By Kayode Adeoti
Politicians and media practitioners gathered at the Osere Muslim Cemetery in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital to pay their last respect to the departed former National Pilot staff, Hon. Abdulateef Abdulsalam.
Abdulsalam, who was a former supervisory councillor in Ilorin East Local Government Area, reportedly breathed his 7:30 pm on Saturday at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) aged 38.
The deceased rose from account officer to the position of accountant of National Pilot newspaper between 2002 and 2007.
The Janazat prayer for the deceased was led by the Chief Imam of Oloje Central Mosque, Ilorin, Muhammod Lawal Saliyu.
Among the multitude of personalities who paid glowing tributes to the deceased is former special adviser to the Kwara State Governor on Political Matters, Alhaji Usman Bibire Ajape. Ajape, who was the Ilorin East council boss when Abdulsalam was a councillor, described the latter as an easy going man.
He said, “the Abdulateef I knew does not fight anyone and above all, he was very reliable. He was very straightforward and upright, those attributes I will miss now that he is gone.
“He will always tell you the truth and he was the quiet type. I knew him that much because he was my supervisory councillor when I was council chairman,” he stressed.
Another former Ilorin East council chairman, Barr. Abdulateef Okandeji, said the demise of Abdulsalam was his political ally and a loyalist of the Saraki political dynasty.
Okandeji, who is the current head of Legal Department, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) however prayed to God to grant him Al-Janat Firdaos.
In his reaction, former Moro local government chairman, Alh. Shuiab Baba Jimoh (otherwise known as Gbadungbadun), said the massive turnout of people at the cemetery is a testimony to the good life led by the deceased adding that as a supervisory councillor Abdulsalam served diligently.
Also, former Kwara Council chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Alhaji Tunde Akanbi said, “His death came as a surprise, at the moment; I don’t know what to say because he was a brilliant young man. But we must all learn a lesson from his demise; death has no respect for anyone young, old, female or male. Within the destined time we have on earth, we should do what is noble and just.”
Speaking, the NUJ Chairman, Kwara State Council, Mallam Umar Abdulwahab described the departed as a colleague at National Pilot newspaper.
“At the time, he was our accountant and he was very resourceful. He was the type that took staff welfare very seriously. He ensured we got whatever was due to us. We can only pray to Allah to grant him Al-Janat Firdaus and the family, the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
Similarly, his uncle, Alhaji Kayode Hassan said the deceased exhibited good characters at all times.
“He was my sister’s son and he has been an easy going type from his tender age till he breathed his last. I will miss him for his accommodating gesture and I want to urge everyone that we should endeavour to exhibit good characters at all times, so that when we are no more, people can say good things about us.”
Meanwhile, fidau for Abdulsalam will hold 9am on Tuesday at the family residence located at Oloje, Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state.
He is survived by his wife, Motunrayo Abdulsalam, who is the current accountant of this medium, three kids and aged parents.