My dear compatriots, I had a very pleasant sleep yesterday; but I woke up with the memory of a dream; a long dream with several episodes, which I had on Ilorin- the only place in the whole of this world that I can call my home town.
It was a dream on the type of socio-cultural polity I wish Ilorin to be in my life time; similar to what it used to be in my childhood days!!!
I don’t want my dream to remain a mere dream; therefore it is better I share ‘my alluring dream’ on the type of Ilorin I saw and which we deserve; with the hope that you will key in so that we can collectively build a home town that we shall all be proud of.
I dreamt of an Ilorin that will go back to what it used to be years past; not in anthropological capitulation but in cultural rejuvenation.
By that, I do not desire the retrogression of Ilorin back into a glorified village.I did not dream of a reversal to an Ilorin landscaped by spatial location of a few architectural master-piece of houses in the midst of several mud houses which do not enjoy the compliment of corrugated roofing sheets.
I did not dream of Ilorin that is populated by unlettered men and women (in western literacy) where the people of one “adugbo” would treck to distant places before getting an “akowe” that will help them to write or read a correspondence.
Rather, I dreamt and saw a reversal of my place of birth to a thoroughly knitted place where neighbours know one another not only by name but also through reputation.
I dreamt my hometown to be a true ‘Darul Salam’ (the home of tranquility) and not a sanctuary of hoodlums or citadel of ritualists
I saw Ilorin returning to its pride of a place as a ‘local mecca;’ a light- house of Islam and a fountain of Islamic scholarship as it was during the days of Shaykh Abubakar Bube, Shaykh Abdullahi Bandele and Shaykh Ahmad Belgore among others.
I wished and danced in my dream that I belong to an Ilorin devoid of Afin/Oke-Male dichotomy; and which will not be polarized by social stratifications, economic configuration and political affiliations.
Honestly, I am desirous of an Ilorin peopled by God-fearing elements; who do not only work but also walk God’s consciousness in their daily dispositions.
I saw an Ilorin in which parents would not give preference to material wherewithal of the intending spouses of their children and their huge wedding-budget but which would be captivated by the content of character of their in-laws with a view to ensuring that intending couples build functional families that will positively impact on the society.
I dreamt that I live in an Ilorin whose indigenes are not only their brothers’ keepers but who will assist in raising distant relations the same way they would do to or for their offsprings where and when the need arises.
Therefore, I pray to see an Ilorin where the people of ‘Isale-Aluko’ would feel the pains of ‘Oke-Aluko’ and the angst of ‘Oke-Okuta’; and where those of ‘Isale-Koto’ and ‘Isale-Kannike’ would feel agitated about the inadequacies of ‘Oke-Agodi’ and ‘Oke-Moro’; and not a situation where the people of ‘Eruda’ would feel unconcerned about the plight of their compatriots in ‘Afon’ or ‘Fufu’.
I dreamt of an Ilorin where indigenes and settlers would join hands together to execute developmental projects as done in the early 1940s in the building of the Ilorin United School.
In the dream, I was optimistic of an Ilorin, peopled by individuals who derived joy in dignity of labour working hard to make ‘aso-ofi’, pot and engaging in meaningful trading; who did not depend on hand-out.
I saw an Ilorin surrounded by large-scale industries but not a town enveloped by “places of deceits” and manifest instances of humongous land-grabbing to the detriment of the locals and the future of their children.
I dreamt as I wish my dear Ilorin could return to its historic status as the true “factory” of Islamic learning which effortlessly exported profound learning to other parts of Nigeria and beyond resulting in the permanent relocation or “donation” of worthy scholarly Ambassadors of our heritage like Tajul Adab, Yahaya Tajudeen and Adam Abdullahi to Abeokuta,Okene and Agege where they massively worked for Islam; died and got buried there respectively; while some others such as Mohammad Salizu Kokekewukobere, Salman Ake and Khidir Salaudeen Apaokagi who also worked across West Africa,Abeokuta,and Owo before returning home to take-up leadership responsibilities as Amirul Waizin (Chief Preacher), Imam Ratibi and Grand Mufti of Ilorin respectively;after giving a very good account of themselves in their various lands of sojourn.
I saw a situation where Ilorin people in diaspora now thought of; and gave back to the land of their birth not only through acquisition of property at home but the preservation of the polished image of Ilorin Emirate as an abode of refined people.
