On Friday 11th March 2021, I got the shock of my life when a highly revered traditional ruler, the custodian of Alimi dynasty, the 11th Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Mai-Martaba Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari CFR, visited my house.
The visit of His Royal Highness was a confirmation of the divine gifts of uncommon excellence, royalty and humility bestowed on him by his Creator. Located in GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State, the building is a new edifice that God has just gifted to me in His infinite mercies.
Since last week that I heard that Baba will come to bless my home, I have been extremely confused. Yes, I mean CONFUSED, because the Emir, a true and detribalized Nigerian, an active and incorruptible Justice of the Court of Appeal, (JCA) before he voluntarily retired in 1995 to become the Chief Justice on the revered stool of his forefathers, the Chairman of Kwara State Traditional Council and one of the highly respected monarchs with the title of Shehu in Nigeria (Shehu Usman Danfodio of Sokoto, Shehu El-Kanemi of Borno and Shehu Alimi of Ilorin).
The stool of Emir of Ilorin is one of the most powerful thrones in Nigeria. I found it difficult to factor how His Royal Highness will put aside all his very tight schedules to come to bless my home, how Baba will move in Ilorin township with lots of salutations, compliments and honours just because of a little son.
I was full of positive thoughts because over the years, I have observed His Royal Highness closely, I came to realise that his intelligence, humility, patience, tolerance generosity, kind-heartedness and love for his subjects is second to none while his commitments to national unity cannot be over emphasized.
I began to count days since the day Baba pronounced that he will come, later, I began to count hours and behold, the closer the hours, the more energy and strength I begin to gather to receive him in our area. On Tuesday 9th March 2021, I was in Abuja and Kano for some meetings, I moved to Lagos at the early hours of Wednesday 10th March, 2021 but I couldn’t sleep throughout the night till day break on Thursday 11th March, 2021. I was already at the airport at 6am waiting for Overland flight. I began to have different thoughts such as; What of if the flight is cancelled? What of if the flight is delayed? Each time I think of such, I will quickly say, God forbid!
Immediately the flight landed at the Ilorin International Airport at about 8.40am, I did not even remember that a driver was waiting for me at the airport, I hurriedly rushed to the airport gate in anticipation of taking Okada home with the belief that Okada would be more faster than motor-car this time around.
Among dignitaries who waited for the arrival of His Royal Highness were the Group Managing Director/CEO of KAM Holding, Dr. Kamoru Yusuf, a retired Justice of the Kwara State High Court, Hon. Justice Bamigbola (rtd), newly appointed Ambassador of Nigeria to Pakistan, Amb. Mohammed Abioye, the Promoter of Darul Kitab University Agbeyangi-Ilorin, Dr. AbdulKadir Oba-Solagberu, members of my family, friends and well-wishers in the neighbourhood.
To the glory of God Almighty, His Royal Highness arrived at my residence and he blessed the new edifice. Through him, I learnt the lesson of my life that “Traditional Rulers are born and not made by anyone”. His Royal Highness prayed for me, for my family members, for Ilorin city, for Kwara State, for Nigeria and for humanity at large.
Although, before, my loyalty and love for Baba was not 100%, based on my assessment, I had 250% loyalty for him but now, Baba is permanently living in my heart because his visit shall remain Evergreen in my life and I shall also pass the story to my grandchildren and I also wish to officially implore everybody that when I am no more, kindly remember to pass the story of the great honour done to me by the 11th emir of Ilorin to generations yet-unborn.
I am extremely overwhelmed, excited, gladdened, happy, full of strength and gratitude to His Royal Highness for the uncommon and rare opportunity which he passionately extended to me.
Sheeeeeeeehu! Sheeeeeeeeeeehu!! Sheeeeeeeeeeeeehu!!! May the reign of His Royal Highness be long of the throne with long life and sound health.
Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, Spokesman to His Royal Highness, the Emir of Ilorin writes via email@example.com
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