Opinion

Sunset at noon for a life dedicated to the service of humanity

A tribute to Tunde Ashaolu – the late Kwara State PDP Publicity Secretary
By Sir Bisi Fakayode
I first met Tunde Ashaolu some 27 years ago (around 1995). He was then in the neighbourhood of 21 years old. He was very close to Anu Ibiwoye, and they remained close until his death. The two of them used to call me “Leader”. Tunde was easy going and intelligent. He didn’t like anything akin to crisis. We had, since, been relating well, together.
When the State Congress of our great party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – was to hold in September 2021, Tunde was among the people that were strongly lobbying for me to be elected into the position I currently hold – Kwara South Senatorial Chairman.
On Thursday, 24th February 2022, less than 72 hours to his death, Tunde called me to discuss an issue over which we did not share the same view. After mutual exchange of views, Tunde eventually agreed with me.
Before we terminated the telephone conversation, Tunde requested that I arrange a meeting of four persons (including himself and myself) to discuss an issue. I obliged.
We were to fix a date soon.
I also seized the opportunity of the long conversation to inform him of my predicament, then, namely: payment of rent was due on our Senatorial office building at Ajasse-Ipo. We were to pay N480,000.00 for two years, but I didn’t want to request for fund from any Aspirant.
Tunde said that he was going to take the matter up. How? He did not tell me.
Surprisingly, within 20 minutes of our discussion, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim sent N500,000.00 into our bank account for the settlement of the rent due. Tunde obviously facilitated the payment.
While we were yet to fix a date for the meeting of the four persons, he suggested; Tunde called me again on Saturday (26/2/2022) shortly before he went in for the 50th Birthday Party organized by the Leader, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for Akin Fatigun. After exchange of pleasantries, Tunde said that he wanted to share his thought with me on the way forward for our Party in Kwara South. He said that we were mature in Kwara South, as such, we should be able to manage our affairs without crisis. He said, that the
Unity of our Party in Kwara South must not be compromised. He advocated consensus in picking all Kwara South candidates for elections, from Councillors to Senator. He added that we must resolve all issues without rancour. He said that the Leader would be happy with us if we could achieve this feat of consensus arrangement. Our conversation ended abruptly, as he said that the Leader was already entering the venue of the Birthday Party.
I called him on Sunday to conclude the discussion. Our conversation took place on Saturday (26/2/22) and Sunday (27/2/22). Few hours after the Sunday conversation, Tunde was no more. What a way to bid farewell!
From my knowledge of Tunde and, even, from what transpired between himself and myself within his last four days on earth; I can confidently say that Tunde was a tireless and selfless creature, who dedicated his life to the service of mankind.
I strongly suspect that what Tunde told me on Saturday was what he planned to say at the proposed meeting of four. The remaining three will certainly meet and harmonize Tunde’s view with ours. These three shall be the nucleus of a larger house which will ensure that Tunde’s vision for Kwara South PDP is not jettisoned.
I commiserate with the aged father of Tunde, his wife, children and indeed the entire Ashaolu family and Odo-Owa Community, on this great loss of their illustrious son, husband and dad.
I also condole with our Leader, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and the entire PDP family, in Kwara State and Kwara South in particular, on this monumental loss of an intelligent, easygoing, hardworking, trustworthy, active, loyal and dedicated Compatriot.
Adieu Tunde Ashaolu! Only God knows why your “Sun” set at “Noon”.
May God grant you eternal rest.

 

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