Prominent Islamic Clerics and Leaders in the South West, on Saturday, eulogised the sterling leadership qualities of the immediate-past Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, which has continued to reflect in the massive commendations received, after his exit from public office.
The scholars also showered encomiums on the former Governor of Osun for being a good ambassador of Islam and a quintessential politician.
The clerics and leaders stated this at a Civic Reception in honour of Ogbeni Aregbesola organised by Concerned Muslim Scholars and Clerics in South Western Nigeria, held at Oyo, Oyo State.
The Chairman, Oyo State Muslim Community, Alhaji Ishaq Kunle Sanni in his address said Muslims in the region are proud of the achievements of the former Minister.
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Alhaji Sanni said God used Aregbesola as the pioneer of support for the growth of Islam throughout the country.
The Chairman, Oyo State Muslim Community noted: “We are here to celebrate a very dogged and dutiful Muslim. He is one of us who has represented Islam very well in the positions he has occupied. He transformed Osun and served excellently as a member of the federal cabinet.
“His major interventions in Oyo state including the passport front office and the fire service facilities among other varying developmental projects to the state has continued to make him a shining star. I am happy and the entire Oyo Muslim Community is happy to associate with him.”
In their lectures, Prof. Sarafadeen Kareem from Federal University of Agriculture, Ogun State and Associate Prof. Abass Alade of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, admonished the former Governor not to relent in doing his best for humanity.
The duo who spoke on the topics: “The Stewardship of a True Servant” and “To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected,” encouraged Ogbeni Aregbesola to remain grateful to Allah for his benevolence, one that has kept him in the public sphere for over two decades, with resounding successes.
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They also commended his passion for humanity, which has culminated in the myriads of achievements recorded so far.
While speaking, Kareem opined: “There are four things that you have always done that has continued to set you apart from others. You have always been grateful to Allah, you are a prayer warrior, firm believer in Allah and his messenger, and done your best for humanity. All these are signals to what has made you triumph. May God always make you succeed.”
Alade stated that: “As you retire after your stewardship in public service, I want you to be closer to your creator for all of his benevolence on you. You must also also identify with your community, create a foundation to care for children, students and the needy and increase your motivation for the Youths. You have received a lot of blessings from Allah and you have done well with it. You have a lot of reasons to be grateful.”
The Amir, Jamatul Tawunn Muslimeen and the Grand Mufti of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta, Sheikh Daud Imran Molaasan noted that the programme was to celebrate Ogbeni Aregbesola, who has continued to identify with Islam and Muslims in his sojourn in Politics.
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“Aregbesola is a pride to Islam. He has always identified with Muslims and the religion. He ensured that we won the war against Hijab and such made it a pride across Nigeria. The entire Muslim Community is proud of you.”
Another cleric, Dr. Mahmud Danjuma from Kwara from the Department of Arabic Studies of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State said the former Minister has made Islam proud spreading development across the land.
Imam Tajudeen Teniola from Lagos State also praised Ogbeni Aregbesola for his impactful style of politics, which continues to resonate even after occupying strategic positions of governance.
The Basorun of Oyo kingdom, High Chief Yusuf Akinadewho spoke on behalf of the Oyomesi-in-council, expressed gratitude on behalf of the town to the former Minister for the huge development he brought to them.
Chief Gbolagade, thereafter prayed for the continuous success of Ogbeni.
Alhaji Tajudeen Adebayo Kamarishe, the Aare Musulumi of Oyo kingdom stressed that the community is appreciative of the immediate-past Minister’s impact on the town.
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Convener of the programme, the Khadeemul Muslimeen of Oyo Kingdom, Sheikh Daud Tijani popularly known as Igi-Ogun described Ogbeni Aregbesola as an upright man in religion and politics.
Sheik Tijani noted that the former Minister is a thorough-bred Muslim whose level of sincerity in leadership and making the lives of people better is unquantifiable.
The erudite Islamic Scholar stressed that Aregbesola’s life is full of lessons of relentless service to Allah and humanity, without compromising his integrity and faith.
He also thanked him for his numerous contributions to the growth and development of Oyo, especially the projects he facilitated to the town during his tenure as Minister.
“Ogbeni Abdul Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola is worthy of our gathering because he is the very exemplification of Omoluabi; the quintessential Yoruba person in all ramification. He is a dye-in-the-wool progressive and has never deviated from this course.
“He has remained loyal to the cause of human and infrastructure development, maximally using societal resources for the development of the people, without holding back the resourceful and hardworking in their entrepreneurial and wealth drive.
“He is intelligent and wise. He has a way of relating with people inoffensively. This has earned him the loyalty and admiration of the masses and timbers and calibers in the entire Yorubaland and the nation at large. He is a man of deep conviction, following his best judgement on any issue, building consensus when necessary possible, but never compromising his integrity and faith in what he believes to be right.”
“It should be noted that our Abdul Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola Aremu is so dear to us as Muslims not only because he is a practicing Muslim but he consistently present himself as a good ambassador of Islam through his deeds in and outside governance. The good people of Oyo are here to show gratitude to Ogbeni AbdulRauf Aregbesola for moving Oyoland from the status of a town to a city with the presence of significant federal establishments.”
Responding, the honouree, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola expressed his appreciation to the entire Oyo Muslim Community for the honour.
He attributed the success of his political journey and the achievements celebrated by all and sundry to the impact and confidence reposed in him by President Bola Tinubu and former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former Governor of Osun also tasked the media to be fair and balanced in their reportage of issues.
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The Acting Chief Imam of Oyo, Sheikh Abdullateef Abdulazeez, Former SSG, Osun State, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, Federal Commissioner representing Osun in National Population Commission (N.P.C.), Senator Mudashiru Husain, former APC Chairman in Osun, Elder Lowo Adebiyi, Clerics, Members of the Oyomesi, Political Stakeholders and Associates and other eminent Nigerians, attended the event.