AARE MUSULUMI OF YORUBALAND: A DETRABILZED NIGERIAN!
BY SEYI OLUKOOBA/SOCIETY EDITOR
ABDULAZEEZ Arisekola Alao is a great Nigerian businessman with a heart of gold. He’s daily concerned about touching the lives of the people, especially the less privileged persons and the aged in the
society. Irrespective of the person’s color, tribe, Arisekola is a godly-man willing to assist such people. This former publisher of the now defunct Monitor newspapers flung his door opened for the American Editors of Naija Standard Newspaper, our foremost international online news wire based in the United States led by our workaholic Editor-in-Chief/Chief Executive Officer, George Elijah Otumu in Ibadan, Oyo State recently. His flourishing businesses are auto sales, flour mills and oil marketing among others.
Highly respected by the People of Ibadan
The courtesy visit by our American Editors enabled us to have a close interactive, friendship discussion on views in the
world with this notable Nigerian businessman and contractor considered a wealthy businessman known for his causes in
support of Islam in Ibadan and his close ties to many of the city’s traditional and religious elites and to various other
Yoruba Muslim leaders. In the whole of Ibadan, he is widely respected by the people and called ‘Igi-Owo,’ a Yoruba word
which translates ‘Tree of Wealth,’ going by the way he is daily assisting people from all walks of life financially.
His relationship with IBB, Sani Abacha
Naija Standard gathered that Arisekola saw his fortunes rise during the regimes of former presidents Ibrahim Badamasi
Babangida, (IBB) and late Sani Abacha. He was a friend of late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, undeclared winner
of June 12, 1993 Presidential Election by offering him good advice to reclaim his mandate.
Helping the aged persons & less privileged youths
In Ibadan Arisekola has contributed to many Islamic causes including the construction of mosques and alms giving to many
residents who troop to his home. He is a patron to many Yoruba Muslim groups including the youth wing of the National
Council of Muslim Youth Organizations of Nigeria (NACOMYO) and some Yoruba Muslim women group. Naija Standard witnessed
how sea of youths and the aged rallied round his house for financial assistance in one way or the other and he offered
them assistance without looking back.
Honored at home and abroad
Naija Standard also saw his array of awards confirming his global acceptance and honor in Nigeria and Overseas as a man
with the milk of human kindness. An encounter with him, our correspondent observed would leave you smiling due to his
honesty, care and passion to impact positively on the lives of the people. Aside that Arisekola is a man of honour both
home and abroad. He is a forthright leader and a father who loves people making it in life; if you understand his way of
Hosts our American Editors
In receiving our American Editors led by our hardworking Managing Director, Otumu, Arisekola declined interview but
appreciated our crew and thumb up for all our editorial achievement. We were treated to a lavish lunch and we thoroughly
enjoyed our stay with him briefly in Ibadan. May Almighty Allah forever reward his kindness and goodness too mankind Insha
Born in 1945 to Abdul Raheem Alao and Olatutu Alao, he attended St Luke’s Primary School, Adigun and ICC Primary school.
He studied Arabic Studies. In 1960, he was with the Ogunpa-Oyo Commercial Center before venturing into full time business
a year later. His traditional commercial focus is in auto sales, flour mills and oil marketing through his Lister brand,
he has also developed interest in real estate, insurance, banking and publishing.
Originally, he came from humble means, joining his uncle as an apprentice in Gbagi market of Ibadan in 1960. He left in
1961 to sell gammalin 20 vide and later became an agent of Imperial Chemical Industries. By the 1970s, he was a dealer of
Datsun brand of motors under Lister Motors.
Ebenezer Obey sang his accomplishment
In the 1970s and 80s: Arisekola was serenaded by the Juju singer Ebenezer Obey around the late 1970s while later being
conferred with the title of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland by the league of Imams and Alfas from the region in 1980. In 1990,
he was co-chair of a committee interested in promoting cross fertilization of ideas and inter-religious understanding
between Christians and Muslims. Arisekola doubles as the president-general of the Grand Council for Islamic Affairs and
member of the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA