By Abdussalam Abdulfattah
The Asiwaju Musulumi of Iwo-land, Asiwaju Abd’Liad Ayoola Tella, journalistic prowess is an indispensable source, about some important events in the chequered history of this great nation. He was one of the two Nigerian journalists who witnessed the admission of Nigeria into the Organisation for Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1986 and a maverick veteran of the MSSN) to mention only two of his endeavours.
In 1975, he travelled to Sokoto as part of the delegate to the ‘Train the Trainers’ a national programme organized by the International Education Trust for the then Muslim Students Society MSS, (it later became MSSN). There he crossed the Rubicon; his blood was infused with a virus of Islamic Dawah and propagation. He listened and digested lectures from the Doyen of Islamic Dawah, Sheikh Lemu and his wife, and met with early Iconic Muslims leaders, backbones of Dawah and inspirations for young Muslims. He mentioned some of them to the PEACE Magazine ‘’ Tajudeen Aromasodun, Lateef Adegbite, the great, Alh. Saka Fagbo, Dr. Jubril Oyekan, AbdurRasheed Oyekan, Alh Lateef Femi Okunnu, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Dr. and Professor Mabadeje, Shuaib Oloritun, Lateefat Okunnu, Saida Mabadeje, Moni Lawal, Sade Dawodu and many others from across the country’’
Thus, when, he spoke recently at a virtual Zoom programme, organised by the PEACE Magazine in honour of Dr Lateef Adegbite CON, with the theme: MSSN – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, he held the audience spellbound with his submissions and emphatically conclusion: Muslims are never terrorists. ‘’Remembering DR ABDULLATEEF ADEGBITE; A Man that Lived for the People at this time, as packaged by the PEACE, magazine, is one of the best programmes to have come from the South West in recent times. Dr AbdulLateef Adegbite, as the first president of the organization and with his colleagues changed the narratives of young Nigerian Muslims forever. MSS tantalized the young ones; it spoke our language and brought down, the barriers mounted by non-Muslims against the learning of our religion and acquisition of Western education. The then Members were vilified but the leadership under Adegbite employed a peaceful approach to Islamic propagation. Thus MSS became a pathfinder, which brought joy to Islamic homes and families. But, today, if I look back at MSSN, I regret the schism that crept into the body and eroded the national outlook of the organization that brought glorious moments and saved Muslim youths from being victimized out of Islam. So remembering him, bring fond memories of MSSN of yesterday and it will give the opportunity for today members, to raise up to counter the current negative perceptions of the world about Islam and Muslims. MSSN has to be awakened to the reality of today’s society, by organizations like the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) and a few others to see the need to educate and enlighten young Muslim pupils in primary and students in secondary schools as well as higher institutions about the methodology of Dawah, propagation of Islam and challenges of today’s Muslim world, so as to be adequately informed to tackle such. And one of such challenge is to tell the world, that; Islam does not support terrorism and Muslims are never terrorists’’.
Another highlight of the events was the unveiling of a new Mosque, in the name of Dr Abdul Lateef Adegbite, by the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, the umbrella, body of Nigeria Muslim students in primary, secondary and tertiary schools in Nigeria. The mosque, built is situated at Gwarimpa, area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, is to posthumously honour him for, positively changed, the lives of millions of Nigeria Muslim Students.
The occasion marked the eighth year of the demise, of the then immediate, past Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs NSCIA, the Baba Adinni of Egba-land, and co-founder of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria as well as the first president of the society.
Some few others who spoke during the programme included: Malam Yusuf Olaolu Ali (SAN), Alhaja Modinat Adegbite (wife), Bashorun Ladi Adegbite (son), Professor M. T Yahya (Executive Secretary, MUSWEN), Malam Nurudeen Asunoge and brother Mohammed Jameel Mohammed (both former MSSN Presidents) and Alhaja Shareefat Andu (MD/CEO, Arabel). They all extolled Dr Adegbite’s virtues and want his legacies maintained and sustained.
Reports: Abdulfattah Abdussalam