Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, has mourned the former attorney general of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola, who died in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 89.
Babangida, in a statement he personally signed and entitled, “DEAR BOLA AJIBOLA: WHAT A HUGE LOSS – IBB,” expressed “deep sense of pain” over the death of the legal luminary, who he described as “a great Nigerian, an unimpeachable patriot, a sound legal mind, humanist, and a quintessential legal luminary of global reputation.”
The former military ruler noted that Ajibola’s demise “no doubt, marked the end of an eventful career of an exceptional Nigerian, whose love for country was total.”
He also described the deceased as “a patriot with an extraordinary touch.”
IBB recalled the circumstances surrounding his government’s appointment of Ajibola as the nation’s attorney general, adding he served the nation meritoriously without collecting any salary throughout the years he spent in government and even never asked for any monetary reward after he left office.
Babangida further extolled the late Ajibola’s virtues, further describing his sound knowledge of law and the legal profession as legendary.
He said he would personally miss the late jurist and great Nigerian who gave his administration a lot of ideas on how to lead the country.
Babangida prayed the Almighty God to grant the late Ajibola a peaceful rest in the hereafter and also give his family members the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Read the full text of the former military president’s statement below:
DEAR BOLA AJIBOLA: WHAT A HUGE LOSS – IBB
I feel a deep sense of pain on hearing the news of the sudden demise of our former Attorney-General, Prince Bola Ajibola: a great Nigerian, an unimpeachable patriot, a sound legal mind, humanist, and a quintessential legal luminary of global reputation. His death, no doubt, marked the end of an eventful career of an exceptional Nigerian, whose love for country was total.
As a government, when we tried to appoint Prince Ajibola as Attorney-General of the Federation, there were certain persons who cautioned us against it, saying the late Prince was a controversial personality, who would give us a headache. I insisted that that was the more reason why we should appoint him; with the hope that he would guide us on the path of law and reason, and not sentiments; which he did. As a true Nigerian patriot, throughout his service to the nation, he refused to receive a salary. He served our nation pro-bono. He was very passionate about the place of Nigeria in the comity of nations. There was never a day he asked to be paid his salaries during and or after his meritorious service to the nation. Prince Bola Ajibola is an exceptional patriot of repute.
At 89, he lived his full circle. His sound knowledge of law and the legal profession was legendary. He was a man with robust ideas about governance. He shaped the direction of our government and contributed in no small measure to deepening our body of laws. He was friendly, engaging, and selfless. He was a great mind whose love for country is remarkably worthy of emulation. I will personally miss this great Nigerian, who gave us a lot of ideas on how to lead our country.
May God Almighty, in His infinite mercies, grant him a peaceful rest in the hereafter. May God be with his family and grant them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. Rest In Peace, Prince; a patriot with an extraordinary touch.
GENERAL IBRAHIM B. BABANGIDA, GCFR.