Oyo State Big Player, Alhaji Arisekola Alao Is Dead

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The Oyo State business man and Aare Musulumi of Yoruba land
is dead. He passed on today in London at 69. To know more about him, continue below.


Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao is a notable Nigerian businessman
and contractor who was the publisher of the now defunct Monitor Newspaper. He
is considered a wealthy businessman who is known for his causes in support of
Islam in Ibadan and his close ties to many of the city’s traditional and
religious elites and to various other Yoruba Muslim leaders. He bears the title
of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland.
Arisekola saw his fortunes rise during the regimes of
Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha while his style is sometimes criticized as
favoring any regime that can butter his nest. He was both a friend of MKO
Abiola and Sani Abacha but was actively involved in supporting the latter to
elongate his tenure through a transition from military to democratic
leadership.

Born in 1945 to Abdul Raheem Alao and Olatutu Alao, he
attended St Luke’s Primary School, Adigun and ICC Primary school, he also
studied Arabic Studies. In 1960, he was with the Ogunpa-Oyo Commercial Center
before venturing into full time business a year later. His traditional
commercial focus is in auto sales, flour mills and oil marketing through his
Lister brand, he has also developed interest in real estate, insurance, banking
and publishing.
Originally, he came from humble means, joining his uncle as
an apprentice in Gbagi market of Ibadan in 1960. He left in 1961 to sell
gammalin 20 vide and later became an agent of Imperial Chemical Industries. 
By
the 1970s, he was a dealer of Datsun brand of motors under Lister Motors.
In the 1970s and 80s: Arisekola was serenaded by the Juju
singer Ebenezer Obey around the late 1970s while later being conferred with the
title of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland by the league of Imams and Alfas from the
region in 1980. Though, along with his friend, Abiola, he courted controversy
and raised already existent inter-religious tension when he raised issues about
the location an iconic cross to depict places of worship at the University of
Ibadan. The cross which was erected in the 1950s when only a church was a place
of worship at the institution but Muslim worshipers claimed that the cross was
located on the Eastern side of the mosque and was a violation of Islamic
requirements not to see an idol, cross or effigy during worship. In 1990, he
was co-chair of a committee interested in promoting cross fertilization of
ideas and inter-religious understanding between Christians and Muslims.
During the democratic period of the Sani Abacha era,
Arisekola, along with Lamidi Adedibu pitched his tent with the Democratic Party
of Nigeria also known as DPN. However, his closeness with the Abacha
administration has erred him detractors within Yorubaland. His Monitor Press
outfit was burnt in May 1998 during the aftermath of the campaign for the
prolongation of the Abacha government and right after the death of Abacha, a
visit to University of Ibadan caused a minor riot when students shouted down at
him and proceeded to burn his limousine as a result of anger fueled at him due
to his relationship with the corrupt Abacha administration.
Arisekola doubles as the president-general of the Grand
Council for Islamic Affairs and member of the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria
Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA.
In Ibadan Arisekola has contributed to many Islamic causes including
the construction of mosques and alms giving to many residents who troop to his
home. He is a patron to many Yoruba Muslim groups including the youth wing of
the National Council of Musim Youth Organizations of Nigeria (NACOMYO) and some
Yoruba Muslim womens group.
Aside from that, Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola ALao is a man
of honour both home and abroad. His a forthright leader and a father who loves
people making it in life; if you understand is way of life.

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