Ijara-Isin stands still for Ayedun.

Date: 2017-07-19
By AHMED 'LATEEF

The remains of a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State, Alhaji Yusuf Aiyedun, were interred on Monday in his hometown of Ijara-Isin amid glowing tributes and tears by mourners. AHMED 'LATEEF was there.

For Oke-Igunsi compound in Ijara-Isin, Isin Local Government Area of Kwara State, the exit of Alhaji Yusuf Ayedun, erstwhile state Chairman of the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the surface of the earth was end of an era. On Monday, gloom and mournful countenance pervaded not only the compound but the entire Ijara-Isin community.

Right from Oke-Onigbin Junction through to Ijara-Isin, residents, motorists, bystanders scrambled to catch a glimpse of the remains of Ayedun shrouded in a white clothing material for the final journey.

The white ambulance that conveyed the deceased was accompanied by retinue of cars of family members, friends, political associates, mourners and some of others, who had come in contact with him before he breathed his last.

Immediately, the ambulance berthed at Oke- Igunsi compound in Ijara-Isin and the corpse was carefully stretched out, some of the sympathizers could not hide their emotions. Even those, who attempted to conceal their emotions, wore mournful and dejected looks, and indeed their dejected looks betrayed their emotions.  

It was all wailing, teeth gnashing and foot dragging as other mourners consoled others whose emotions ran high ahead of final interment rites.

At about 2:50pm, the Chief Imam of Chief Imam of Ijara-Isin, Alhaji Muftau Jimoh, led the janazat after which the remains of Yusuf Ayedun, widely acclaimed for his political dexterity and wizardry, were lowered into mother earth.

Well known for his philanthropism and communal development, some mourners and indigenes of Ijara-Isin town believed that the demise of the political leader had created a wide vacuum in the politics of Isin Local Government Area and Kwara South in particular.

The late politician was a staunch associate and follower of the late strong man of Kwara politics, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki and was said to have remained loyal to Saraki political dynasty.

Leading the prayer, the Chief Imam of Chief Imam of Ijara-Isin, Alhaji Muftau Jimoh, beseeched Almighty Allah to forgive Ayedun of his sins and misdeeds while on the planet earth. He described the late politician as a devoted muslim, who faithfully and religiously followed Islamic tenets while still alive.

With his kindness and love for all, the cleric said his death might be painful but urged family members and close associates to be comforted because of the fact that the political stalwart lived eventful and impactful life.

Jimoh enjoined the political class to draw lesson from ephemerality and vanity of life as exemplified by the demise of Ayedun, who he identified, as an iconic figure in Ijara-Isin town.

"If we are talking about sermon, we have seen it before our very eyes. Whatever you acquired rightly or wrongly, this is the end; vanity upon vanity. Whatever you might have mobilized, on the day you are leaving for the grave, you can't take any along with you. So, if you asked a cleric to sermonize you, what you have seen here is suffice. 

"What is it in this life that you have continued to struggle to appropriate everything? Why don't you use your position to better the lots of others? They will pray and safeguard you. But it is disturbing that we have not allowed death to be enough as sermon for us. It is even stated glaringly in the glorious Quran that death is suffice for whoever wants to listen to sermon.

"For us in Ijara-Isin, we thank Almighty Allah for the eventful and the life well spent by our late father. We are not mourning really but only reminiscing about the life of this man. Throughout his lifetime, he was a devoted and committed muslim, gentle, compassionate, philanthropic and sympathetic. Though his exit might be saddened and painful, we besiege Allah to forgive his sins and grant him the best of places in paradise", the Chief Imam prayed.

At the interment rites were the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, accompanied by member representing Oke-Ogun Constituency in the Assembly, Kamal Oyekunle Fagbemi and his counterpart for Isin Constituency, Emmanuel Funsho Abodunrin among others.

Others, who attended the prayer session include the state Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ishola Balogun Fulani; a former member of the House of Representatives for Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency, Kola Yusuf; a former state Commissioner for Works and Transport, Abdulrauf Kola Shittu; traditional rulers and chiefs within and without Isin Local Government Area. 

Early callers at the residence of late Ayedun included a former Senator for Kwara North Senatorial District, Mohammed Ahmed; a former Minister of State for Education, Alhaji Saidu Issa; a former Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, AbdulGaniyu Abdulkareem; a former state PDP Chairman, Zubair and a former member of the state House of Assembly for Isin Constituency, Bisi Oloruntoba.

Speaking on Ayedun's sojourn on earth, Kola Shittu said the late politician was a reliable and fantastic leader, who exhibited goodness during his lifetime.

He urged family members to take solace in the exemplary life of their father.

He said, "Alhaji Yusuf Ayedun was a very good man, very reliable and always like to say the truth. His leadership had been very fantastic always. He was a one-time leader of our party. Until his death, he was the Chairman of APC Elders Forum, Kwara South. He was a very good man and we wish his family would take solace from good things God will do to them".

Also speaking, a former state Head of Service, Alhaji Dabarako Mohammed, said the death of Ayedun was a rude shock and a big loss to the state, adding that he was a complete gentle politician.

"His death was shocking. It is a great loss to the entire state because I describe him as a very gentle politician, whom we have lost in the state. There is nothing you will approach him to say or to do that he would get annoyed with you. Since I heard the news, I have been very sober and that shows his closeness to me. Since 2008, we have been going for Umrah (less hajj) together. So, that made him a very special person to me. All I want to say is that may Almighty Allah grant him Al-Janata firdaus and look after the family", Mohammed said.

Aged 80 years, Ayedun died on Sunday at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital after a protracted illness and was according to Islamic rites on Monday in his hometown in Ijara-Isin, Isin Local Government Area of the state. He is survived by wife and many children.

Eminent Kwarans had since paid glowing tributes to the late politician in their reactions to his demise.

In his reaction, the Speaker Ali Ahmad described the death of Ayedun as a colossal loss to not only the people of Isin Local Government but the entire people of the State.

Ahmad said this in Isin when he visited the Chairman of Isin  Traditional Council and  Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Olugbenga Oloyede and Olusin of Ijara-Isin, Oba Omoniyi Banigbe, shortly after he attended the burial rites of the late political stalwart.

Describing the deceased as a great man, known for his honesty, tenacity of purpose, loyalty, unifying factor and commitment to the well-being of his people, the Speaker assured that the government would immortalise him.

This, he said, would serve as a pointer to future generation, urging the monarchs, his immediate family and the people of Isin land to take solace in the fact that the deceased lived a life worthy of emulation for all.

Responding, the two monarchs eulogised the Speaker for his responsiveness, demonstration of love and concern for the people of Isin land, saying that the vacuum created with the death of Ayedun in Isin land would be difficult to fill.

The traditional rulers, who recalled the pivotal role played by the deceased in the creation of Isin Local Government Council in 1996, socio- economic development and political emancipation of the State, appealed to the Saraki political dynasty and the state government, to raise younger generation of Isin for greater development of the area.

They explained with sadness that the entire Isin land was devastated with the demise of the politician, but take solace in the fact death is an inevitable end of all mankind.

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