Tribute :Glorious exit of an Icon By Ahmed Ajiboye

Date: 2018-11-04
On Friday, September 28, 2018, death, like a thief in the night, stole into the family of late General David Bamigboye of Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. On that fateful day, the family head, the first Governor of Kwara State and the Asiwaju of Igbomina land, General David Bamigboye was called to a great beyond during a brief illness. It was indeed a day, a consuming darkness descended on the land, leaving on its trails wailings, anguish and grief in low and high places.

The enveloping darkness brought to an abrupt end 77 years of vibrant, purposeful leadership and active life dedicated to national service, community development among others. This immediately reminds me of the words of Williams Shakespeare when he wrote: “Life is like a story told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; but signifying nothing”.

The immortal transition of the pioneer Governor of Kwara State is still like a dream to the beloved ones he left behind. The reality that he is no longer on this side of the terrestrial divide with us is too hard to accept. But who are we, mere mortals, to question the will of the Almighty, the giver and taker of life. The consolation, however, lies in the fact that he lived a fufiled, remarkable and an exemplary life in the service of God and humanity.

General David Bamigboye was a truly accomplished leader and great achiever who attained enviable heights in many spheres of human endeavours. He was a man who, from his childhood, was destined for greatness; greatness that did not come through any inheritance but through dint of hard work and perseverance.

General Femi David Lasisi Bamigboye(rtd) was the first Military Governor of Kwara between May,1967 and July, 1975. He was born on December 7, 1940, of Muslim parents at Omu-Aran in Kwara State, the third in a family of five. He was sent to a strictly run Christian Mission School at Igbaja, near his hometown, and at Ilorin Middle School.

He then went on to Government College, Zaria, between 1954 and 1959 for a secondary education.

When he decided to become a soldier, he went to the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna, in April 1960, to Mons, Aldershot in October of the same year, and was commissioned in March 1961. Posted to the 3rd Battalion, he served in the Congo (Zaire) with the UN Peace Keeping Force and then was transferred to 2nd Brigade Headquarters at Apapa near Lagos, until April 1967, when he went to the newly created Area Command at Ibadan as Staff Officer, Grade I. He was not directly involved in front line operations in the Biafran war, and was still in Ibadan when appointed Military Governor of the new Central West State, which later changed its name to Kwara.

Here came his biggest challenge as Kwara was the poorest of all Nigeria's states, with virtually no export crops or mineral production. He had to start almost from scratch, building up the administration at Ilorin and tackling the diverse development problems. Public demand for social services, better communications and improved health and education facilities seriously stretched the state revenues. But in his fifth state budget Bamigboye was able to announce considerable progress.

Cheerful, chubby-faced and extremely young, with skin like burnished ebony. Colonel Bamigboye dresses in a Yoruba cap and white robes, reflecting his governorship of a part Muslim, part Christian, border state. He was installed at the tender age of 27 and has worked tirelessly, travelling the state from end to end to see what can be done about the vast disparities in development. Though he has upgraded the power of the chiefs, to meet the demands of some areas, he is basically modern in his approach and is the first northern governor to promise votes to women at the next elections.

In spite of his intellectual and accomplishments in life, General Bamigboye remained humane and unassuming. He was simplicity and humility personified. He related freely with those that came his way irrespective of their level and class in the society. His death is not only a personal loss to the family and Omu-Aran community, the headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, but also to the entire Kwara South, state and in deed, Nigeria. For me, I have lost a great friend, teacher and motivator!

My first encounter with him, was during the death of his mother, Alhaja Asmau Bamigboye, years back, it was during Ramadan fast. And there was a need to transfer some cash to Ilorin for Tevelesion, Radio and Newspaper announcement and the late General needed a trustworthy person to do that. So, one of my bosses in The Herald Newspapers, Mr Sunday Oyinloye, who is Gen Bamigboye's cousin, then sent me. Since then, I had been a regular visitor to the late General. Each time, he came to Omu-Aran for functions, he will put calls across to me to come down to Omu-Aran to either bring his complementary copies of the The Herald Newspapers or other messages. My relationship with the late pioneer Governor of Kwara State become cordial that he would invite me to his living room for discussions on some burning issues. Each time I went to him in Omu-Aran, I was being treated like a king and whenever I was leaving, he will instructed his driver to drop me at the park with his personal car.

Interesting, during the celebration of Kwara at 50, when some Journalists were struggling to get him interview but all efforts to reach him proved abortive, I personally put a call direct to him and asked me to come to his residence in Lagos with the Editor of The Herald on Sunday. Till his death, whenever I called him, he will call me by my name, "Ahmed Ajiboye ", with Igbomina dialet.

He was not one that abandons his friends in times of difficulties and challenges. He would always be there for you.

