Arisekola’s Son, Idris Steps Into Dad’s Shoes

Arisekola Alao’s fifth child, Idris Alao is taking over the baton where his late father left it.

Idris may not be as rich as his billionaire father, he is far from it! But the young Alao has been doing his beat to uphold the family name and bring back the memories of the late businessman.

Idris, nicknamed ‘young Alhaji’ is a carbon copy of his late father, and one cannot but noticed he was a true son of his father as he dresses like him, talks like him and engaged himself in religious matters and stay away from politics, these were the attributes he got from his father.

Little wonder he gets invited to events across the country as he is said to be the only one out of the Aare’s 37 children that is upholding the family name in matters of religion and donation.

He organises prayers and islamic lectures during festive periods and also give to the needy.

Idris was formerly the Managing Director of his dad’s Lister Company, he worked as the head of Lister for about five years before he left to start his own company.

Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao was born on a Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1945, to the family of Alhaji Abdur Raheem Olatunbosun Olaniyan Alao and Alhaja Rabiatu Olatutu Abegbe Alao who hailed from Ajia in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo State. The young Alao had his elementary education at St. Luke’s School, Adigun, and later ICC Primary School, Igosun, both in Ibadan, after persistent persuasion of one school teacher, Mr J.O. Oladejo, because he initially was not interested in the acquisition of Western education, as he was contended with Islamic education which he began at the age of three .

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On completion of his primary education in 1960, he sat for the entrance examinations into two of the notable schools; Christ School, Ado-Ekiti and Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan. He was the best candidate in the Christ School examination, while he emerged as the third best candidate for admission into Lagelu Grammar School.

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However, despite his brilliance, he could not advance his western education as a result of the poor economic standing of his parents who were peasant farmers. But his lack of western education was compensated for by his sound Islamic education and a strong resolve. Buoyed by the zeal to survive and make a decent living, Alao ventured into business, armed with admirable qualities such as intelligence, shrewdness, truthfulness, aggressiveness and the determination to succeed. He had a brief stint with his uncle as an apprentice at Gbagi Market, Ibadan before going solo in 1961, selling Gammalin 20. Being a shrewd businessman, he was soon to become an agent of Imperial Chemical Industries.

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No sooner had he started his business did he become a household name in his locality and the old Western Region. He built up his business and used the platform to build a wide network in politics and religion. His involvement in and support for religious causes made the Muslim Ulamah in Yoruba land to confer on him the title of Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland in 1980.

Alao was a detrabilised Nigerian, who accommodated people irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. Ever supportive of other people’s dreams, Alao, despite the abortion of his dream of acquiring western education, helped the dreams of others with the establishment of Pa Raheem Alao Scholarship Foundation for indigent students of tertiary institutions.

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