Rest in peace, the late Mahmud Durosinlohun Atiku. By Salihu Woru Mohammed
Inna li-llahi wainna ilaehi rojihuna - from you O'Lord we came and unto you we shall all return" Death indeed shall be the end of every soul, death is as certain as day and night, death shall occur when the time is ripe for it. It can come in the morning, afternoon or night. Death has no respect for any soul and the death that will kill the rich will also kill the poor including imbecile, it will also kill the Kings and their subjects. Death has no respect for age tribe or position nor discriminates against status, male or female, nor discriminates against the religion or place of birth.
If therefore death shall one day be the end of every soul, why then some people regard this troublesome world as a permanent abode? Why should we continue to arrogate to ourselves the power that· we did not possess. If truly one day man shall feel the painful hands of death, why should we arrogate to ourselves the power of Alfa and Omega, knowing full well that one day death will call us to our permanent abode where we shall give account of our stewardship in life to our creator.
It was Tuesday, August 16, a call came through my handset at about 6.00am having observed my Subhi prayer. The tone of the caller was trembling with an uncoordinated message full of emotion, he said he wanted to know from me if I heard the tragedy that befell the Balogun Fulani of Ilorin, Alhaji Mahmud Durosinlohun Atiku (Balogun Agba) has passed away. The caller burst into tears and wanted to confirm the tragedy. My wife who was nearby who happened to be a friend of late-Balogun also burst into tears; wailing and crying like a baby and stepped on our little kid (Zubair) who was asleep.
There was confusion here and there as our neigbours who happened to hear my screaming wife ran to us wailing with tears running out uncontrollable from eyes and their face wearing sorrow and sadness.
As the death of this great warlord was confirmed through a reliable source, the atmosphere at the deceased residence in Balogun Fulani Area, Ilorin became tense with heavy traffic jam. Traders hurriedly locked up their shops in honour of the great warrior. The Asunnara market closed to his residents and business centres and shops were deserted in honour of the great man that passed away.
From the deceased residence, the compound was over crowded with sympathizers who thronged the compound from near and far. It was a moment of confusion, sorrow and anguish as thousands of mourners who converged to pay their last respect wore glooming- faces. Men and women including children wept profusely, rolling on the ground.
The chief mourner, the wife of the deceased was in pensive mood, shouting that their bread winner had gone.
The General Manager of the Kwara State Television and his reporters as well as camera men betrayed emotion while paying sympathy to the widow. Members of Ilorin Emirate Magaji/Alangua Forum were not left behind.
The Kwara State government was represented by Secretary to the State Government on condolence visit to the deceased compound. Politicians, business tycoon, Islamic scholars, student unions, market’ associations were around to pay their last respect.
His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR with some of his chiefs were also there to pay condolence visit. It was a long list of who is who. Civil servants both state and local government including political office holders were in attendance. It was a busy day for the law enforcement agents making effort to control the huge surging mourners. The law enforcement agents were polite and courteous in the discharge of their duties.
It was also a busy moment for the journalists both print and electronic media, particularly their photographers and camera men.
The Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Dr. Mohammed Im'am- Solih, OON performed the Janazat prayer and pray for the repose of the" soul of the great warlord described as God-fearing traditional chief. The cleric asked the sympathizers to always prepare for death by worshipping God regularly and do good to others as death according to him shall be the end of every soul, big or small, privileged or less privileged. He emphasized that every soul shall give account of his or her stewardship on the judgment day before Almighty Allah.
Late Balogun Fulani served as the District Head of Afon in Asa Local Government Area for many years before his appointment as the most senior Balogun in Ilorin Emirate on the 25th September, 2005 “by His Royal Highness, Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR. As the District Head, he was well known by the people of the district to be a philanthropist, friendly, and humble per excellence.
He was a seasoned administrator who was loved by the people of the district. He is a friend of the poor tenure as the District Head witnessed rapid development in Afon. As a messenger of peace and harmony, he was well known for holding regular monthly meeting with the chiefs in his district where he always canvassed for peaceful coexistence among various communities in the district hence he had a peaceful tenure.
On his appointment as the 11th Balogun Fulani of Ilorin, he continued in the tradition of excellence in the discharge of traditional and social -cultural duties unhindered with the seriousness that it required. He was loved by old and young in the community and was well respected for his humbleness, 'decent behaviour and transparency.
As senior Balogun, he made frantic efforts to modernize the system in the Emirate and his effort amply paid off. It is safe then to describe him as most fashioned warlord that the emirate ever produced in the way of dressing. It was during his reign that the Kwara State government along with the Ilorin Emirate Council provided the Balogun Fulani among others with befitting residential houses, while His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR provided them with official cars and other amenities all for their comfort.
The late senior Balogun was a well exposed and traveled person, while in the United States of America, he bagged both his various· degrees in Technical education while alive he was well respected for being a diligent Technical education officer and rose to be the Principal of Jebba Technical School, he also served various ministries in Kano State as Education Officer.
As a school principal, he was loved by his staff and students. The welfare of his staff and the students was reported to be his priority. He was also reported to be an epitome of discipline, and workaholic. He regarded the students as his own children rather than being his students only. Investigation conducted showed that his students always shone in various examinations held, while his school was adjudged to be one of the best institutions in terms of learning and character. As a traditional chief, he was known to be extremely loyal to the constituted authority, the emir and the government and very friendly with his colleagues.
The deceased used his vantage position to secure admission to qualified applicants in various institutions of learning in the state,', and also assisted in securing employment for the teeming youths and women folks seeking employment. As a Muslim faithful, Late Balogun Fulani, Balogun Agba never discriminated against any other religion. He was a patriotic Nigeria. He directed the affairs of the Jama’ at Nasril Islam (JNI) an Islamic group in his constituency diligently and this brought about the desired peace and harmony among various communities domicile in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara.
I am delighted to .not that late Mahmud Durosinlonu Atiku came to this life with determination to worship Almighty Allah, and to leave behind a lasting legacy. One noted with joy that he achieved and spent his life in line with the tradition of Islam. He provided Balogun Fulani's compound with a befitting Mosque.
In a nutshell, he spent a fulfilled life, as his close ally, I cherished his humble disposition and simplicity. He left behind distinguished children who were doing well in their various areas of human endeavours. His death has no doubt created a big vacuum ‘which is difficult to fill. To say the least, his sudden death was not only tragic, unfortunate, but a momentum loss to the people of Ilorin Emirate and to the people of Kwara State and beyond. Since death shall be the end of every soul, you and I on daily basis should be prepared for death which shall come when the time is ripe.
Simply put preparing for death simply means to be worshipping 'our creator, to do good to others as we do to ourselves and most importantly to be a messenger of peace and harmony all the time. We should learn how to live together with one and another in peace. Islamic clerics should not only preach peace but practice peace with various communities in our areas of domiciles, parents and guardians to prevail on their siblings the need for peace, and tranquility. There must be peace in our homes, schools and working places, this we can do to mourn the departed Balogun, late Mahmud Durosinlohun Atiku (Balogun Agba), who was born great, worked tirelessly to achieve greatness and died great at the age of 76 years.
May his gentle soul Rest in Perfect peace. Amen.
*Mohammed, is the Magaji Nda of Ilorin.