Sir Murphy @ 65 : A Multidisciplinary Professional's Retirement Unto Further Services. By Abubakar Imam
Nothing lasts forever. Every event is bound to end one day. Each journey of a man has a terminal date. Not even a Permanent Secretary remains in office in perpetuity. If the occupant does not go at "the regular time" he would surely be asked to go at the end of his tenure or when he either attains the age of 60 or clocks 35 years in service .While the English people say "No condition is permanent", the Yoruba people also capture this truism perfectly when they say "Igba kan o lo bi Orere" and "Ofisi(office) ni ri eyin Akowe"
The above explains the decision of yours sincerely to interact with a great son of Ilorin and former General Manager of the Kwara State Broadcasting Corporation(Radio Kwara),Ilorin, Barrister Mahmud AbdulRaheem, who is known among his contemporaries as Sir Murphy,on his attainment of sixty-five(65) years of age and consequent retirement from the services of the nation's most sought after University,the University of Ilorin. This self-imposed responsibility is in tandem with my mission of bringing the varied and rich experience of our statesmen to the doorsteps of members of the younger generations otherwise called the "sorosoke" age as a means of advancing the development of Ilorin Emirate.
As a veteran journalist,the latest addition to the pool of resourceful elder statesmen Ilorin Emirate is blessed with was happy to receive me at his Office at the popular Abdulsalam Kutu Chambers on Ahman Pategi Road,GRA,Ilorin,on Wednesday, March 3,2021.At the suddenly arranged meeting,Barrister AbdulRaheem assessed his life and the trajectory of his career so far and concluded his reminiscences with the rendition of sonorous and thunderous doxologies to the Almighty Allah for the privileges He has afforded him over the years despite his "personal and personality weaknesses".
He not only glorified Allah, he also expressed his readiness to commit the rest of his life to the services of humanity,Islam and the Ilorin Emirate,specifically. This, he believed, would grant him the opportunity of giving back to the society as a senior citizen and as someone who enjoyed the favour of the Almighty Allah to a level he never anticipated.
Barrister AbdulRaheem apprised me of his life so far and he told me so many things that I did not expect to hear from him. I never knew that he was so transparently honest.He declared "I have nothing else to do or say than to commit my future to the greatness of my faith and community". He added that in order to facilitate his resolve,he is working on a radio station to be known as Gerin.fm95.5 Ilorin.
According to him,"our people particularly, the youthful segment,requires deeper and more determined ways of counseling and mentorship". He explained that "the radio outfit shall have as its focus nothing but the total cultural redemption of Ilorin".
On how he intended doing that,Barrister AbdulRaheem explained that 80% of the broadcast services of the station shall be conducted in what he called "the peculiar Ilorin Yoruba dialect". "The remaining 20% of the radio airtime", he added, "shall be shared among English, Hausa and Nupe programmes that would make the station the darling of listeners within and outside Ilorin".
Speaking further on the proposed station,which is awaiting license from the National Broadcasting Commission(NBC), Barrister AbdulRaheem said "the station will develop a content that will take care of the peculiarity of the cultural heritage of Ilorin. We shall also devote the station to the revival of local industries,agriculture and encourage self-independence and tailor the minds of the younger generations to most of the ways our illustrious predecessors did things which eventuated in us".
He also hinted that "a specific programme shall be devised towards promoting the spirit of healthy competition among different sub-communities in Ilorin Emirate". Barrister AbdulRaheem insisted that lack of mentorship is key and central to the unbridled lawlessness, pervasive misbehavior and pathetic indecency going around our community and added that the proposed station,which is currently running test transmission,has also concluded arrangement to put up a programme on which accomplished elders and professionals of various backgrounds shall be featured for them to provide illuminations to the younger ones on how they attained their enviable status.
Alhaji Mahmud AbdulRaheem, a thorough bred broadcaster,seasoned media technocrat,outstanding academic and resourceful legal practitioner, was born on March 7,1956 to the family of the late Alhaji AbdulRaheem Kutu of Kutu or Abu Compound and Alhaja Shifawu AbdulRaheem(nee Salaudeen), who hailed from Ile Igboho,both in the Masingba Quarters,Ilorin.
His grand father, after whom this birthday boy renamed his sprawling Office Complex,was Shaykh Abdulsalam Okanla Kutu,who was a distinguished community leader and friend to the legendary Shaykh Tajul Adab(1887-1923),the teacher and mentor to the highly revered first Grand Mufti of Ilorin and the illustrious founder of the Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria, Shaykh Muhammad Kamaluddeen Habibulahi Al-Adabiyy,MFR,OFR,ORSA,FISN (1905-2005).
As peculiar to all Ilorin children,Barrister AbdulRaheem had his culturally mandatory Quranic education in Lagos under the tutelage of his father during their sojourn at Fouray Bay Mosque,Cousey Street, Lagos Island. Boda Mahmud,as most of my contemporaries fondly addressed him,began his primary education at the Pakata B Primary School(now Pakata LGEA Primary School, Ilorin,for his elementary primary education. He completed his primary education studies at Pakata A Primary School (now Oke-Pakata LGEA Primary School) otherwise called Oke Ebo Alaso, also at Pakata area Ilorin in 1969. He was subsequently admitted into the Ansarul Islam Grammar School, Ijomu-Oro as a Member of the pioneer set of pupils of the school. He eventually attended the Ilorin Grammar School, Ilorin, from where he received his West African School Certificate in 1974.He was also trained as a teacher at the then Offa Teachers College, Offa,in 1976.He left the school with a Grade II Teacher's Certificate.
