Sunday, May 9, 2021 6:28 pm
Psalms 90:12; Teached us “to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”.
“Psalms 91:16: “With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation”.
By Makinde, Abdul-Fatah ’Kola
Today, May 9, 2021 is an exceptional day to the indigenous people of Osogbo Ilu Aro, Osun State and Nigeria in general because it marks the anniversary of the birth of a prominent Nigerian Statesman, a business guru, a great philanthropist and an exceptional muslim leader – Asiwaju Khamis Olatunde Badmus, a worthy scion the famous family of Alhaji Alabi Adekilekun Badmus and Alhaja Titilayo Badmus of Ayogun Compound, Isale-Osun, Osogbo. Olatunde’s father, in his life time was an Islamic scholar and a business man who travelled far and wide within and outside the country, particularly to Ghana.
The young Olatunde began his formal education at Ikare, a popular town in Ondo State. He, however, completed his primary education at Laro Primary School, Isale-Osun, Osogbo. From there, he proceeded to Anglican Modern School, Ikare Akoko, Ondo State for his secondary education. He later proceeded to Okebadan High School, Ibadan, Oyo State where he completed his secondary education in 1966.
Early Working Experience
Every man struggles at his early life to be relevant in the society and to get something for livelihood. It as a result of this that young Olatunde Badmus did not seat idle but struggled to get employment. His first employment was with the Nigerian Police where he served meritoriously from 1967 to 1969. However, his ambition for a more challenging profession dragged him into journalism; hence, he joined the defunct Western Nigeria Television/Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WNTV/WNBS) as a cub reporter in Osogbo. He was later deployed to the Lagos office of the Corporation where he served as a crime reporter vis-à-vis general reporting. Following the breakdown of the then Western State into three in 1976, Alhaji Tunde Badmus opted to join the Radio Service of Oyo State where he served in various capacities such as editor and head of Radio Oyo news department in Lagos.
There is no iota of doubt the fact that every serious public servant will want to pursue his or her education further in order to obtain better proficiency on the job. More so, in-service training is also encouraged and allowed in some public and private sets up. Therefore, in pursuance of his professional advancement, Chief Olatunde Badmus pursued further on his education at the Daily Times Training School where he obtained a Diploma in journalism. Having served diligently with loyalty and patriotism, the young visionary man bowed out of service with dignity and honour in the year 1981.
Beginning of Business and Establishment of Industry
Having honourably bowed out of public service in 1981, Alhaji Tunde Badmus with vision and great entrepreneurial acumen started a small business then known as TUNS International with specialization in the importation and installation of broadcasting equipment for radio and television stations mainly from the United Kingdom. This business, due to his high innovative capability and strong business dexterity as well as sociable interpersonal relational skills, vastly expanded.
In 1982, when the business became bigger than what he could single-handedly cope with, he employed the services of salesmen, engineers, canvassers, accounting and administrative officers. The business then was to service all N.T.A. and state television stations especially in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Kwara and the then Bendel States. In 1985, Alhaji (Chief) Olatunde Badmus, through his vision, diversified into farming and this saw the company being formally incorporated and renamed TUNS International Investment Company (Nigeria) Limited. The company’s dynamism in tune with the economic changes of the nation led her into diversification in the ball point pen and poly vinyl chloride (PVC) pipes production.
The ingenuity and business acumen endowed Alhaji (Chief) Olatunde Badms attracted the focus of the Federal Government of Nigeria, who, without hesitation gave him appointment to serve on the board of the Nigeria Machine Tools Limited, Osogbo. During his service in the board of Nigeria Machine Tools Limited, he headed the contract review committee and through his relentless and the cooperation of other board members recorded laudable achievement for the company.
His business connection cuts across the world and his association and partnership with various Europe and far-East based organizations are remarkable and noteworthy. With large financial interest, Alhaji (Chief) Olatunde Badmus is the Chief Executive of Rapid Market Limited, a United Kingdom based company with solid capital base.
Chief Olatunde Badmus progressively rose through the years in personality, virtues, business endeavours, social connection, societal influences and agricultural reverberations to become the National President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) in 2002. As at the time he came on board in 2002, the fortune of the poultry industry in the country was dwindling and many big farms were closing down. However, his tenure as the National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) made a spectacular turn around in the fortune of the poultry industry.
