Twenty years after, a group of youths under the aegis of Zealot Kwara Youths, roll out the drum to celebrate the legacies of the late Major General BabatundeIdiagbon. OladipoMagaji reports.
Some twenty years after his demise, a group of youths last Sunday organised a memorial lecture in honour of one of Nigerian’s finest leaders and an illustrious son of Ilorin in Kwara state, the late Major General AbdulBakiBabatundeIdiagbon.
Idiagbon, as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters was second in command to President MuhammaduBuhari who was the then Head of State.
Up till today, Nigerians still remember Idiagbon for his commitment to the war against indiscipline mantra of the Buhari/ Idiagbon administration.
Little wonder, speakers at the 20th year memorial lecture in honour of the late General took turns to eulogise his virtues and recommended his leadership style to the new crop of Nigerian leaders.
The lecture themed “Patriotism and Selfless Service, key ingredients towards nation building- A case study of late Major General TundeIdiagbon” was held at the African Peoples Hall, Onikanga, GRA, Ilorin at the instance of the Zealous Kwara Youths.
Speakers at the event included a reknownlabour leader, Comrade IssaAremu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), AkogunIyiolaOyedepo an Ilorin based cleric, UstzaAbubakarAliy- Kamal.
In his presentation,Comrade IssaAremu, poured encomiums on Idiagbon for standing tall, saying he was incorruptible, faithful and audaciously loyal to the country.
He absolved both President MuhammaduBuhari and Idiagbon from 1984 coup, which toppled the administration of late President ShehuShagari, pointing out that the coupists of the period only needed the integrity of the duo to legitimise their actions.
He lamented that Nigeria was still in short supply of patriotic leaders.
He said the lack of quality leadership was responsible for the situation the country has found itself among its contemporaries.
The labour party gubernatorial candidate in the just concluded general elections stated that some leaders in the country currently parade dual citizenship, declaring that they did not have total allegiance to Nigeria.
He said Nigerians owe it a duty to henceforth check profile and accomplishments of those striving to lead them before entrusting them with their mandate.
He counseled Nigerians: “Before electing any leader, we should check their profile and accomplishments. Idiagbon was incorruptible, faithful and audaciously loyal to the country.”
“Today, loyalty is in short supply among our leaders. Idiagbon was committed to the war against indiscipline
“The coupists of 1983 needed the integrity and forthrightness of the duo of Buhari and Idiagbon to legitimise their action.
They were never involved in the coup. That informed the invitation of the duo to head the government.
“Today, we have unpatriotic leaders, they hold double nationalities. It means they do not have total allegiance to Nigeria. The point I’m raising is that we should check the level of patriotism of our leaders.”
Aremu suggested that the best way to immortaliseIdiagbon is to promote the values of war against corruption and indiscipline he left behind.
He said what is paramount is not just about naming a particular street or structure after the late General Idiagbon but to embrace all good values he stood for when he was alive.
”As for me, the best we can do is not just to name Airport after him, or to name metropolitan square after him as it is being suggested by many people, but the best we can do is to make sure we promote the values he left behind such as fight against corruption and fight against indiscipline” Aremu stated.
AkogunIyiolaOyedepo who was represented by a veteran journalist, AlhTundeMohammed,extolled the virtues of discipline, honesty and transparency displayed by Idiagbon when he was Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters when President Buhari was a military Head of State.
Also, UstazAbubakarAliy- Kamal recommended Idiagbon’s leadership style to Nigerian leaders.
In his remarks, the President of The Zealous Kwara Youths, Comrade John Adegboye, expressed concern over rising wave of corruption in the country, saying it has made a mess of economic and political sectors.
“Look around you today, the evidences of indiscipline and corruption are so visible that we do not have to search before we are confronted with them. Indiscipline and corruption made a mess of our economy!
“Indiscipline and corruption made a mess of our political sector; to an extent that we now have touts, miscreants and tyrants occupying highly exalted political offices.
“Senior politicians, senior public officers and senior military officers, who have through their actions and antecedents turned our beloved country into a laughing stock among the comity of nations of the world. It is disheartening”, he said.
In his remarks , a former Military Administrator of Kebbi state and chairman of the occasion, Brigadier General SaliuTunde Bello, described late BabatundeIdiagbon as a true patriotic Nigerian that was committed to the services of the nation.
Bello called on the Federal government to immortalise late BabatundeIdiagbon properly, to serve as a due recognition for his invaluable contributions to the progress and development of the country during his life time.
In her remarks, a former Chairman, Kwara State Teaching Service Commission, HajiaRaliatSanni, said the late Idiagbon was a pride of the Ilorin Emirate and Kwara state in general.
HajiaSanni noted that the late Idiagbon and General MuhammaduBuhari started the War against indiscipline, wishing that he was alive to work with President Buhari to continue the war against indiscipline they conceived during their period as military rulers.