Reputable personalities in the media, politics, business, and the academia from the nooks and crannies of Iwo and beyond will on Saturday, 12th October 2019, converge on the Oluwo Square for the turbaning ceremony of veteran journalist, Alhaji Liad Tella, as the first Asiwaju Musulumi of Iwo Land, Osun State.
Liad, will be honoured alongside three other personalities, namely Alhaji Khalid Badrudeen, Mayegun Musulumi; Barr AbdulWaheed Ayinde, Aare Musulumi; and Alhaja Samirat Oriolowo, Iya Sunnah, by the League of Imams and Alfas in Iwo in conjunction with Oba Abdurasheed Adewale Akanbi, the Deputy Chairman of the Osun State Council of Chiefs and Traditional Rulers.
In an exclusive interview with Muslim News ahead of the turbanning ceremony, a highly elated Tella explained that the Asiwaju Muslumi title, from the Yoruba interpretation of it, is leader of the ummah (Islamic community).
He said the Asiwaju is supposed to lead in community service, social integration and development of the ummah in all respects.
The former Senior Research Fellow at the University of Ilorin, who is notable for avoiding chieftaincy titles that had come his way many times ago, noted that it was impossible for him to avoid this one because it is coming from his homestead.
He said, “The concept of Asiwaju, from Yoruba interpretation of it, is leader of the ummah (Islamic group). The Asiwaju is supposed to lead in community service, social integration and development of the ummah in all respects. So, it is a title that challenges one.”
According to the former General Manager of the defunct Concord, “there has not been an Asiwaju Musulumi of Iwoland before. I am the first; so a lot will depend on me with regard to application of the office to the need of the ummah. A lot is to be redefined, specifically the challenges confronted by an Asiwaju for subsequent Asiwajus after me to follow.
“As the first Asiwaju of Iwoland, I consider that appointment as a foundation laying, to put me squarely in the midst of the ulamas (Islamic scholars). But again, I have not been far away from them, that is why I was recognized. When MKO Abiola was alive, I used to be his contact man with all the Muslim ummah, particularly in Yorubaland. And I integrated perfectly with them, from 1984 till date. So, I have been serving technically in that capacity since 1984.
In preparation for the great day, Alhaji Tella said he is expecting a lot of his friends and colleagues who have shown keen interest in his affairs from time immemorial.
“So, I expect that it would be a good occasion, a reunion for many people who, a long time, have not been able to meet. It would also be an opportunity from brotherhood to rejig.”
According to him, “I expect that it would not just end as a celebration, but an occasion to reunite, and bring ourselves back to the platform that we have been since 1966: the platform of the MSSN, and the succeeding ones like The Companion, MICA, NASFAT, NACOMYO and many other groups in the forefront of dawah in Nigeria. It is my expectation that we take the opportunity of the ceremony to reunite.
Liad, who retired from public service few months ago, expressed his memorable experience. He said, “I had a highly-rewarding experience during public service. And I thank God for it. I served; and I served well. After service, I went back to the classroom to give back to the society by building young ones in the area of journalism.
“Public service is not supposed to be a center for business or money-making. I did not sell my conscience; and I did not steal government’s money. That is why it is easier for me to stand tall among my peers. I lived a very modest life. I thank Allah for making me a messenger; and I have delivered the message efficiently.
“Among my peers, I can say without being self-adulating that everything I have were acquired legitimately. When you serve faithfully, God will never let you down. I have never been let down; and I thank Allah. I thank God for the group I fall into; the group of honour, honesty, sincerity, unconditional service to humanity.