During his tenure as the PAN President, the Association ensured the viability of the business of the indigenous investors into the poultry industry in the following ways:
i. The PAN under him was able to secure governmental approval for the implementation of the policy to stop the importation of poultry products to the country. This paves the way for the growth of the industry with a ready market to absorb the products. Thousands of jobs were created across the country while affiliated industries to the poultry industry experienced the effect of this.
ii. A fundamental positive effect of the above is the availability of quality of poultry products to the citizenry while the hazardous health consequences of the imported poultry products preserved with chemical incriminated to have carcinogenic properties and propensity for causing health hazards fizzled out.
iii. Many of the closed poultry farms commence operations again and the investment into the poultry industry tripled between year 2002 and 2005. The foreign exchange that would have gone for importation of poultry products had to circulate within the economy, a situation that further enhanced the development of the agricultural sector in particular and the national economy as a whole
iv. Another laudable achievement attributable to this great man of honour during his distinguished leadership as the National President of PAN was the securing of governmental support to compel the companies that were raising the Grand Parent Stock (GPS) of commercial poultry birds abroad to establish the companies in Nigeria and selected farms in Nigeria were licensed to raise GPS breeders. This established a solid base foe the poultry industry in Nigeria and afforded us direct control on the quality of our birds and to fully adapt these exotic breeds to optimize their genetic potentials inder our weather conditions. The huge foreign exchange the nation was losing due to the importation of these birds is now circulating within our economy.
v. Exportation of poultry products from Nigeria to service West Africa market was initiated during his tenure to earn the country foreign exchange. The nobleness of this initiative made the Governments of the West African nations to sign a memorandum of understanding on this. This option remains open to the industry to readily absorb poultry products from Nigeria.
Chief Olatunde Badmus subsists as the Chairman of the TUNS International Holdings Limited, a conglomerate of six limited liability companies; with headquarter in Osogbo, Osun State. The diversified investment of the Company encompasses:
•Integrated poultry production
•Property and Estate Development in Nigeria
The six subsidiaries of the TUNS International Holdings Limited are:
•TUNS Farm Nigeria Limited
•TUNS Properties Nigeria Limited
•TUNS Mills Nigeria Limited
•TUNS Industries Nigeria Limited
•TUNS Hatcheries Nigeria Limited
•TUNS International Holdings Limited.
Today, TUNS International Holdings Limited is a leading figure in the poultry industry in Nigeria and operates with poultry production technology comparable to what is obtainable in the developed world. The farms now operate with the use of climatically controlled houses where the vital parameters of temperature, humidity, ventilation and wind speed are panel-controlled to create a conducive environment for the optimal performance and expression of genetic potentials of our breeder stock. The other advantages of this closed house system include the following:
•Stocking density of birds can be tripped for the same dimension of conventional open houses and this has the same impact of turn-over and return of investment.
•Production and quality f output are optimized because of limited incidence of disease outbreak and conducive environment available to optimize productive performance.
•The closed house system also limits exposure of the flock to threatening diseases such as avian influenza because the birds are shielded away from the reach of wild birds and other vermin’s that are vector for these diseases.
•Furthermore, this system makes the ambient situation to be independent of external physical condition.
It is worthy of note that TUNS International Holdings is the highest individual employer of labour as well as the highest paying in Osun State. As at the moment, the workforce of the TUNS International Holdings Limited is about 600 with 20% of this being the skilled workforce comprising Veterinary Doctors, Animal Scientists, Animal Health Technologists, Animal Nutritionalists, Agricultural Engineers, Managers, Marketers and Administrators. The company has also put in place, as part of her employment generation quest, a scheme where farmers are encouraged to rear broiler birds and ready market is provided for them by the company all year round. A lot of farms that have closed up are now revived and many new ones have sprung up creating over 600 new jobs. This great stride of ingenuity has alleviated poverty and created wealth for the entire citizenry.
True to the company’s motto, “Adding potency to life,” chicken products have been processed further into other valuable products like chicken drumsticks, chicken breast, chicken gizzard, smoked chicken, chicken sausage, chicken pepperoni, stewed chicken, beef sausage etc. Plans for further processing of meat products are still in the pipeline.
TUNS International Holdings Limited since its establishment has various awards of excellence among which are:
Best Supplier of the year given by Food Concepts Limited in 2008
Best System Sales Award given by FORD FOR-A-COMPANY LIMITED in 1992
Best Supporting Organization given by Federal Road Safety in 2005
Community Development and Services
Alhaji (Chief) Olatunde Badmus has contributed in no small way to the community development of many towns in Osun State in particular and Yorubaland in general. It was in recognition of his contribution to his hometown and Yorubaland in general that made His Royal Highness, the Ataoja of Osogboland to be proud to confer on him with the prestigious title, the Otunba Akayejo of Osogboland on 12th April, 1992. His services are not restricted to his hometown and Yorubaland alone, his impact is also felt at the national level. He has served in various committees and bodies in different capacities such as:
Member, Presidential Committee for the three Multi-Commodity Development and Marketing Corporation.
