Primus Inter Pares: The Life, Legacy of Prince Bola Ajibola
Features/Opinion General

Primus Inter Pares: The Life, Legacy of Prince Bola Ajibola

By Kamaldeen Akintunde, Esq

….the world is a stage, and men and women are merely players who make their entrances and exits. – William Shakespeare

These words say the truth about Prince Abdul Jabbar Bola Ajibola, who left an indelible mark on the world before bidding it farewell. He served with distinction in the noble profession of law and made significant impacts on all human endeavours. He served his country with dignity and a profound sense of responsibility.

Prince Ajibola’s legacy transcends his personal achievements as a legal luminary and diplomat. He was a mentor to many, role model to aspiring lawyers and father figure to those who knew him closely.

His life was a testament to the possibilities of hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence. He was a “primus inter pares” – first among equals – a man of many talents and accomplishments.

He was a renowned administrator and arbitrator, a peace negotiator, a champion of inter-faith harmony, a proprietor, a religious and community leader, and a believer in a united Nigeria.

Prince Bola Ajibola, as a Muslim, showcased his commitment and devotion to Islam in his later years. He founded the Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA) and established Crescent University, Abeokuta (CUAB). CUAB is rated as the first Islamic University in Nigeria.

A pillar of Islam who supported various Islamic causes, projects, and programmes, including sponsoring a radio programme and providing scholarship opportunities for individuals to study both in and outside Nigeria.

He held several prestigious titles and positions in Islamic organisations, such as the Baruwa of Egba Muslims and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSMEN). Prince Bola Ajibola was a devoted philanthropist who exhibited fear of Allah (taqwa) in all his undertakings.

He sold all his possessions to support his initiatives for the advancement of humanity and the propagation and promotion of the Islamic faith. A man of the masses who undertook noteworthy initiatives to provide support for African refugees.

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As a true patriot, he served Nigeria and the world with distinction, leaving behind an indelible mark on the sands of time. His unwavering commitment to the rule of law, human rights, and justice will continue to inspire generations to come.

Prince Ajibola was a man of great wisdom and humour, often using African proverbs to deal with complex issues as a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

He was not just a man, but an institution – a distinguished Nigerian of immense value. As a peace negotiator and champion of interfaith harmony, he demonstrated the power of dialogue and understanding in resolving conflicts.

Little wonder, he was Chairman of the Nigerian-Cameroon mixed Commission on the Bakassi Peninsula. He was a bridge builder, bringing people of different cultures, religions, and backgrounds together for the common good.

The late Omo Oba Owu lived a fulfilled life, one of integrity and virtue. We pay special tribute to him for his dedicated service to the nation and the world. Prince Ajibola’s legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of those he touched. As we mourn his passing, we also celebrate his life and the impact he made on the world.

He was born great, achieved greatness, and his legacy will endure forever.

Adieu, Omo Oba Bola Ajibola, SAN, KBE, CFR.

Kamaldeen Akintunde, Esq. is the Secretary-General of Ogun State Muslim Council (OMC), fmr National President of NACOMYO & Balogun of Itesi (Egba Alake) Muslims, Abeokuta.


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