Friends, Kwarans, Countrymen! Lend me your ears. I have come to bury Ile Arugbo, not to praise it. The evil that men do, lives after them. The good is oft-interred with their bones. So let it be with Ile Arugbo. [Paraphrasing Mark Antony’s speech in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar]
Administrations come and go. Political parties come and go. Politicians come and go. But the deeds of man is etched in everlasting memories. You will only be remembered for what you do.
Today we continue to remember Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki (Oloye) for his great contribution to Nigeria’s national life. We remember him for always standing against injustice. But above all, we remember him for his unmatchable philanthropy. There are very many great attributes and deeds of the late great Oloye which cannot be recanted in a single article. Indeed, if you were to commit them to writing, it would span volumes of encyclopaedic proportions.
However, it was his philanthropy to Kwarans that stood out the most. The free medical treatment for the poor through his clinic. The setting up of a bakery to give out daily bread to the multitudes of indigents. The provision of free potable water delivered to areas of acute water shortage. The financial assistance for educational and religious purposes.The endless provision of food to the elderly and weak. The ceaseless provision of welfare money to thousands of people living below the poverty line. Ile Arugbo symbolises all these laudable qualities.
It is easy to destroy, but hard to build. Those who are preoccupied with destruction are those who have little ability for construction.
The demolition of Ile Arugbo cannot, and does not, translate to the demolition of what Oloye stood for. You can destroy the building but you cannot destroy what the building stood for. Just like Oloye, Ile Arugbo lives on in hundreds of thousands of minds.