FEATURED: A man like BJ…

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By Tajudeen Habeeb

The 12th of August, as I always said, is significant to us the Omoluabis, an ideology based on diligence and brilliance, ethics, and moral awareness. The moulder of the ideology, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, became a mortal on that day 51 years ago.

For every business, customers’ feedback is as vital as the product. This is often to measure growth and plan for improvement.

This time, I had decided to let people far and near have their say just as a tool of measurement like it is done in marketing and customer relations. I had wanted to know if my assessment were right or I have been driven by personal love, that I can’t control nature, as Omoluabi has become my official third name in the state.

For all the time we spend together, he distinguishes himself as a man of honour. To me, he ticks all the boxes that categorise any human being — a wonderful mentor, teacher, and leader.

All-encompassing, he has been as brilliant, intelligent, and dedicated as much as you will ever want in an achiever. No wonder he is one.

For all that I know, for all that I believe, I do wonder if others see or accept they exist. But opportunities the 12th of August present allow for such confirmation.

I have however got more than I ever bargained for, as I read from diverse opinions from people; ranging from the students, while he was a commissioner, to the teachers and observers, they all described him as an ordinary being doing extraordinary things.

I was surprised to read how inspirational he was even with a gift of N1,885 and really couldn’t describe it. So many calls, wishes and congratulations over his life, make it look like I am undervaluing my friend, BJ.

How much more can I say of a man whose life has become a book I read and want to practicalize? In a diverse description of leadership, many talk about characters as the first measure, integrity as the basic tool. Do I need to spell that out?

He was a special assistant, special adviser, commissioner, minister, and the publicity secretary of a national/ruling party in a country where everything has a touch of corruption and not for a single time has he ever been alleged nor charged for such.

In a country where political offices serve as access to riches, where abuses and immorality measure your worth and establish your status, he transversed these paths and got his status intact and unblemished.

Mallam, however, has never painted himself as a Saint, he never will. He is a realist, I remember on many occasions he will illustrate his ways by an analogy. If corruption is on the scale of ten, ensure you are as close to zero as much as you can rather than being close to ten. He was/is that realistic.

On the occasion of your 51st birthday, I am wishing you all the goodness and happiness the world can offer and a beautiful place in Hereafter.

May all that concerns you not become a source of sadness for you and may you not become one to them.

Happy birthday to you, dear friend, once again sir.

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