We are enjoined by the Scriptures not to lament and mourn like people without hope. In line with this Biblical injunction, we have accepted with equanimity and total resignation to the Almighty God the transition of Gen Bamigboye to immortality. It is a painful reality that he is no more. We must, however, take solace in the fact that his was an action-packed life that was lived to the fullest in the service of God, the nation and humanity.

Thought and Philosophy, our friendship had remained intact and strong.

In the process, I have come to learn and share a lot of invaluable ideas and information from his wealth of experiences.

With Gen Bamigboye , there was no dull moments, at any encounter, he would always engage you on a robust debate on the state of the polity and what ought to be done to strengthen the democratic capacity of Nigeria and Kwara in particular, so that it could deliver justice and equity to all the constituent groups.

He was so passionate about the continued peaceful existence of Nigeria and its component parts that he consistently clamoured for the restructuring of the country with a view to ensuring a balanced, just and equitable federation.

He was a man of ideas who was driven by an unquenchable thirst for intellectual values. If he read any of your articles in the national dailies, he would engage you to either commend or disagree with your submissions; and bringing in the process much more refreshing and illuminating perspectives.

Similarly, when he published any piece, he would call your attention to it and sought your views on the matter.

Gen Bamigboye was deeply concerned about the fate of all Kwarans in the present day Nigeria. His desire was to see a prosperous, peaceful and united state in a secure and equitable Nigeria.

He regaled me with the crucial roles he played as a Governor when he was less than 30 years of age, and how he laid solid foundation for education and scholarship in the state and facilitated the establishment of Kwara Tech, The Herald Newspapers, Olaolu Hospital among others.

The remaining discussions I had with him are stories for another day and another forum. But suffice, it to say that Gen Bamigboye stood up to be counted for his people when it mattered most. We mourn!

With the exit of General Bamigboye, this generation has lost a great scholar-statesman, political strategist, deep thinker, visionary, nationalist and uncommon democrat.

In spite of the eminent heights he attained on the global and national stages, he still found sufficient time to attend to development challenges in his community.

As we bid farewell to him, we draw strength and inspiration from the words of Longfellow: "The lives of great men remind us to make our own lives sublime; departing, leave our footprints on the sands of time". There is no doubt that with all his impeccable achievements, Gen David Bamigboye left indelible footprints which would endure with time.

Adieu Gen David Bamigboye until we meet on the resurrection morning to part no more. May your gentle soul continue to rest peacefully in the bosom of the Lord.Tribute :Glorious exit of an Icon By Ahmed Ajiboye

On Friday, September 28, 2018, death, like a thief in the night, stole into the family of late General David Bamigboye of Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State. On that fateful day, the family head, the first Governor of Kwara State and the Asiwaju of Igbomina land, General David Bamigboye was called to a great beyond during a brief illness. It was indeed a day, a consuming darkness descended on the land, leaving on its trails wailings, anguish and grief in low and high places.

The enveloping darkness brought to an abrupt end 77 years of vibrant, purposeful leadership and active life dedicated to national service, community development among others. This immediately reminds me of the words of Williams Shakespeare when he wrote: "Life is like a story told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; but signifying nothing".

The immortal transition of the pioneer Governor of Kwara State is still like a dream to the beloved ones he left behind. The reality that he is no longer on this side of the terrestrial divide with us is too hard to accept. But who are we, mere mortals, to question the will of the Almighty, the giver and taker of life. The consolation, however, lies in the fact that he lived a fufiled, remarkable and an exemplary life in the service of God and humanity.

General David Bamigboye was a truly accomplished leader and great achiever who attained enviable heights in many spheres of human endeavours. He was a man who, from his childhood, was destined for greatness; greatness that did not come through any inheritance but through dint of hard work and perseverance.

General Femi David Lasisi Bamigboye(rtd) was the first Military Governor of Kwara between May,1967 and July, 1975. He was born on December 7, 1940, of Muslim parents at Omu-Aran in Kwara State, the third in a family of five. He was sent to a strictly run Christian Mission School at Igbaja, near his hometown, and at Ilorin Middle School.

He then went on to Government College, Zaria, between 1954 and 1959 for a secondary education.

When he decided to become a soldier, he went to the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna, in April 1960, to Mons, Aldershot in October of the same year, and was commissioned in March 1961. Posted to the 3rd Battalion, he served in the Congo (Zaire) with the UN Peace Keeping Force and then was transferred to 2nd Brigade Headquarters at Apapa near Lagos, until April 1967, when he went to the newly created Area Command at Ibadan as Staff Officer, Grade I. He was not directly involved in front line operations in the Biafran war, and was still in Ibadan when appointed Military Governor of the new Central West State, which later changed its name to Kwara.

