Tribute to late Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Eleyinla

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*Photo: The late Dr Ibrahim Abubakar Eleyinla*

By Dr. Niyi Alameen Abdulkadir

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The Death of As-sheik Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Eleyinla was no doubt a sudden arrhythmic death that hit us like a flash fiction.

I have never known anyone within the extended family staple that keeps the knot of kinship intact than him.

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He will keep in touch physically and online (while he was in Malaysia).

He will habitually ask for update about your spiritual and life progression.

I remember when I discussed the option of putting in for a Ph.D. with him, he recommended that I come to join him in Malaysia to do it, noting that Ph.D. could be hell in Nigeria if one encounters a sadist supervisor, which I actually confirmed during my doctoral sojourn.

It was like _I go kill you, you no go_ kill _me_ before I was doctorated.

He won’t even leave me alone after getting the hard-earned Ph.D. He had personally came to visit me one day, and said to me in a typical dahiri Ilorin tone “Niyiii ewo lofe se bayiii, se acada lowu o niiin abi media(Niyi ! which is your choice, academics or media?)

I was pushed by his push and pulled by his pull to cross to full-time academics without requisitely leaving the media shore_my 1st impactful job.

He told me the advantages of joining academics at a younger age and other things (I won’t make public). He also shared experience as a former News Producer and Director at Kwara TV and as a lecturer in the department of mass communication, Unilorin.

Though, Alhaji Ibrahim Malaysia as he’s fondly called within the family was not rich, still he was extraordinarily generous. He would willing give all he had_ tangible and intangible to benefit others.

He’s a facilitator of many things, good. I remember while I was seeking admission to advance my first degree, he issued me a letter to his childhood friends at Al-huda old boys association in Zaria, for a place in ABU, Zaria.

At a time Al-hikmah University (then, Oladimeji College..)was struggling for NUC accreditation to be the First Islamic University in Nigeria amidst thick religious politicking, it was Alhaji Ibrahim (not a Dr, then), Dr Agbarigidoma, Dr Kakuri (both not Profs. then), Dr. Bilal Al asrau and others, I think a team of six that travelled to some West African countries; Niger, Benin , Togo, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast included to woo students in the field of shari’a and arabic knowledge, just to ensure the college has an international Islamic university outlook preparatory to its birth as an Islamic university.

I remember some of those students from across West Africa were introduced to my grandma by Dr. Eleyinla, and they used to come to my grandma’s residence at Alfa-yahya area to take their Iftar every Mondays and Thursdays, because my grandma understands their native languages __Jula and Sabarma__ and French, she had lived in Ivory Coast_Abidjan for decades. So they’re always at home advancing her stead. (my grandma also passed away last year, may Allah forgive them all).

Definitely, the history of Alhikmah University will not be complete without the visionary weightsome of its founder, Alhaji Chief Abdulraheem Oladimeji (May Allah preserve him for the ummah and reward him profusely) BUT its _Islamic Missioned_ outlook which it prides with up to date can not be SINCERELY documented as well without acknowledging the foundational input of Late Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Eleyinla, Prof. Abdulganiy Agbarigidoma, Prof. Abdurrahman Kakuri, Dr. Bilal Al asrau and other team members, including the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, WAMY scholars.

Few years ago, when my mum was raising funds to erect a Central Mosque, she told me her resources wasn’t enough and she won’t like to start and stop, I quickly intimate her that her brother is gifted with Mosque facilitation, that she should tell him. She did, and Dr. Ibrahim Eleyinla used his Saudi Alumni network, as a Former Secretary-General of Saudi Alumni to persuade Prof. Kakuri and Prof. Agbarigidoma to come over and assess the land that will host the Mosque. Forth and width, the Mosque was built graciously. The three of them were present at our first Qur’an and Islamiyah graduation ceremony through with by the Mosque. The Mosque has been a resourceful abode of Islamic propagation in the area.

We will surely miss you, Alhaji Malaysia.

As you meet your Lord today and encounter your first sleep in the grave, I pray that Allah grant you His widest mercy, forgive your shortcomings and admit you to Paradise.

Please, pardon my inability to cross the ‘Tss’ and dot the ‘Iss’ appropriately, the tribute was written in a reverse gear mood.

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