copies of Holy Qur’an for free distribution across the country.

“Till he breath his last on Saturday, March 25, the Director-General, Centre for Islamic Information and Youth Development holds youth mentoring programmes in his house every Sunday since 1992.

“It was his commitment to Islamic principles and empowerment of Muslims and non-Muslims alike that earned him the title of Balogun Mumini of Yorubaland, as well as Baale of Bodija Community in Ibadan, despite the fact that he was an Oyo Prince and was playing great leadership role.

“As humble servant of Allah and great philanthropist, he quietly on regular basis offered scholarships to indigent students, built many mosques and schools without imprinting his name on it.

“As a man of many parts, he was a displinarian, wonderful administrator that one wonders how he was able to cope and manage his time despite his crowded schedule.

“As a retired soldier, diplomat, defence and security analyst, he was at home with the media houses with his well- informed analysis on security matters, global politics, traditional and religious institutions as well as sports.”

In the concluding part of his message, Aderinoye acknowledged the expertise of Adesokan as a public and social analyst, particularly in security and global world issues calling for solutions. “Thus media houses around will definitely miss his handy and ever ready interventions when highly needed.

“His has been a model that can hardly be equaled as his gradual disengagement from public domain has left serious gap in Islam propagation. Baale Rasheed Adesokan legacies live for people to learn from and perhaps emulate. Remember we always pray to be model for Righteous. Baale Rasheed didn’t wait for death to be righteous, but he worked for righteousness before death.”