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[Op_Ed] : Baraje : All hail the new Tafida of Ilorin!

It’s no longer a news that Friday 18th February, 2022 will be for the turbaning ceremony of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, CON, as the new Tafida of Ilorin Emirate following his appointment about a couple of months ago by His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, CFR, the Emir of Ilorin.

Of everything that defines Alh. Kawu Baraje, he is first a teacher, there again, his outstanding career as an administrator and astute politician. Above all, a great philanthropist whose philanthropic gestures extensively cut across Ilorin, its environs and Nigeria at large.

Alh. Baraje is a thorough-bred Ilorin man and the second holder of the title, which became vacant last year, following the death of the first holder, Dr Yusuf Amuda Aluko, OFR (1935-2020). For this appointment, the Emir couldn’t have found a perfect man to fill in one the most revered titles in the Emirate first created by the 9th Emir of Ilorin, Shaykh Sulu Gambari.

The current chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation and Engagement Committee in Kwara State, has spent most of his amazing career working in his country-home building and investing in different capacities; as it stands today, he is the first and only son of Ilorin Emirate, so far, who will emerge as the Chairman of a national ruling party, PDP, between 2011 and 2012.

To his credit, as someone who is committed to human capacity developments, he founded the Baraje Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ilorin, a school with free tuition fee and transportation, for the advancement and widespread of islamic teachings and ideals; he is equally the Chairman Baraje foundation, the foundation that places students on different scholarship opportunities from undergraduate up to PhD levels both in western and arabic education and thus provides financial supports for the downtrodden.

The exemplary leadership and philanthropic spirit of Alhaji Baraje to the progress of Ilorin Emirate can’t be looked over, considering the number of Ilorin indigenes who passed through him not only as a teacher, but also facilitated job and career progression beneficiaries.

By virtue of hardwork and diligence, Alhaji Baraje, CON, has casted a niche for himself as the only national honour awardee from among the eight recent appointees by the Emir of Ilorin. Like the title he holds, “Tafida”, an “important figure”, he has not only proven to be the son of the soil but a distinctive element in the soil. All hail the Tafida of Ilorin!

Abdulrahman Abdullahi Kayode is a member of Tafida Turbaning Committee.

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