Death is an inevitable reality for all living mortals. It is one important factor that brings both the old and young; rich and poor, men and women; religious and irreligious, together. Each and everyone of us will die at our appointed times with no delay.
Despite the fact that humans dread death, it is the ultimate end of our journey in life. No one has existed forever, and none will. Death is, therefore, a leveller that sends an important message to the living.
The past days in the month of June has witnessed a spike in the cases of death among Muslims from all walks of life. From scholarship to politics to journalism and others, death continues to rob the Muslim Ummah of influential individuals in Nigeria.
Muslim News chronicles some of these influential individuals and the cause of their deaths.
June 25: Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi
Late Ajimobi was a Nigerian political juggernaut who served the country in various political capacities. He came to politics through business. Ajimobi was, before his entry to the political terrain of Nigeria, an oil magnate who rose through the ranks to become the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil and Chemical Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum, Nigeria.
Born on the 16th of December, 1949, the late politician came to political spotlight when he first served as Senator representing Oyo South in 2003. In 2011, he contested for the office of the governor of Oyo State, which he won and got re-elected in 2015.
Ajimobi achieved the feat of serving for two terms as Oyo State governor. No past governor since the beginning of democratic dispensation has enjoyed such benefit. After his second tenure as governor ended, he sought to be elected to the National Assembly but lost out. Available records show that he extended hands of fellowship to the Muslim Ummah in his days as the numero uno of the state. He also built a central mosque in Ibadan where mammoth worshippers come to offer prayers.
Ajimobi would later be appointed as Deputy National Chairman (South) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). After the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upheld the suspension of Mr Adams Oshiomole as National Chairman, the late Ajimobi was appointed to act in the capacity, a position he never took responsibility of due to his failing health and complicated medical situation.
After a protracted battle with Coronavirus related complications, the former governor later succumbed to death on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Aged 70, he died at First Cardiologist Hospital in Lagos. Prof Akin Abayomi, Lagos state’s Health Commissioner said the statesman died due to multiple organ failure.
June 15: Sikiru Bayo Osinowo
Senator Bayo Osinowo was another influential Muslim personality that the Muslim community lost to the cold hands of death in the month of June.
Osinowo was a political maverick who held sway in Lagos State. An associate of late MKO Abiola and National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the late lawmaker also came to politics through business. He was a popular businessman called “Pepper” by his fans and admirers.
The Ijebu-born politician was a pioneer youth Chairman of the SDP and four-term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly. Until his death, he was the Senator representing Lagos East at the Red Chambers, and was appointed Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Investment.
Osinowo died owing to complications arising from the novel Coronavirus on June 15, 2020. He departed the world at the age of 64.
Osinowo was a devout Muslim who was keen about the affairs of Islam and the Muslims. After his death, a video clip of him went viral where he was quoting portions of the Holy Quran on the floor of the National Assembly to educate his colleagues.
June 8: Alhaji Abubakar Tsav
The Muslim Ummah also lost an important personality in Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, an elderly statesman who served his country with heart and might. A retired police officer, Tsav was wholly committed to service across his years in the public service.
Late Tsav was one of the few hardworking, brave and honest police officers Nigeria has ever had. A gallant police officer, he was always ready to step on toes in the course of getting to the root of the matter in the quest for justice.
His resilience, no doubt, pitted him against some corrupt government officials, but his brilliance, diligence and intelligence kept him going. He rose through the ranks to become a Commissioner of Police in Lagos State. He also served as Federal Commissioner, Public Complaint Commission.
He revealed the secrets of so many high-profile criminals in the country with his deep investigative techniques and and skills. This led to his selection as one of the officers who investigated the killing of former Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Bola Ige through a bomb letter.
Tsav bowed out at 82 after a protracted battle with diabetes and High Blood Pressure at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi early June.
Reacting, Cheif Imam of Benue State said his death was a great loss to the Muslim community in Nigeria.
June 12: Shaykh Ahmad Olayiwola Kamaldeen
Another towering figure that left the Muslim Ummah in the month of June was Shaykh Ahmad Olayiwola Kamaldeen, who died on June 12, 2020.
Shaykh Olayiwola was urbane and suave. Gentle and affable, he maintained a balance between Islamic scholarship and public service.
He was the Khalifatul Adabiyya and fourth Grand Mufti of Ilorin Emirate, a position he took charge of after the demise of his brother. Shaykh Olayiwola was a noble son of the late popular Islamic scholar, Shaykh Kamaldeen Al-Adabiyy.
The late Khalifatul Adabiyya in his life time served the country with his heart and might. Despite his astounding background, he taught at various schools in Kwara State, and rose to the position of principal.
The late Islamic scholar was also appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and later Commissioner for Education in Kwara State.
According to Alhaji Kunle Sanni, Chairman, Muslim Community, Oyo State, the deceased was a fantastic Muslim, consummate and exemplary Jihadist.
His death was natural as there was no report of underlying medical conditions. Shaykh Olayiwola was buried at his ancestral residence in Okekere, Ilorin, with wide attendance at the Janazah proceedings.
June 14: Shaykh (Dr) Muyideen Zughlool
On the night of 14, June, 2020, an Islamic scholar and researcher per excellence, Dr Muyideen Zughlool bowed out of the world, leaving his admirers and acquaintances in grief.
