The crème-de-la-crème of the society recently celebrated the Asiwaju Adini of Yorubaland, Alhaji Tunde Badmus on his 72nd birthday, though he is currently outside the country, TUNDE BUSARI reports.
Though he was in far away Saudi Arabia where he regularly observes special prayers in May, his month of birth, the traffic of eminent personalities in his GRA compound in Osogbo, the Osun State capital penultimate Wednesday, could not have been different if he was at home.
The roll call of dignitaries was as intimidating as it was an attestation to the social stature of the community leader in his home state and beyond.
Watching notable politicians from different parties sharing seats and engaging in a tete-a-tete also confirmed the broad spectrum of connections that link Badmus, a personality also seen as the big tree under which eminent figures take shelter.
At the forefront of visiting royal fathers was the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, who arrived at the venue in company with his chiefs and witnessed the prayer commemorative of the 72 birthday of Alhaji Badmus.
The Chief Imam of Osogbo, Alhaji Musa Animasahun led his central mosque delegates including Naibi, Alhaji Haroon Adediran and Mufasir, Dr MorufIsola in the recitation of the Holy Quran. The session, which saw the Islamic scholars in marathon prayer sessions, gripped the attention of the dignitaries.
The Quran recitation was rounded off with special prayers for Alhaji Badmus after which the stage was set for a lecture according to the schedule.
Entitled Promoting Prosperity and Eradicating Poverty, the birthday lecture was delivered by the Vice-chancellor of Osun State University, Professor Labo Popoola, who made a case for improved education and agriculture sectors as well as rehabilitation of infrastructural amenities in the country.
The academic also warned Nigerians against wasteful spending and applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his critical statement on the attitude of some Nigerian youths.
“The president said nothing but the truth and that is why Nigerian youths must work very hard to earn honest, commensurate pay,” he said, adding that “the country is in this mess now because spiritually poor people are the ones given the opportunity to rule. Whoever is spiritually poor will steal public funds.
“Another case is that of spiritually poor followers, who will see nothing wrong in stealing of public funds. I witnessed one recently when I wanted to buy corn by the road side,” he said.
The Ataoja could not hide his excitement and satisfaction about Badmus’ stride in life, declaring that the entrepreneur is a treasure with which God has blessed Osogbo.
“His impacts will continue to linger from generation to generation as a notable philanthropist coming from my town. I am very proud of him and will always do because he has demonstrated true love for my town and my people,” Ataoja said.
Former Secretary General of Osun State Muslim Community and the Aragbiji of Iragbiji, Oba AbduRaheed Olabomi also attested to the selfless service of Alhaji Badmus to humanity, an attribute, the traditional ruler said, had earned him goodwill and fame that were larger than his physical frame.
“He is always around to lend helping hands, regardless of faith. He is a rare. Having people like him is a plus to society. I can always wish him better years on the surface of the earth.
Also retired Justice Kunle Adeigbe similarly extolled the virtue of Alhaji Badmus, describing him as his benefactor, especially on his journey to becoming a lawyer. Adeigbe, who went down memory lane, recalled his memorable days with the celebrant as young men in the media industryin Ibadan. He saw Badmus as not only hardworking but a focused man, resulting in his disengagement from the newsroom to the business world.
“I am not surprised by his status today because he had long shown the trait back then as a generous man. When I was in the Law School, Asiwaju was very useful to me. At a time, I had difficulties when I was about to be called to the bar and he never left me; he provided some logistics. It was in the record that he bought my gown to meet up with my call to bar,” he revealed.
To further underscored Alhaji Badmus’ popularity among the elite in Osogbo, a special magazine, which chronicled his biography, was published.
The Leader of Osun Central zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Honorable Adeoye Adelakun and his planning committee left the venue with commendation for the success of the event, especially the judicious use of time that enabled guests to return to their places of work shortly after the curtain was drawn on the programme.
Expected of him, one of the sons of Alhaji Badmus, who doubles as the Managing Director of Tuns Group, Engineer Olalekan Badmus was appreciative of the turnout and full of soft smiles while the programme lasted. The younger Badmus said his father had set a high standard which his children must work hard to sustain and improve upon.