Abuja - An Ibadan-based billionaire and Islamic leader, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Arisekola-Alao, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland is dead.
Alao, 69, died in his house in London on Wednesday afternoon, his eldest daughter, Khadijah, confirmed.
Alao, who also double as the Deputy President General of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), was until his death a prominent businessman and Islamic leader.
Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, the Speaker, Monsurat Sunmonu; Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh Baosari Haruna; and commissioners, were among the early callers to his Oluwo-Nla residence in Ibadan.
Arisekola-Alao was born on February 14, 1945. He bagged many awards, including Commander of the Order of the Niger.
Reacting to the death, a former Oyo State Governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, described Arisekola-Alao's death as a great loss to the nation.
Alao-Akala, in a statement in Ogbomoso, said the death of the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland was a rude shock to him.
"He was a devoted Muslim, quintessential leader and philanthropist who will be greatly missed. His contributions to religious activities, the state and national development cannot be quantified.
"He had created a vacuum too difficult to fill,’’ he said.
Also, Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi, the Soun of Ogbomoso, said the late Arisekola-Alao died at a time when his wealth of experience was most needed.
Oyewunmi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Toyin Ajamu, said ``a devoted Muslim and philanthropist is gone. He will be greatly missed for his immense contributions while alive’’.
The Chairman, Oyo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Taofeeq Akewugbagold, said the vacuum the deceased left would be difficult to fill.
Also, Prof. Daud Noibi, the Executive Secretary, Muslim Umah of South-Western Nigeria (MUSWEN) and an in-law the deceased, said the death of Arisekola-Alao came at a wrong time.
He described him as a rare philanthropist who would be missed by the various categories of people.
In his condolence message, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, said the death of Arisekola-Alao, was a tragedy to the nation.
Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, described the late philanthropist as a bridge builder.
He said it was painful that Arisekola-Alao died at a time when the nation needed his wise counsel as an elder statesman at this critical time in its history.
The governor commiserated with the people and Government of Oyo State, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, and the Arisekola-Alao family on the painful loss of the patriarch.
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