By Oluwakemi Ishola
Nineteen years after the gruesome murder of ex attorney-general and minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige SAN, his son – Arc. Muyiwa Ige has said that those behind the assassination dit it out of envy and they shall live by it.
Chief Bola Ige SAN, until his assassination by unknown gunmen at his Bodija, Ibadan home on 23 December, 2001 was the Deputy National leader of the pan Yoruba socio- cultural organization , Afenifere .
Young Ige was among other family members who converged on the city of Ibadan to mark and celebrate the 90th posthumous birthday of the late astute politician and leader of the Afenifere, at St. Anne’s church , Molete , Ibadan on Sunday for Thanksgiving service and prayers.
While thanking God for the life of his father, Arc. Muyiwa noted that his late father bequeathed a good legacy of selfless service , good leadership, integrity, honesty and legacy of seeking the best for the common man.
The gruesome murder of Chief Bola Ige, he said was quite unfortunate , but added that all those who have hands in the killing did so because sheer envy, and bitter jealous.
Young Ige, who served as Osun state Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning under governor Rauf Aregbesola recalled that when Chief Bola Ige was in his late twenties ,specifically by the age of 29, he was on the global platform with Martin Luther king Jnr. in Athens, Ohio in 1959 , moving the motion for blacks to have the opportunity to vote in America .
He said ” My father really loved young people. He also believed in the emancipation of the common man and elevating young people. A lot of his peers didn’t like him for that because they could not understand young people.
“But that was the essence of Bola Ige, and it was part of the envy that ate into the souls of some of those who didn’t like him. Nonetheless, that was their problem. Bola Ige came to this world, did his bit, and his legacy lives on.”
Arc. Muyiwa , who drew a comparison between the current crop of leaders and those of Chief Bola Ige contemporaries , lamented the gradual slide of good governance in the country.
He said at pre-independence and post- independence period when party politicking was going on, it was based on ideology , stating that you were either a conservative or progressive/ socialist .
” And the conservatives knew themselves, while the progressives knew themselves. Now, you can’t even differentiate between A and B.
There is cross-carpeting going on everyday. Consistency is not there.
“There is also a leadership vacuum and so, we need to go back and begin to study what they did well positively in their days and try to enhance that and begin to ensure that there is a vibrant mentoring programme, especially for our youths. There are great leaders out there that we can still point to that can support young people”, he stated.