The National Coordinator of Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) and late Dr Abdul Lateef Adegbite’s deputy at the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has said that Africa, as a whole, has lost a rare gem that has outstanding character.
In his condolence message, Prof Ishaq Oloyede stated that the late Adegbite was an academician, an erudite scholar, a seasoned lawyer, a political figure, a religious leader and founder of many Islamic societies and groups, the religious community. He said Adegbite’s death leaves a vacuum which signifies loss of a rare man who lived a life of devotion and piety.
This was a statement of one out of the thousands of individuals and Islamic organisations that came to pay glowing tribute to the late Dr AbdulLateef Adegbite as they thronged the venue of his janazah, burial and Fidau prayer held in Abeokuta and Lagos respectively.
The groups include Nigeria Inter Religious Council, (NIREC), Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, (MSSN), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), National Council of Muslim Youths Organisations (NACOMYO) among other Islamic scholars. Adegbite, who was until his death last Friday, the Secretary-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) died in Lagos at the age of 79.
The groups, in their various condolence messages, described him as an exemplary leader and a lover of peace whose death had created a vacuum in the community. In his message, Professor Dawudu Noibi, Executive Secretary of Muslim Ummah in the South, urged people always to remember that death is inevitable. He said: “when death comes when it would come, the only thing that would be left with us is our good deeds while on this planet.
“Whatever good or bad that anyone does in life will be recorded in his favour in Aljanat”. Former Lagos governor and ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said: “He died on a great day – Friday and his Fidau is holding today – when Nigerians are marking the 52nd anniversary Independence Day.
It is extremely instructive. He was truly, a bridge-builder and fearless fighter of his religion. “He related with the Christians, quoting copiously from the Bible to preach tolerance.
No doubt, he died well because he lived well. You cannot fault him on uprightness – he says things as he sees it and his judgments were also sound.” Meanwhile, the former Deputy Governor of Lagos state, Alhaja Okuunu described Adegbite as a man with good listening hears and good servant of Allah.
“He nurtured many of us; as women, he was always there for us. He was extremely accommodating, caring and loving.
I do not know anybody who did so much for the society like the late Dr Adegbite”, she said. In his tribute, national President of the University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA), Dr Abdulwahab Egbewole, said Adegbite’s death should be a lesson that “we need to do our best to serve Allah and leave our footprints in all the areas we may find ourselves’’. He described the late leader as “a consummate administrator, committed academic, focused religious leader, concerned community leader and a bridge builder’’.
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