I dreamt of an Ilorin where my children joyously sang “loilo ilohuwa” from ‘Pakata’ to ‘Ipata’ through “Pataki” as we used to do in our days as children;without the fear that they would end-up as objects of rituals in the hands of mindless occults who pretend to be clerics .
I dreamt of an Ilorin where competence is appreciated and valued over clannishness; and age is separated from sagacity.
I dreamt of a city where an Amori Gobir would connect his friend Saka (Oloru) Yusuf to go to Pakata to persuade a much-younger Rasidi Alada to accept an appointment in the Kwara State Public Service instead of the Federal Civil Service,the future S.S.G had desired.
I dreamt of an Ilorin where an Oba Abu, a Gani Adeludere, KKK (the grandson of the grand-master of Islamic scholarship) and S.A.Aliyu of Ile Daudu Isale-Oja would not care about which part of Ilorin their younger compatriots came from before facilitating admission for such knowledge-thirsty young men and women of Ilorin origin into BUK, UniMaid, UDUS and KadPoly respectively.
I saw an Ilorin where our CDAs; particularly IEDPU, would selflessly fight every form of oppression,victimization and marginalization against the community without minding whose ox is gored and protecting the interest(s) of maligned indigenes at home or elsewhere; notwithstanding their status or peculiarities of the time.
I saw an Ilorin where every indigene and resident cooperated with their leaders at resisting oppression as witnessed in the 1971 ‘boycott’ episode against T.P 82 and the repeated struggle of the late 1970s.
I saw in my dream an Ilorin where voters conscientiously cast their votes for the best of candidate(s) during elections without desiring or insisting on any form of inducement before exercising their rights.
I saw an Ilorin where the people of Gambari, Fulani, Ajikobi,Alanamu and other traditional political constituencies worked together towards the corporate glory and emancipation of Ilorin not minding where the leader(s) of the movement come(s) from.
I dreamt of an Ilorin peopled by healthy,brilliant and chaste teenagers who are excellent in apprenticeship, academic and moral with great future awaiting them and adults who are paragons in learning and character
I dreamt of an Ilorin where the privileged would institutionalize scholarship schemes for the truly indigent students of the community,as the late General A.B.Adisa did, without expecting anything in return.
So I pray fervently that my dream comes to reality very soon!
Therefore, I wish to have and live in an Ilorin; where our leaders would not say they are very busy while doing nothing when the community needs their services or interventions to redeem an untoward situation.
I pray for Ilorin to produce more men of fascinating integrity in the mould of the recently deceased Justice M.M. A.Akanbi; and Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim who lived above board while his successor as the CDS is facing an incredible prosecution over allegations of graft.
I also pray and desire an Ilorin in which elders and leaders as well as preachers and other public speakers and opinion leaders would neither bottle-lick nor grandstand but always say and stand by the truth even if they are affected.
I want to see an Ilorin where the young hold their elders in unconditional high reverence such as the one I witnessed between Justice Saidu Kawu,who had to soil his own flowing immaculately- white “agbada”, despite being a serving Jurist of the apex court, just to ensure that the similar attire of Shaykh Mohammad Kamaldeen did not pick dirts.
I desire and want to live in an Ilorin where the elders would not deny the younger compatriots of their rights and privileges for whatever reason(s).
I equally want my children to experience an Ilorin that I once passed through; where our schools,particularly public ones, would be equipped to produce personalities as distinguished,if not more accomplished,than Agbo Gambari and his likes.
I must also not forget to say that I dreamt that somebody somewhere would think that my dreams are being narrated just to “unveil” or advertise myself or curry public favour for whatever purpose.And so, may be tempted to disregard these dreams.
I also dreamt that only true patriots would digest these dreams and act accordingly; not because the dreamer is wiser but because he means well”for the love of our people”.
If my conviction in the fact that it is not a crime to dream a dream; and that none of the areas of the dream is unacheivable; then I must add that I dreamt that ‘you’ will assist in transmitting these transmittable dreams to as many Ilorin men and women as possible so that these dreams would not be akin to what Physcists called optical illusions.
Remember that our society can begin to experience the desired positive changes if you, I mean “YOU” decide to be a model by acting out these great dreams and those of yours for the greatness of our beloved Ilorin Emirate and the Nigerian society at large.
It is me.
ABUBAKAR S.IMAM (a.k.a Toyin Pakata)