Member, Board of Trustees of Nigerian Machine Tools.
Former Chairman, Poultry Group of Manufacturers Association Nigeria (MAN)
Former Deputy National President of All Farmers Apex Association
Former Deputy President of All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (ALFAN)
Former President of the Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN)
Contributions to the Growth and Development of Islam
There is no doubt that Alhaji Tunde Badmus is a devout Muslim having been born into the family with Islamic background. His father was an Islamic scholar whose popularity among the scholars of Osogbo cannot be underestimated. His Islamic background could have been the factor that assisted him in championing the cause of Islam. Having made Lagos his initial business base, he began to use his wealth for Islamic purposes. It was his act of philanthropy in Lagos, particularly to Markaz Agege, that fascinated late Shaykh Adam Abdullah al-Ilori into recommending him for the League of Imams and Alfas of Yorubaland to be given an Islamic title. He was then turbaned as the Asiwaju-Musulumi of Yorubaland on 12th April, 1992 in recognition of his contributions to Islamic religion.
The religious title received by Alhaji (Chief) Olatunde Badmus seems to have charged him as a Muslim leader in Yorubaland to use his wealth and position for the propagation of Islam. He was found of sponsoring activities of various Islamic organizations in Yorubaland and beyond. He has funded and made donations to various mosque projects and Islamic centres in various towns and villages. Moreover, he was also found of sponsoring Islamic religious programmes on radio and television in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun States. The live television programme he sponsored on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Osogbo in the year 2005, made him a peace-setter of special live programmes on televisions in Osun State. The programme titled “al-Bayān” attracted many Muslim viewers not only from Osun State but also from the neighbouring states. Viewers’ interest in the programme was not because it was a live one but because people had the opportunity of winning gifts. Such gifts included bags of rice, semovita, copies of Qur’ān, motorcycles and above all hajj tickets.
It is important to remark at this junction that Asiwaju Tunde Badmus could be regarded as the only Muslim title holder in Yorubaland that has organized annual special Ramadan Tafsīr in his Estate, at the G.R.A, Osogbo. The programme kicked off in 1998 and Osogbo Muslim Action Forum was charged with the responsibility of organizing it. It used to feature invited scholars from different parts of Yorubaland to discuss various topical issues using Qur’anic exegetical method. Saturdays and Sundays of the month of Ramadan were used for the programme between the hours of 4.30 and 6.30 p. m. It usually attracted many participants from Osogbo and its environs. This was done for almost a decade before it was suspended in 2005 due to political reasons.
The Ramadan programme being sponsored by Asiwaju-Musulumi was not restricted to the special Tafsīr alone. There were some others. He initiated and sponsors the annual celebration of Laylatul-Qadr – Night of Majesty almost at the same time with the former. This, however, continues till date. Being a spiritual night, the programme usually features recitation of the whole Qur’ān, lectures from two invited guest speakers, adh-dhikr – remembrance of Allah and special prayers to be led by the Chief Imam of Osogboland, Shaykh Mustafa Olayiwola Ajisafe. The Ansar-ud-deen play-ground, Sabo, Osogbo where the programme is held is always filled to its capacity with participants from the city and its environs. The participants always include Alhaji Tunde Badmus himself, the Chief Imam of Osogbo and his lieutenants as well as some other Muslim eminent personalities in the town.
In addition to the programmes mentioned above was the Asiwaju-Musulumi End of Ramadan programme which had been part of his much earlier Islamic programmes. This used to hold on the day of Id al-fitr, the day of breaking fasts being embarked upon in the holy month of Ramadan. The occasion usually featured Qur’ān competition, lecture and feeding of the participants. Due to spontaneous response of large number of contestants for the Qur’ān competition, a preliminary competition was always organized a day or two prior to the Id day to prune down the number of contestants. The competition used to be in three categories – Junior, intermediate and senior. The winners of first, second and third positions of each category were usually presented prizes in cash and kind.
The most important programme of the Asiwaju-Musulumi that used to come up during the month of Ramadan was the Zakāt distribution. Zakāt – almsgiving is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam that a wealthy Muslim is expected to discharge. According to Ali, charity towards man, in its widest sense, is laid down in the Qur’ān as the second great pillar on which the structure of Islam stands. He observes further that the two commandments, to keep up prayer and to give Zakāt, often go together, and this combination of the two is met with in the earliest chapters of the Qur’ān, as well as in those which were revealed towards the end of Prophet’s life. Thus in the very earliest revelations, we have: “And keep up prayer and pay the Zakāt and offer to Allah a goodly gift” (Q.73:20). And the latest in revelation, we have: “Only he can maintain the mosques of Allah who believes in Allah and the Last Day and keeps up prayer and pays the Zakāt and fears none but Allah” (Q.9:18).
