Focus on education as books on late former commissioner are unveiled

KITH and kin of a former Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Abdul-Jelil Amoloye, on Saturday, 23 July, 2016, gathered at the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, for the public presentation of two books written by and on the late scholar, politician and community leader who died a decade ago, precisely 18 July, 2006.

The event, which was attended by the traditional ruler of Igboho, where Dr Amoloye hailed from, the Ona Onibode, Oba Abdul-Rasheed Adetoyese Anikulapo Jayeola III and his chiefs and other prominent sons and daughters of the town, was organised to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of the scholar and formally launch the Dr Abdul-Jelil Amoloye Foundation.

The books, “The Dual Mandate: The Abdul-Jelil Amoloye We Knew,” written by a small group of Dr Amoloye’s admirers, and “Shaykh Uthman Ibn Fudi’s Socio-political Pathfinder,” a publication of his Ph.D. thesis, were reviewed by the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education, Professor Rashid Aderinoye and Professor Muibi Opeloye of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, respectively, before they were presented to the public by renowned legal practitioner and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mallam Yusuf Ali, who was represented by Alhaji Y. K. Abdul-Kareem.

In his review, Professor Aderinoye described the 274-page book, “The Dual Mandate: The Abdul-Jelil Amoloye We Knew,” as an inspiring work of art and a must-read for all in view of the accounts and comments of the contributors which, he said, illuminated the sterling qualities of the late scholar.

He described the book as one that would be handy for “curious minds” and particularly provide a template for youths who wish to make the most of the “divine gift of life” through dedication to God and advancement of the cause of humanity.

“The tributes presented by the authors of the book all extolled the various qualities and values of Abdul-Jelil Amoloye. He was visionary, authentic, nurturing, collaborative, resilient, committed, excellent, intelligent, charismatic and religious,” the don said.

Professor Opeloye, in his own review, described the subject matter of the second book, “Shaikh Uthman Ibn Fudi’s Socio-political Pathfinder: A Translation of Najmu ‘L-Ikhwan Yahtaduna bihi bi Idhnillah fi Umuru’z Zaman,” as multi-disciplinary. Many of the issues of focus in the book, he said, are jurisprudential, some historical, others exegetical and literary and yet others socio-political. According to him, also treated by the book are issues relating to polity, leadership and governance as well as Muslims’ relations with the non-Muslims.

“Dr Amoloye’s book under review is a masterpiece. Good mastery of Arabic and English languages displayed by the author guarantees accuracy of translation of the materials used. With such accuracy, any possibility of misinformation or misinterpretation of the original contents of the book is eliminated.

“The work is also characterised by clarity of ideas expressed, lucidity of presentation, logicality of arguments advanced and analytical reasoning employed. The depth of the research put into the study accounts for its originality.

“The book will serve as valuable reading material for students in colleges and institutions of higher learning, especially in the diverse areas of Islamic sciences: law, theology, jurisprudence, sociology, history, etc. This is why, to me, this book is more than a dictionary, which the author describes it to be; I would rather rate it to be encyclopaedic,” Professor Opeloye said.

He described the initiative to publish Dr Amoloye’s study into a book as commendable.

With the initiative, the don said members of the public could have access to the valuable intellectual output that “would have remained buried within the four walls of the university library, which is always the fate of unpublished PhD theses.”

In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, the Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Professor Dawud Noibi said the reason for the gathering was “to celebrate someone who deserves celebration.” Professor Noibi said Dr Amoloye was celebrated in his lifetime and is being celebrated even after he passed on.

“He made use of his youthful energy in the cause of Islam. I knew Abdul-Jelil very closely; he was my student. He was also a very close associate in the work of da’wah that we did here in the University of Ibadan and even after he left politics and was, for a short while, in the University of Ilorin.

“It is necessary to celebrate Dr Amoloye in order that it might be an encouragement to people coming behind and even for those that are older than he was. We also need to celebrate him because we must recognise his life and work, that his life might remain a model for those coming behind.

“Members and leaders of the Abdul-Jelil Amoloye Foundation have arranged this particular event not only to present the work that he did but also to listen to and read what his friends and associates have to say after his death, which is why we are presenting two documents to the public today,” the erudite scholar said.

The chairman of the steering committee of Abdul Jelil Amoloye Foundation, Professor Lanre Yusus, said the gathering marked the maiden annual programme of the Foundation. According to him, the members of the committee, most of whom had the opportunity to watch Dr Amoloye as a scholar, politician and community leader, found in the deceased, a man of distinction, dignity and integrity.

“We are motivated to bring out the hidden value in the late scholar by publishing his Ph.D. thesis eminently supervised by teacher of teachers and professor of professors, S. H. A. Malik of this great university. The book “Shaykh Uthman Ibn Fudi’s Socio-political Pathfinder” will provide useful knowledge for all. This, together with his so many charitable deeds and his pious children, will enable him draw the reward of Allah continuously.

“The other book, ‘The Dual Mandate: The Abdul Jelil Adebayo Amoloye We Knew,’ written by a coterie of his admirers, is a compendium which contains their impressions about the honouree. It will refresh the memory of those who knew him and keep the youth to learn about him what will help them navigate this turbulent life,” Professor Yusuf said.

He gave the assurance that whatever was realised at the books presentation would go into the coffer of the foundation in pursuance of the ideals and goals of Dr Amoloye.

Politician, Engineer Seyi Makinde, who featured prominently at the event, said Dr Amoloye was known as a bridge builder, somebody who rose above all sentiments to impact everybody positively in the way he played his politics and as a champion of education.

“He was given a responsibility by the then governor of Oyo State [Senator Rashidi Ladoja] as commissioner for education and he discharged it effectively. What all politicians should think about is: what are we going to be remembered for when we are gone? That is a big lesson from the life of Dr Amoloye,” Makinde said.

In her vote of thanks, wife of the honouree, Mrs Bilkis Amoloye, expressed appreciation to everyone who contributed to making the publication of the books and their eventual presentation to the public a reality.

“I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I feel blessed to have come in contact with Abdul-Jelil. My husband did not leave millions of naira in his account when he died but he left millions of goodwill,” she added.