By Billy Adedamola
Nice to be back again on this page after a prolonged lay off occasioned by multifarious challenges. But challenges are part and parcel of our living. They are vital ingredients that push us to attaining greater heights of our endeavours. They should not be an impediment. In my own case, they were. Writers live in their own world. To them ,life outside writing is empty, unfulfilled. This is the world I have been living for the long period I have been away from this page, from my world and from my beloved readers. But rather than face the challenges and find a way round them, I sought refuge in excuse, that ready and ever available escape route which enriches failure and kill success. On the face of it , the excuses appeared plausible: To keep this company from going under by finding a way out of the threatening financial suffocation, the editorial battles which run across online and print and other challenges which are being fought literally with bare hands. Lord Billy’s diary could not but give way to guest columns which seemed to be running forever. And things would have continued this way, but for the intervention of Justice S O Muhammad (rtd), former Grand Khadi of Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal. The long absence from this page had badly reduced my enthusiasm to resume writing. I had become lazy, having found comfort in the cocoon of excuse I had built around myself. Then one morning, I received a call from Justice Muhammad. The call was totally unexpected. It was the first time he would be calling me on phone. After exchanging greetings, he went on to talk to me about life and its values. He lectured me on virtues of patience, humility and honesty. Not done, he asked why I stopped writing my weekly back page column. I gave him the ready excuse of the daunting challenges. I had expected him to respond with words of sympathy and understanding like many had done, but not Justice Muhammad. He patiently scolded me, dismissing my excuses as nothing but laziness. He told me that being busy should not stop you from attending to all issues that demand your attention, once you organize yourself properly. He used himself as an example, who have so many things to attend to, but still find time to write. This jolted me out of my slumber and I decided to give whatever it takes to start writing again. To this , I owe Justice Muhammad endless gratitude. It is good to do what one loves doing. I’m happy to resume writing this column again and will work very hard to keep the guest columnists at bay from now on. My sincere apology to those who faithfully read this column and who no longer had it to read again for such a long time. I’m back, this time In Shaa Allah, for good.
Olota’s Historic visit to Ilorin
History was made in Ilorin Emirate weeks back when the traditional ruler of Ota kingdom,His Royal Majesty, Prof. AbdulKabir Adeyemi Obalanlege paid a royal visit to the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari at his palace. The visit was historic because it was the first time in history that the traditional institution of the Awori kingdom will be moving down to the Ilorin Emirate. The responsibility of breaking a new dawn in the relationship between the people of Ilorin and the Aworis first knocked at my door about three months ago when the highly reverred Olota of Ota kingdom put a call through to me and discussed his intention to visit the Emir. He told me of his desire to build bridges between his people, the Aworis and other ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. He asked me to arrange his visit to our royal father, the Emir. This done, the Olota came in, accompanied by six other traditional rulers in the Aworiland. The visit was as historic as it was successful. The Olota told his host of the significance of Ilorin to Awori kingdom, especially in the area of Islamic knowledge and practice. The visibly elated Emir too, went down the memory lane to share with his guests the historical values and attributes of the Ilorin Emirate.
Adieu Tunde Ashaolu
There was so much I would have loved to say or write about Tunde Ashaolu, the kwara state publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP who died suddenly penultimate Sunday evening, but my heart is empty. His death shook me to the marrow,same way it shook all those who knew him closely when he was alive. Tunde was a good man, a loyal friend and one dedicated to whatever cause he was in pursuit of. I would have loved to write of his closeness to me for many years, during which he never stopped encouraging me to trudge on in the face of the daunting challenges. I would have loved to tell the world some of his dreams which he shared with me. I had given him assurances of support in the party responsibility he was saddled with, I had other plans for him,but writing his obituary was never one of them . My consolation, and indeed that of his family, many friends,associates and well wishers who are steeped in mourning his demise is that, it is not how long one lived, but the impact you left behind. As you bid the world final farewell tomorrow, Tunde, I pray that God will comfort the loved ones you left behind, especially your aged father and your beloved wife and grant you eternal rest. Sun re o, Tunde.