HAJJ STAMPEDE TRAGEDY : ‘Fidau prayer for Adeola Adefolabi holds Tuesday, October 13

ALHAJI (Hon.) Morufdeen Adeola Adefolabi, the former House of Representatives member who died in the Mecca stampede on Thursday, Septemebr 24, 2015, and has since been buried there will be honoured with Fidau prayer on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at Ifako-Ijaiye Mini-stadium.  The Fidau prayer is organized by his family, political associates and religious sect.

Hon. Morufdeen Adeola Adefolabi, apart from representing Ifako-Ijaiye at the House of Representatives, was the first Chairman of Ojokoro Local Council Development Area (2004-2007), the Chairman Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Council (1999-2002) and Councillor and Supervisor for Agriculture and Rural Development in Agege Local Government Council, Agege, Lagos.

A father of eight children, he died at 62.

ENCOMIUM Weekly was at his Adeola Adefolabi Street, New Oko Oba, Agege, Lagos residence where we spoke with his daughter, Tutu, his brothers, nephew and political associate.


‘He treated all his children the same way’ – TUTU,  daughter

How did you get to hear about your father’s death?

The travel agency that he went with broke the news to us.

When he was first declared missing, how did the family react?

It was a very troubled period for us.  We were running around trying to locate him.

For how long was he declared missing before he was eventually declared dead?

The incident happened on September 24, and he was declared missing on September 25, until Tuesday, October 6, 2015, that we were informed of his death.

What did they say was the cause of his death?

He was involved in the stampede.  They were about 50 people in his group and only six of them were caught in the stampede and he was among those six people.

Did all six die?

No, just two of them.

What happened to the remaining four people?

I gathered that two of them were injured, while the remaining two escaped.

We gathered that one of the people he was with is still in coma?

No, he is dead.  When he was found, he was in coma but later he died.  I guess he died the day they found him because he was almost declared missing.

We heard the family is planning to bring your father’s corpse back home to Nigeria?  How far is this true?

Yes, the family wished to but as I know him as my father he would want to be buried there.  He wouldn’t like to be brought back.

What will you miss about your father?

He was more than a father.

Are you his first child?

Yes.  He treated we the girls the same way he treated the boys.  Whatever he gave the boys to do, he also gave the girls too.  He loved his children equally that he would do anything for our happiness.

How many are you (the children)?

We are eight.

How many boys, how many girls?

Two boys, six girls.

How old is the eldest and the youngest?

I am the eldest and the youngest is in secondary school.

Are you married?

Yes, two of us are married.


IMG_20151008_160922‘We’re planning a modest prayer for him’ – KEHINDE LAWAL, Nephew

Kehinde Lawal is a nephew to Hon. Adefolabi.  Based in Europe, he came to Nigeria for the Ileya festival.


When and how did you get to know about his death?

It was when we saw what happened in Mecca on September 24 and I called the wife.  I asked her, ‘Madam, have you spoken with your husband because I heard something happened in Mecca.’  She said she has not heard from him.  That hopefully she would hear from him soon.  She said she did not foresee any problem.  I kept calling her until two days later when she told me he was missing.  She said they told her that he was not among the dead.  She said they further told her that a person could be missing for two or three days in Mecca.  We were hoping on hope that he could still be found.  We were praying and hoping he was among the injured in one hospital or the other.  Then, on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, they told us that he was among the dead.

Did they find his dead body?

Yes, according to the tour operator, they went to the morgue and flipped through the monitor and saw him with his tag on.  That was how we got to know my uncle is dead.

What is the family planning to do now?

We just want to plan a modest prayer for him.  There wouldn’t be merriment.  It would be on Tuesday, October 13, 2015.

Where is the venue?

At the Ifako-Ijaiye Stadium (beside Ifako-Ijaiye General Hospital).  It is going to be organized by his immediate family, political family and religious family Ansar-ur-deen.

How old was he?

62 plus.


‘I will miss his humility’ – OLANREWAJU  ABIMBOLA,  his Secretary to Local Govt.

How did you hear about his death?

He travelled with a private tour operator to the Holy land.  When we heard of the stampede, we tried to reach him.  He had this tradition of calling every morning to talk to his family and friends.  It was, therefore, surprising to many of us that he did not call us and when we tried to call him, his phone was off.  Naturally, we were concerned and we got in touch with the tour operators.  They declared him missing.  We reached out to the Hajj Commission too.  They also could not locate him.  So, everybody was now on the watch out for him.  A couple of days after, they now called us that the unexpected had happened.

What did they say was the cause of his death?

It was the stampede in Mecca.  He was unfortunate to be at the wrong place.  That was what happened.  He was a victim of the stampede.

Did they see his corpse?


They gave you the picture?

They gave us the evidence of his death.

What are your plans for his burial?

Naturally, as a Muslim if you die in the Holy land, they don’t bring the corpse back.  So, he was buried there.

What will you say you miss about him?

I will miss his humility.  If there is one quality we all wish to have in abundance, it’s humility.  He was a very humble man.  Despite his status and position, he was extremely humble and extremely generous.  He was an open book.  He had no secret.  If you meet Alheri today, you would be amazed.

What is the meaning of that?

That is what we called him.  If you call him Alheri, he would say, Eru o ba odo (No cause for fear).  If you meet him today, in five minutes practically you will know everything about him.  He was an open book.  I still find it difficult talking about him in past tense because we were pretty close.

For how long have you known him?

About 25 years now.


IMG_20151012_112620‘He was a generous man’ – NURENI ADEFOLABI,  Brother


How did you get to know about his death?

We heard there was crisis in Saudi Arabia and we called his phones.  All his phones were dead.  From then we kept on searching for him.  Later, we discovered that he was dead.  We have to take solace in God.

What evidence did they provide to show that he was actually dead?

They saw his corpse on the internet with his tag on him.

Did you personally see the picture yourself?

I didn’t, but some of my family members saw it and they confirmed it.  They sent it through the internet to some of my family members.

What is the family planning to do now?

The family in collaboration with his political and religious friends are planning for a befitting burial because he served the community very well.  He gave his best to the community and the community want to honour him. It is not how long that one lives that matters but how well.

What will you miss about your brother?

I will miss him a lot.  He has left a great vacuum that will be difficult to fill.  He was a generous man.  He was kind and loving.  He was a detribalized Nigerian. He mixed with different kinds of people.  It is a great loss to the family.  There is no doubt about that.


IMG_20151012_112627‘We will miss him’ – ALHAJI AHMED  OLANREWAJU ADEFOLABI,   younger brother

Who are you to late Adefolabi?

He was my blood brother and I have been staying with him since 1982.

How did you hear about his death?

We heard through the travel agency that took him to hajj, Zero Interest.  You are aware of the stampede in the Holy land.  It was since then we have been looking for him.  It was later the picture of his dead body was shown to us.  That was when we confirmed that he was dead.

Did you see the picture yourself?

Yes.  It was after I saw the picture that I was able to confirm that he was truly dead.

What are you going to miss about your brother?

We are going to miss him a lot.  He was a humble man.  He was an open man.  He did not have any secret.  He told everything about himself. He was a very simple man.

Were you born of the same mother?


Is it true that your mother is still alive?

Yes.  She is about 86 now.

Has she been informed?

She has been informed.  To God be the glory, she has been managing the crisis very well.  Before we were hiding it from her but it got to a stage that we could not hide it again.  In fact, she herself suspected what that something of such had happened.

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