By Basheer Luqman Olarewaju-Unique
“That is our argument. We gave it unto Ibraheem against his folk. We raise unto degrees of wisdom whom We will. Lo! thy Lord is Wise, Aware.” – Q:6 verse 83.
Crafting a meaningful piece that truly reflects the life and legacy of His Royal Highness, Alh. (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, CFR, Emir of Ilorin is a daunting and cerebral-challenging task as I am a very young age to work on such a highly revered seat. However, having read through the history books and witnessing some monumental development in the ancient city of Ilorin, celebrating Mai Martaba Sarkin Ilorin’s 25th coronation anniversary is an honour to discharge in my best capacity.
He has the requisite public service experience; he possesses the required academic knowledge and qualifications with which I have no doubt that has been birthing political and religious development and growth, peaceful coexistence, socio-economic progressiveness to Ilorin Emirate. Indeed, the reign of our Bàbá has brought tremendous progress and development to Ilorin and its environs. Alh. (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari has since mounting the throne provided and exhibited a very high quality of leadership and played a father to all roles in the Emirates and Kwara State as a whole.
Like I invoked earlier, his ascension of the throne recounts the willingness of Almighty Allah and He has positioned him to such exalted seat having blessed him with disciples who are courageous, progressive-minded, charismatic and endowed with invaluable wisdom. Throughout history, cultures have often placed the king at the centre of the universe. From him radiated all of existence. If one looks at how ancient civilisations laid out one’s cities, one often see that the dwelling place of the king sat at the centre.
Emir of Ilorin living the King archetype in its fullness, he feels that same centring power within himself. Not that he believes the world revolves around him, but rather that his confidence, purpose, and well-being give him a supreme sense of balance. Even when the world around him becomes chaotic, he remains cool, calm, and collected. He acts, rather than reacts. He’s the rock in crisis. Because of his position at the centre of things, he surveys everything that is going on, soaks it all in, and then take a broad view of things. This overarching perspective allows him to remain immovable in the face of the passing and superficial.
Mai Martaba Sarkin Ilorin is Grand Commander of the Emirate, and as such, is charged with making decisions. His ability to be decisive is rooted in two things. First, who he is and what he stands for; the Emir’s core values are centred on firm and unchanging principles. So when a crisis comes, he does not waver because he has already determined the course he will take in line with the guidance of Allah and His beloved Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Secondly, he seasons his decisions with experience. His experiences provide him with practical wisdom: the knowledge of how to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons.
He is a successful monarch, and one of many other traits he has is Selflessness and Integrity: The word integrity is related to the roots of words like “integrate” and “entire.” In Spanish, it is rendered “integro,” meaning whole. Integrity thus implies the state of being complete, undivided, intact, and unbroken. Integrity is really the bond that holds a man’s other virtues together; it is the mark of a man who has successfully integrated all good principles. His life is a unified whole.
The entire Emirates is blessed with an Emir who has not only integrated all the other archetypes but seeks this wholeness in other areas of his life as well. He mends broken relationships, keeps his word, works for progressiveness of his people, acts with honesty, and takes responsibility for his actions. He is who he says he is; he doesn’t have one set of principles for Sunday and one for the rest of the week.
As a king, accessing positive King energy doesn’t create rules just so he can reap the satisfaction of watching people obey him. Rather, his rules provide the structure that allows other people to flourish. Figuring out how to create rules that help instead of hinder people’s progress requires the kind of thoughtful reflection that comes from accessing the Magician archetype: This shows that it isn’t enough to tell others how they should live; a good leader like him must also live by those same edicts himself. From him, we have been schooled that, before we can provide order for others, we must become men of discipline.
Bàbá, without prejudice, understands how to integrate the King in our lives fully, however, he inspires creativity in others as well. Indeed, a man who is accessing the King archetype understands that his power and influence in the world increases as he empowers others to live to their fullest potential. Outstandingly, the good king delighted in noticing and promoting good men to positions of responsibility in his kingdom. He held the audience, primarily, not to be seen, but to see, admire, and delight in his subjects, to reward them and to bestow honours upon them.
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Mai-Martaba Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari is 25years on the throne, today, Wednesday, November 11, 2020, as the 11th paramount ruler of the ancient city of Ilorin. Born on 22nd April 1940, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari is a direct descendant of the highly revered scholar, Sheikh Salihu Alimi and became the Ciroma of Ilorin on 30th November 1984.
His career witnessed serving as the Solicitor-General of the old Gongola state and later rose to become a Justice of Court of Appeal and served across the country including the Appeal Court of Lagos and Ibadan divisions respectively. His Royal Highness finally ascended the throne as the 11th Emir of Ilorin on 28th August 1995 and was formally coronated and presented with the Staff of Office on 11th November 1995 at exactly 11:11 am. He is a holder of the National Honour of Commander of Federal Republic, (CFR) and current Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State.
Kings throughout history were obsessed with legacy. In creating empires, building edifices, writing laws, and changing the culture, they sought to become immortal and to leave behind something that would remind subsequent generations of their lives and their greatness.
No matter the size of the principality, the desire to leave a legacy is a switch of manliness that cannot be ignored. Happily, creating a legacy need not involve the construction of great pyramids, but can come from any idea, business, tradition, relationship, or thought anything that changes a person, the world, just a little and gets passed on, anything that lasts.
I congratulate Alh. (Dr) Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, CFR, on your ascension of the throne of your forefathers and I pray that your reign will bring more development and growth to the land. I pray that God continue to spare the life of our baba, May he live long in good health and sound mind. Once again, congratulations sir.