Dr Muyideen was one of the illustrious sons of the late shrewd Islamic scholar and historian, Shaykh Mustapha Zughlool Sanusi who bade the world farewell in 2017.
Shaykh Zughlool was a prominent Islamic cleric and preacher who had produced burgeoning scholars under his tutelage. He established the popular Daru Da’wah Wal-Irshad, Isolo, which boasts of alumni in all walks of life.
After the demise of Shaykh Zughlool, the first proprietor of Daru Da’wah, late Dr Muyideen was one of those appointed to man the affairs of the school alongside his brother, Shaykh Ishaq Zughlool.
Dr Muyideen died after a brief illness at his residence.
June 15: Mallam Azeez Ozi-Sanni
The Muslim Ummah also lost one of its best when on June 15, 2020, Mallam Azeez Ozi-Sanni, a journalist with The Nation newspaper breathed his last.
Before his demise, the brilliant scribe worked as a cartoonist with The Nation where he paid his due. Azeez has written many stories and dug exclusives as a reporter.
He passed away after a brief illness in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, hours after the Muslim world lost Dr Muyideen Zughlool and Senator Bayo Osinowo.
One of his colleagues who announced his death described him as a great cartoonist who did his best to change the society, noting that he would be sorely missed.
June 28: Justice Nasir Ajanah
Also in the list is Kogi State Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Nasir Ajanah who the Muslim community lost to the cold hands of death in the early hours of Sunday, 28, June, 2020.
The late Chief Law Officer hailed from Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Late Justice Nasir Ajanah was born in 1956 to the family of Alhaji MJ Fari Ajanah.
Following his call to the Nigerian Bar, Ajanah started his working career after the National Youth Service with Kwara State Ministry of Justice, where he served as State Counsel between 1982 and 1984.
He later set up his private firm, Nasiru Ajanah & Co., in Okene where he practiced his law between 1985 and 1989.
The legal luminary got so many appointments to serve the public in various capacities. He was also a devout and committed Muslim.
He passed on at the age of 64 after a brief illness at an Abuja Hospital. Also confirming this, Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello said that the late Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah died of natural causes and not COVID-19.
June 3: Ustadh Harun AbdulJaleel
For many of his associates and mentees, Wednesday, June 3, 2020 would remain a sombre day as the remains of Ustadh Abdul-Jaleel Haroon, a prominent teacher and Islamic scholar was buried in Lagos.
Ustadh Harun, coordinator of Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos died on Wednesday after complications from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Sources told Muslim News that the 46-year-old Imam was hit by a car while on a motorcycle along Mowe/Ibafo axis of Ogun state on the 27th of Ramadan 1441AH (Wednesday, May 20).
According to Alhaji Abdur Rasheed Adesanya, a close friend: “He was admitted at the hospital and was thereafter discharged since it wasn’t a deep injury. Unknown to him, the injury got infected despite his frequent visit to the hospital for dressing. Few days later he fell sick as a result of the infection which also affected his ability to speak.
“He was therefore rushed to the hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, the illness got worse before he was transferred to the Intensive care unit at Dorcas Hospital where he lost the battle yesterday,” he added.
Abu Aminah, as the late Ustadh Haroon is fondly called, was buried on the same day (Wednesday) at a Muslim cemetery, Agege Jafojo, Lagos, in accordance with the Islamic rites. The burial rites was witnessed by important personalities like the Grand Mufti of CIO, Shaykh Dhikrullah Shafii’, former Lagos Commissioner for Home Affairs, Honourable AbdulHakeem AbdulLateef among others.
Until his death, he was the Chief Imam of Olowora and Kajola Central Mosques respectively. He was a Ruqya (exorcism) specialist. He was also the former Cultural Affairs Officer of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Ikeja, Lagos.
Ustadh Abdul Jaleel Haroon, who many regarded as loving, caring and intelligent is survived by his mother, wife, five children and other relatives.
June 13: Mikhail Jare Adebisi
Mr. Mikhail Adejare Adebisi, former Deputy Chief of Staff (DCoS) to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun on General Administration also breathed his last in the month of June.
The late politician had served both as Assistant Chief of Staff and Special Adviser in the Governor’s Office in the previous administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
He held an LL.M degree and was pursuing his doctorate programme in Law before death came snatching him away.
Adebisi died at 54 after a brief illness, and was buried in Ilobu town, State of Osun.
His death has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ismail Omipidan.
Governor Oyetola described his death as a personal loss to him and the government he heads, saying the deceased was a dependable aide who carried out any assignment given to him with dispatch and with little or no supervision.
June 21: Justice Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga
Still in the month of June, another Iroko tree fell in Kogi State. The Muslim community woke up shockingly to the news of the death of Justice Ibrahim Shaibu Atadoga, a high-ranking Muslim personality in Kogi.
A thorough-bred legal luminary, Atadoga was, until his death, President, Kogi Customary Court of Appeal. The late Justice hailed from Omala LGA of Kogi State.
The deceased was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986, and had been in private practice since then before his appointment.
He was said to be instrumental in the creation of the Customary Court of Appeal in Kogi State.
Atadoga passed away after a brief illness in his home state, Kogi.