By Abdulwahab Oba
It was a gathering of the high and the mighty; it was a gathering of diverse people across the Nation; the military and the civil society. They had come to bade the first and the youngest governor of Kwara State fare well. Brigadier- General David Lasisi Bamigboye (Rtd) was the first governor of the north central state (now Kwara State) at the age of 27 in 1967 and thus became a member of the country’s Supreme Military Council, the highest ruling body of the country at that time. David Bamigboye was the third child of the third wife of his father in a family of very many children. Without informing his parents, late David Bamigboye joined the Nigerian Military Training School in Kaduna after graduation from the popular Barewa College, Zaria. The young David was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1962 and was one of the first set of officers to be trained in Nigeria rather than proceeding to Teshi in Ghana. Late David Bamigboye was appointed the pioneer Military Governor of newly created Kwara State in 1967.
As a governor, David Bamigboye established Kwara State Polytechnic, Kwara Hotel, Ilorin, among other numerous developmental projects in the new state. In his tribute to the late governor during funeral service at Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government area, Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed described him as “a gallant officer, committed statesman, a bridge-builder, and an administrator who laid the foundation for Kwara State”. The funeral service also had in attendance former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, former state Governor and Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ex-Governor and Senator, Alhaji Shaaba Lafiagi, former Governor C. O Adebayo, General Alani Akinrinade, General Alabi Isama, Brig-Gen. Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Founder of Winner’s Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo and other distinguished Nigerians.
According to the governor, late David Bamigboye was the quintessential officer, a true statesman who saw to the establishment of the basic institution of governance that made Kwara State the pride of Northern Nigeria. “He will be remembered as a man of peace, who strived to be part of the solution rather than the problem through his support and co-operation with subsequent administrations in the state, and for this, he will be sorely missed. In his tribute, the man who appointed the late David Bamigboye as governor, Gen. Dr. Yakubu Gowon, GCFR, recalled David’s adventurous life from youth at Zaria Secondary school, now Barewa College. Gen. Gowon described the late David Bamigboye as a good, loyal, hardworking and capable young officer that later earned him appointment to serve as first military governor of Kwara State from May, 1967 to July, 1975. “He was one of the youngest governors at the time, but a highly committed, dedicated and loyal officer who served his state as governor and the nation unreservedly well. It is on record that he performed very well during his tenure as military governor of Kwara State. “Yes, Brig. Gen. Bamigboye was indeed an officer and a gentleman, a man with a great sense of mission, a man of purpose who served his people and nation meritoriously. I’m grateful to him for giving our government a good name and image. I’m proud his people of Kwara State acknowledge his worth. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him”, Gowon noted.
In his message at the funeral service, Bishop David Oyedepo urged all and sundry to pray for Nigeria as we approach the elections. The 2019 elections seem like no other one in Nigeria. Crises in a number of states even as Nigerians groan in abject poverty and system failure. Hunger and wants are pervasive. And to add salt to injuries, rather than abate, insecurity has gone moon high. Northeast and Northcentral are ravaged by fundamentalists in the guise of what ever suits their criminal intents. This is like no other time.
The security agencies, especially the police, seem to have been compromised and politicised. Over ambitions and desperation are driving our politicians gaga. But the man of God, Oyedepo assured the gathering that there shall be peace. Nigeria shall know no more war. Our country shall once again know peace and progress. There shall be real transformation and change. Change that shall bring prosperity to all. And Bishop Oyedepo affirmed that no one’s ambition is worth the life of a least Nigerian. As the remains of David Bamigboye was wheeled pass my seat, I remembered again the ephemerality of life. This life is transient. It is path to eternity, where every one shall be accountable for his deeds. Bamigboye might have gone but his deeds remain immortal. And, so shall every one’s.
As I celebrate another birthday tomorrow, I pray that Allah’s blessings be unto my elders, leaders, superiors, friends, relatives and those that I deeply care for. May Allah show you all a revelation of his love and power. O’ Allah, strengthen our belief to love our country and brothers and sisters as we love ourselves. O’ Allah, where there is pain, give them succour, peace and healing.
Where there is self doubt, God, please release a renewed confidence through your grace, bless their homes, families and means of living. Let the world gather to celebrate Kwara. Let the world celebrate our season of blessings, favours and victories. May God answer and settle our cases beyond our dreams and expectations. No evil shall be traced to Kwara again. We shall no longer cry or mourn in our state. And so shall it be. Amen.
*Oba can be reached via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org