The late former Secretary-General, Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Lateef Adegbite, was on Saturday buried in his compound at Onikolobo area of Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital.
Mr. Adegbite’s burial at 4 p.m. was witnessed by thousands of people, some of who arrived at the deceased residence as early as 7a.m.
Mr. Adegbite’s body arrived at the family house from Lagos in company of his wife and children at 3.39 p.m and prayers were offered for the repose of his soul.
He was buried beside the grave of his late wife, Modinatu Adegbite.
The burial was witnessed by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, Ernest Shonekan; the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola. Others who attended include former governors of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, and Gbenga Daniel; former military governor of Western State, Oluwole Rotimi; and an Ibadan based Islamic leader, Arisekola Alao.
The Sultan in his speech said Mr. Adegbite’s competence is depicted by the fact that the deceased worked under six successive Sultans at the NSCIA successfully. The NSCIA is headed by whoever is appointed Sultan.
Mr. Abubakar said the vacuum left behind by the deceased would be difficult to fill; adding that his contributions to Islam remain a reference point
Mr. Obasanjo, in his tribute, said the legacy Mr. Adegbite left behind was worthy of emulation. He prayed to God to forgive the deceased of any sin he might have committed.
In his tribute, Mr. Amosun described the death of Mr. Adegbite as the loss of a national icon by Ogun State.
“One by one the rank of those whose toils and sweats got Nigeria Independence and nurtured the nation is being depleted. His life was an admirable confluence of religion, tradition and civilization; leaving indelible footprints in the sand of time,” the governor stated.
“Dr Adegbite even in death is an embodiment of the pre-eminent position of our state and its citizens in all spheres of life. What a loss! May Almighty Allah admit him into Aljannah Firdaus,” Mr. Amosun concluded
The former governor of Western State, Mr. Rotimi, a former classmate of the deceased, described his death as a huge loss. He said the deceased served as a commissioner in his administration and was of exemplary character.
A former Minister, Sarafa Ishola, in his condolence message said ‘we have lost another illustrious son of Egbaland.
“The first President of MSS and unifying factor of the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria, we shall definitely miss you. You have left a vacuum which will be difficult to fill,” Mr. Ishola said in the condolence register.
In his tribute, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun described Mr. Adegbite as one of the greatest icons the state had ever produced.
He gave the assurance that the Adegbite’s good works and legacy would be upheld and promoted by the leaders of the state.
Also speaking, Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State described the event as a celebration of a life of faith.
“Although he was an Egba indigene, Adegbite was as much as part of Lagos as Ogun. In fact, his constituency was the whole of Nigeria.
“Perhaps, he would have lived longer if he had put himself first but he put Islam and Nigeria first,’’ Mr. Fashola added.