The literal and simple meaning of Zakāt is purity. The technical meaning of the word designates the annual amount of kind or coin which a Muslim with means must distribute among the rightful beneficiaries. Abdalati notes that Zakāt purifies the property of the people with means and clears it from the shares which do not belong to it anymore, the shares which must be distributed among the due beneficiaries. This could have been what informed Alhaji Olatunde Badmus in deciding to make Zakāt distribution an annual duty. This was done through a committee set up by Osogbo Muslim Action Forum.
The items that were usually released for distribution under the Zakāt scheme of Asiwaju-Musulumi included cash, many bags of rice and semovita, many gallons of soya oil and many bags of frozen chicken. The beneficiaries of the Zakāt included members of the League of Imams and Alfas in Yorubaland, some Imams and Alfas in Osun State, members of Osogbo Imam-in-council, Imams of Jumu’at mosques in Osogbo and its environs, Ratibi Imams in Osogbo, members of some Muslim organizations, Muslim inmates of Ilesa prison yard and the poor and needy. It is necessary to mention at this juncture that distribution to the poor and needy was done in such a way that all the nooks and crannies of Osogbo were taken care of. Osogbo used to be divided into zones and centres were designated at these zones where distribution would be carried out. The list of beneficiaries would have been earlier on collected from Imams of Ratibi mosques in these zones. The items that were distributed at these centres included cash, rice and frozen chicken. In fact, most beneficiaries made use of the items collected particularly the frozen chicken to celebrate Id al fitr because the distribution used to come towards the end of Ramadan.
One other programme that needs to be mentioned which is undertaken by Alhaji Olatunde Badmus during the month of Ramadan is Iftār sā’im – breaking the fast of a fasting person. It is an attempt to feed some fasting persons during the time of breaking of fast in the evening. There is a tradition that describes the Prophet as being most generous in the month of Ramadan. Hence, Muslims try to emulate the Prophet in increasing act of generosity during the month by trying to feed as many people as they could through Iftār sā’im. Therefore, many indigents are usually fed during the time of breaking of fast in the yard of Asiwaju-Musulumi during the month of Ramadan. Aside that, there was a special Iftār sā’im which he organized in 2006 for the members of various Islamic associations in Osogbo. Each association was officially written and given specific date to bring its members to Asiwaju’s house for breaking of fast with him.
Alhaji (Chief) Olatunde Badmus is a great philanthropist of note. Philanthropy, in simple words, signifies acts done for the welfare of mankind. His act of philanthropism has therefore contributed in no small way to human welfare and societal development. He uses the wealth Allah has endowed him to assist in solving the problems of many individuals in the society. His philanthropic acts cut across religious, social and political spheres. This may be considered as demonstration of various traditions of the Prophet on the significance of philanthropy. The Prophet was reported to have said: “Have compassion on those who are on earth, and He who is in heaven will have compassion on you.” Another tradition of the Prophet says: Allah will show no compassion to him who has no compassion towards all human beings.”
In the Islamic community, Alhaji Olatunde Badmus is known for acts of philanthropism. He donated a coaster bus to Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria, Osogbo branch and also gave cars to some Islamic scholars in the city. Another coaster bus was donated to Nasrul-lahi-il-fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Osogbo branch in the year 2002. When the present Chief Imam of Osogbo, Shaykh Mustafa Ajisafe was turbaned in 1997, a Mercedes Benz was donated as the official car to the office of the Chief Imam by him. In addition, he for sometime placed the Chief Imam and his lieutenants as well as some Islamic scholars in Osogbo on monthly salaries. Many Muslims in Osogbo have also benefited from his hajj sponsorship. He gives out free tickets to Muslims annually for them to have the opportunity of performing pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah. This is in vogue till now. It is on record too, that at the inception of Osun State, he assisted the National Council of Muslim Youth Organizations (NACOMYO), Osun State branch in no small way. He paid one year office rent of its secretariat and also procured some office equipment for it.
