By Yunus Abdulkadir
Easy-going and soft-spoken, Hon. Abdullateef Abdulsalam bade this sinful world farewell for eternal rest on the 12th August, 2018 leaving under the care and protection of almighty Allah, his wife, children and parents.
Honourable, as he was fondly called by his former colleagues at the National Pilot Newspaper and within political circles was full of wisdom, with which he applied in life and living. The deceased was humility personified; he never at any point in time displayed arrogance.
My relationship with him knew no barrier; we related like biological brothers even though our career path later created a distance, yet we found a way around it by conversing through phone calls regularly.
Our relationship can be traced back to the year 2004, when I joined the National Pilot Newspaper as Senior Reporter and he was the Accountant at the time.
Abdullateef being a cultured Ilorin man approached me and invited me to his office, which I obliged with humility. He discussed and shared some of his life experiences with me; we exchange views and advices during that first encounter. I wondered why he took special interest in me because we were five that were employed at that time, and three of us were indigenes of Ilorin. Thereafter we became very close friends.
During this period of our close friendship, Abdullateef displayed intelligence, which was divinely bequeathed on him. His humility and readiness to sacrifice for others was exemplary. He had a large heart and was a unifying force. He was progressive in his thinking and he assisted others to excel. An instance was the time he pushed me to buy my first car, a Toyota Corolla in the year 2006, some months after he bought his own first car. I recall with nostalgia the time we spent together, which impacted my life positively.
I cherished his kind gestures towards me, which made me to resolve that I would overlook anything that he did directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, intentionally or otherwise to hurt me.
Honourable Abdullateef was such a good example, model and mirror for his generation and generations to come. For the period of years that we were together, he never complained about anybody that made it seem that nobody offended him. Unlike other politicians who use their offices and power to unleash vengeance on those who offended them, he always had excuses for his offenders; he would say, “it’s a mistake, he did it out of ignorance”, and would instantly forgive and forget.
He was ever ready to lend helping hands to others; he gave support in cash and kind to anybody in need of it. Surely, he would always be remembered for all his good deeds.
May Allah pardon his gentle soul, all his misdeeds, overlook and forgive him of all his sins, and be pleased with his gentle soul, “Bihaqi Mhammed Wa-Ali Muhammed (SAW)”.
Abdulkadir, is Public Relations Officer, Kwara State Polytechnic, writes via email@example.com.