“Wealth is a product of man’s capacity to think”–Ayn Rand (American writer,1905-1982)
Judge Bola Ajibola believes in hardwork with commensurate rewards.He believes in dedication to service.He believes in investing in time and future. His philosophy is work, work, work to add value to the system one finds oneself in and to make an indelible mark on its fabrics.
But he abhors corruption. He detests covetousness. He loathes piling up of materialistic things for the sake of it as he despises complacency. He dislikes disloyalty while he rewards honesty. Ajibola’s counsel to those close to him is that the greatest wealth of a human being is their brain meaningfully employed to positively impact on fellow humans.
Getting close to him has a price tag.Dedication: knowing your onions, working extra miles, being creative, being energetic, goal-getting, being restless, being a workaholic and not being covetous!
With Judge Bola Ajibola, you must be an all-rounder, an all-time performer and a fast thinker. You must be able to think ahead of him because he will drill you to be. You must always have two lines of thoughts ready–his thought and your thought; but you must put the two on a scale before he catches up with you. You will also be surprised that he is a mind reader. He forecasts whatever you are about to present to him. My respect to His Excellency!
His commitment is second to none in his generation. As Attorney General and Minister of Justice in Nigeria between 1985 and 1991, he never too a salary. He asked that same should be distributed to the Federal Government’s purse (35%), Nigerian Bar Association (25%) and charitable/humanitarian organisations (40%). I do not know of any Nigerian so committed to the service of his country and humanity.
Unlike his former colleagues at the World Court, posh cars do not catch his fancy. And he does not possess many cars at a time. The retinue of cars and buses anyone would see in his compound or the Islamic Mission for Africa and Crescent University, Abeokuta, are those belonging to the two institutions. This is evident in the category of cars he cruises in. He will rather ride in a Kia Picanto than Toyota or Mercedes Benz. Oftentimes, when his children and employees complain about this, he will not budge.
To Judge Bola Ajibola, riding in expensive cars is not a true parameter to measure one’s wealth. Such display of luxury, to him, reeks of unnecessary display of materialism especially where majority of citizens are living below $1 a day. His lamentation is that is people, especially leaders can be modest in their display of wealth and invest in people in need, the society will be better for it.
He once expressed, in February 2011, at his University of Lagos doctoral award speech, that:
“I want to emphasize here today that the worth of any man or woman is the impact they have made on humanity. As an international jurist and world arbiter of peace and a committed Muslim, I have made my humble mark in this regard as I have enormously given back to the society, selling my property in Nigeria and abroad to start a private university that would breed men and women of academic and moral character in our society”.
(C) Idris Katib
Culled from “Titbits on a Legal Colossus: Bola Ajibola at 78”