Here came his biggest challenge as Kwara was the poorest of all Nigeria's states, with virtually no export crops or mineral production. He had to start almost from scratch, building up the administration at Ilorin and tackling the diverse development problems. Public demand for social services, better communications and improved health and education facilities seriously stretched the state revenues. But in his fifth state budget Bamigboye was able to announce considerable progress.

Cheerful, chubby-faced and extremely young, with skin like burnished ebony. Colonel Bamigboye dresses in a Yoruba cap and white robes, reflecting his governorship of a part Muslim, part Christian, border state. He was installed at the tender age of 27 and has worked tirelessly, travelling the state from end to end to see what can be done about the vast disparities in development. Though he has upgraded the power of the chiefs, to meet the demands of some areas, he is basically modern in his approach and is the first northern governor to promise votes to women at the next elections.

In spite of his intellectual and accomplishments in life, General Bamigboye remained humane and unassuming. He was simplicity and humility personified. He related freely with those that came his way irrespective of their level and class in the society. His death is not only a personal loss to the family and Omu-Aran community, the headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, but also to the entire Kwara South, state and in deed, Nigeria. For me, I have lost a great friend, teacher and motivator!

My first encounter with him, was during the death of his mother, Alhaja Asmau Bamigboye, years back, it was during Ramadan fast. And there was a need to transfer some cash to Ilorin for Tevelesion, Radio and Newspaper announcement and the late General needed a trustworthy person to do that. So, one of my bosses in The Herald Newspapers, Mr Sunday Oyinloye, who is Gen Bamigboye's cousin, then sent me. Since then, I had been a regular visitor to the late General. Each time, he came to Omu-Aran for functions, he will put calls across to me to come down to Omu-Aran to either bring his complementary copies of the The Herald Newspapers or other messages. My relationship with the late pioneer Governor of Kwara State become cordial that he would invite me to his living room for discussions on some burning issues. Each time I went to him in Omu-Aran, I was being treated like a king and whenever I was leaving, he will instructed his driver to drop me at the park with his personal car.

Interesting, during the celebration of Kwara at 50, when some Journalists were struggling to get him interview but all efforts to reach him proved abortive, I personally put a call direct to him and asked me to come to his residence in Lagos with the Editor of The Herald on Sunday. Till his death, whenever I called him, he will call me by my name, "Ahmed Ajiboye ", with Igbomina dialet.

He was not one that abandons his friends in times of difficulties and challenges. He would always be there for you.

We are enjoined by the Scriptures not to lament and mourn like people without hope. In line with this Biblical injunction, we have accepted with equanimity and total resignation to the Almighty God the transition of Gen Bamigboye to immortality. It is a painful reality that he is no more. We must, however, take solace in the fact that his was an action-packed life that was lived to the fullest in the service of God, the nation and humanity.

Thought and Philosophy, our friendship had remained intact and strong.

In the process, I have come to learn and share a lot of invaluable ideas and information from his wealth of experiences.

With Gen Bamigboye , there was no dull moments, at any encounter, he would always engage you on a robust debate on the state of the polity and what ought to be done to strengthen the democratic capacity of Nigeria and Kwara in particular, so that it could deliver justice and equity to all the constituent groups.

He was so passionate about the continued peaceful existence of Nigeria and its component parts that he consistently clamoured for the restructuring of the country with a view to ensuring a balanced, just and equitable federation.

He was a man of ideas who was driven by an unquenchable thirst for intellectual values. If he read any of your articles in the national dailies, he would engage you to either commend or disagree with your submissions; and bringing in the process much more refreshing and illuminating perspectives.

Similarly, when he published any piece, he would call your attention to it and sought your views on the matter.

Gen Bamigboye was deeply concerned about the fate of all Kwarans in the present day Nigeria. His desire was to see a prosperous, peaceful and united state in a secure and equitable Nigeria.

He regaled me with the crucial roles he played as a Governor when he was less than 30 years of age, and how he laid solid foundation for education and scholarship in the state and facilitated the establishment of Kwara Tech, The Herald Newspapers, Olaolu Hospital among others.

The remaining discussions I had with him are stories for another day and another forum. But suffice, it to say that Gen Bamigboye stood up to be counted for his people when it mattered most. We mourn!

With the exit of General Bamigboye, this generation has lost a great scholar-statesman, political strategist, deep thinker, visionary, nationalist and uncommon democrat.

In spite of the eminent heights he attained on the global and national stages, he still found sufficient time to attend to development challenges in his community.

As we bid farewell to him, we draw strength and inspiration from the words of Longfellow: "The lives of great men remind us to make our own lives sublime; departing, leave our footprints on the sands of time". There is no doubt that with all his impeccable achievements, Gen David Bamigboye left indelible footprints which would endure with time.

Adieu Gen David Bamigboye until we meet on the resurrection morning to part no more. May your gentle soul continue to rest peacefully in the bosom of the Lord.

 

 


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