The enduring love relationship between Barrister AbdulRaheem and the electronic media started in 1979 when he was admitted into the prestigious Bayero University, Kano,after his preliminary studies at the same institution,which prepared him for his eventual degree programme. He subsequently received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication in 1982 as a Member of the second set of students of the Department. Not satisfied with the first degree he held,this illustrious academic proceeded to the University of Lagos from where he received his Master of Science degree in Mass Communication in December, 1992.
After working for close to two decades, first as a teacher and later as a media technocrat, Barrister AbdulRaheem returned to the classroom to learn again. He studied law at the University of Ilorin from where he graduated with LL.B(Hons) in December, 2004.He subsequently attended the Nigerian Law School at the end of which he had Call-to-Bar in November,2006. He also attended the Obafemi Awolowo University,Ile-Ife from which he received his Master's degree in Law in March,2011. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Media Law .
Barrister AbdulRaheem, "told me not to tell anyone" that if he could turn a new leave after being an "Ayoteti" while growing up no one should writes himself off or be written off because of "developmental or adolescent challenges". He explained that even after obtaining the then minimum teaching qualification,he started his career as a primary school teacher at a Christian Missionary School against social expectations. He had rejected the offer threw at him by the penultimate Chief Missioner of the Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria and the immediate past Imam Imale of Ilorin ,who was a Member of the Ilorin Local Education Authority, Shaykh AbdulRahman Salaudeen Al-Adabiyy (d. 1987), to serve in a school in the traditional segment of Ilorin,which is close to his residence.
On his graduation from the University and subsequent national youth service programme, Barrister AbdulRaheem joined the services of the Kwara State Government as a secondary school teacher. He was posted to Okelele Secondary School, Ilorin, where he taught English Language and Literature-in-English between 1984 and 1987.
Barrister AbdulRaheem later transferred his services to the Kwara State Broadcasting Service (Radio Kwara),Ilorin,in 1987.He subsequently rose through the ranks until attaining the influential position of Controller of News in the News and Current Affairs Division of the Corporation.
Due to the politics of the time,Barrister AbdulRaheem was re-deployed to the then newly established Kwara State Ministry of Energy possibly on punitive basis for been too "comraderal". It was while he was struggling with what his restlessness and concerns for the welfare of others visited on him in the poorly equipped Ministry that he was employed as an Assistant Chief Monitoring Officer by the National Broadcasting Commission. He was posted to the Zonal Headquarters of the Commission at Ibadan and succeeding in dong himself a lot of favour. He explained that it was at the NBC he cut his teeth in broadcasting management and technocracy.
In 2003,the administration of His Excellency,Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki,CON, appointed him as the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of Radio Kwara. It was a rare opportunity for him to administer an establishment from where he was initially eased out. He was the Head of the Station for seven years after which he was moved to the Kwara State Television Service also as the General Manager by the same administration. He headed the television station for about a year before leaving in 2011.
Having assisted the University of Ilorin in establishing its Department of Mass Communication and the Unilorin FM,among other fruitful and symbiotic collaborations he did with the institution,the University of Ilorin invited him to join its academic staff as a Senior Research Fellow. He hearkened to the invitation on November 11,2011 and was able to bring his wealth of experience to bear on the training of several generations of younger ones, many of whom are today erudite academics, distinguished media professionals and dutiful citizens.
In the course of his services to the University, he was the first Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences. He also served, as a three term Head, Department of Mass Communication and would go down in history as one of those who laboured so hard to ensure that the Department matured to its present level.
This great media technocrat found it very difficult to forget the illustrious roles played by his late parents who treated him as "Eyingede" and to almost the level of "Akebaje" if not for providence and the intervention of his uncle, the late Alhaji Salman (Sani) Okanla,and,of course,the affection of his elder brother who is a phenomenal former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin and ex-Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Prof. Shuaibu Oba AbdulRaheem, OFR. He specifically recalled the roles played by the Talba of Ilorin who worked on him and in an uncommon way for him to retrace his steps from the path of perdition to that of rectitude after spending some years in intellectual agony and as a young man who was embroiled in youthful exuberance.
Boda Mahmud is married to Alhaja Rafat AbdulRaheem,who is a daughter to the famous Babaita family in the Alore Quarters of Ilorin. The marriage is blessed with four children--Mallam Bolaji, Dr Bolakale and Dr Rashidat as well as Mr Lukman.
As Barrister AbdulRaheem retires from public service, I sincerely congratulate him for all he accomplished in the course of his career as a primary school teacher and later as a senior secondary school tutor as well as a broadcaster and university don. On behalf of the National President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union(IEDPU), Alhaji Aliyu Otta Uthman, fsi, I wish this outstanding communicator,seasoned lawyer and exemplary academic many more years of fruitful services to humanity, Islam and his beloved Ilorin Emirate. May the rest of his sojourn on earth be marked by sound health,irreversible happiness and greater prosperity.
Imam is National Publicity Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union.