Moreover, in the social and political circles, Alhaji Tunde Badmus is not found wanting philanthropically. He gives out gifts annually to prominent Muslim Obas in Yorubaland during the month of Ramadan and prominent Christian Obas in Yorubaland during the Christmas. During electioneering campaigns of political parties, he is found of giving money to different political parties and their aspirants that approach him for financial assistance. He has, therefore, assisted financially many Osogbo indigenes in particular and Osun State citizens in general, in winning political offices. His philanthropic disposition to education, particularly scholarship awards is discussed under the next sub-title.
Contributions to Education/Scholarship Awards
Alhaji Olatunde Badmus is well disposed to education and has shown this in various ways particularly through the scholarship awards that he gives to students. As a great philanthropist, many Nigerian citizens and Osun State indigenes in particular undergoing various courses of study in institutions of learning have benefitted from his annual Asiwaju Tunde Badmus scholarship awards.
Charity, they say, begins at home. That is why the journey to the scholarship awards began in 1985 when he was in Lagos from his family compound, Ayoogun, Isale-Osun, Osogbo. His philanthropic gesture pushed him into giving scholarship awards to 10 children of this compound who were students of University of Ibadan, the then University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), the then Oyo State College of Education, Ilesa (now Osun State College of Education, Ilesa) and the then Oyo State College of Education, Ila-Orangun (now Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun). This was done unofficially just to assist the children of his compound in higher institutions of learning.
The scholarship awards became public and annual matter in 1999/2000 academic session when 20 students were selected from various institutions of learning as beneficiaries. All higher institutions of learning in the Southwestern Nigerian are always requested to nominate five students each to be interviewed for the awards. The interview is conducted to interact with the students with a view to taking the best of them. The scholarship awards have no religious connotation of any form. In fact, Revd. Fathers and Sisters had attended the scholarship interviews and won the awards. Later, the initial 20 students every year were increased to 40 students because of many indigent students. In view of the cost of education that has risen which pushed the financial implications higher, the number was later reduced to 30. The maximum amount that the awardees receive is two hundred and fifty thousand naira (250,000) while the minimum is forty thousand naira (40,000). In addition to the cash awards, lap tops are also given to law and computer engineering students.
The scholarship awards also include sending people abroad for training in various fields. The beneficiaries of the training abroad went for their programmes in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Holland etc.
Many people who have benefited from the awards are found doing well in their various professional fields today. Among such beneficiaries are Akibu Adisa now in Dublin, Majeed Gbadeyanka in U.S.A. and Barrister Kazeem Badmos, a legal practitioner in Osogbo. The current Commissioner of Finance in Oyo State, Mr. Zachius Adedeji Adelabu was also said to have benefited from the awards.
Apart from the scholarship awards discussed above, there are other areas where Alhaji Tunde Badmus has contributed to education. There were instances when he was said to have assisted some Arabic schools in Osun State in cash and kind. His role in the establishment of Fountain University, Osogbo cannot be underestimated. It was in 2002 when NASFAT, Osogbo branch was to be launched in the town and the members of the national executive paid him a courtesy visit that he advised them to consider establishing a university. This was considered and announced during the official launching that a university would be established by NASFAT and would be sited in Osogbo. He was the one who facilitated the release of part of the land of the University owned by the government for the purpose of getting the required pieces of land for the University. He also paid for survey of part of the land and intervened in solving the problem on the land of the University. He was made a member of the Board of Trustees of the University.
From the foregoing, there is no gainsaying the fact that Alhaji (Chief) Khamis Adekilekum Olatunde Badmus is an erudite agriculturist, a quintessential business man, a compassionate philanthropist, a creative publisher, an innovative administrator, and epitome of intellectual and soundness of mind, a visionary leader, a dedicated Muslim, a charismatic motivator and a generous man. He has used the wealth Allah endowed him to promote the welfare of humanity and development of the society at large. His philanthropic gestures seem to make him a man that is distinct among his equals. His sense of humility, hospitality, simplicity, kindness and patience is admirable. He is a man who does not believe in envy and malice. He always forgives people and forgets matters which could bring unnecessary enmity. He is a loving husband, a responsible father and grandfather, and a lover of sports particularly the golf sports. As a visionary leader, he has organized many groups for the development of Osogbo in particular and Osun State in general. His role in the Islamic activities in Southwestern Nigeria, without doubt, justifies his title as the Asiwaju-Musulumi of Yorubaland and indeed a Muslim leader of the 21st century. Happy Birthday, Sir. May Almighty Allah continue to order your steps and keep you safe from every harm. May He continue to bless you with excellent health all the days of your life.
-Author and Copyright owner: Makinde, Abdul-Fatah ’Kola Ph.D in Siyan Oyeweso (ed), Eminent Muslims in Osun State (Abuja: Mega Press, 2012).