Cover Stories, Interviews

‘Governor Fashola should identify with me on my father’s burial’-Fasholamania boss, Kayode Salako

ON Tuesday, August 12, 2014, Engineer Olatunde Israel Salako, father of Fasholamania boss, Kayode Salako passed on.  And the burial has been slated for Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29, 2014, at his hometown, Igbajo, Osun State.

ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the co-ordinator of Change Agent of Nigeria Network (CANN) on the burial plan, what he would miss most about his late father and much more when we cornered him at an event in Ikeja, Lagos on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

How do you feel about the death of your father, Engr. Olatunde Israel Salako, whose sad event occurred on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, few months after his 70th birthday?

I feel very empty because I am an orphan now.  I lost my mother about 30 years ago.  And since, my dad has been the only one there for us.  He tried to make sure we are where we are today.  To the glory of God, some of us who are his children are notable people today.  We’re all okay.  So, losing my dad this time around makes me feel very empty.  I feel I have lost a lover.  A man who loved me sincerely and unconditionally.  A man who spent all his life praying for me.  So, since his death, I have been feeling alone.  If not my wife, Foluke Daramola who has been around me, consoling me, doing everything to make sure I feel good, I would have felt much more devastated.  I feel I have lost one of the best things that has happened in my life.

...with wife, Foluke

…with wife, Foluke

What would you miss most about him?

One of the things I will miss most about him is his constant prayer.  In fact, I am missing that already.  My father would always pray for me.  No matter the circumstance, he would always encourage me with his prayer.  Another thing I will miss forever is his fatherly advice.  My dad would always warn me not to get anything from the devil because the devil won’t give anything out without conditions, and those conditions maybe regrettable later.  If they don’t take one’s life, they may ruin you forever.  So, I have always held on to that. And I have never collected anything from the devil.  My dad was a very peaceful man.  He was a very responsible and polite person.  His attitude was that of a man who cherished where he would be going after leaving this sinful earth other than what he would be in this life.  So, his attitude, his nature and every other attributes of a good father would forever remain my guide.  I remember, my father would always read his newspapers and Bible.  My father once told me he had read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation eight times.  My father was my friend.  He would always do anything for me. He would always forgive me no matter what I did because he so much loved and respected me.

What are the preparations you’re putting in place for his burial on November 28 and 29, 2014?

All hands are on deck now to ensure my father is given a befitting burial.  My father had siblings. He had both the younger and older ones, but he was the first to go out of five of them.  There are four siblings left behind now, and not all of them are here in Nigeria. They are based mostly in the UK and the US.  And they are the ones who said we must do everything to give him a befitting burial.  Therefore, we must keep his body in the morgue for that period so that everybody in the family could be prepared fully for the burial.  That’s the reason we have to delay the burial.  It wasn’t about financial reason that perhaps some people may be speculating.  It was to allow every member of the family, home and abroad to adequately prepare so that they would actively participate in the burial. We have fixed the burial for Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29, 2014.  The event is taking place in our hometown, Igbajo, Osun State.

Some people are saying you have budgeted millions of naira for the burial, how true is it?

I don’t like placing monetary value in whatever I do.  And that’s the way I and Foluke Daramola have been living since we married each other.  Whatever I have budgeted is all about giving him a befitting burial.  A kind of burial a man who left 11 children deserves.  So, we’re not placing monetary value on it.  And no matter how much I spend, my father deserves more than that.  By November 28 and 29, my father’s 70 years on this earth will be celebrated through a befitting burial.

We learnt you have written letters of support to a couple of governors. How true is it?

No, I have not done anything like that. But if any governor is willing to give me any assistance, I will appreciate it.  The only governor that I feel should identify with me in this period of mourning my father is Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, who I have spent my entire life since 2007, celebrating and promising his ideals of good governance, identifying with his style of leadership and politics.  I spent a lot of money to propagate the gospel of a lot of good works he has been doing since he became the governor of Lagos State. So, he is the only person I am expecting to identify with me concerning the burial of my father.

Has he been officially informed and invited?

No, that has not been done. But I should think the governor might have heard about it because almost everybody in Lagos State is aware of my father’s death and I believe the government of Lagos State would have heard about it. But if there is any need for me to write any letter, I think I will do that before November 28.

Kayode-Salako-001How is the burial going to be in terms of the calibre of the expected guests, entertainment and all that?

Preparations are already in top gear to ensure the success of the burial.  We have invited quality guests and well wishers who are ready to identify with us because what we want to do is celebration of life.  And my father will surely be given a standard and befitting burial that day.  All we have put in place, I am sure will be enough for the people to score us high.  All our guests all over the world will enjoy themselves.  We won’t make any room for any complaint whatsoever.

Who are the people you’re expecting?

I am expecting my godfather, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, chairman of Sifax Group of Companies, Demola Sabi, a.k.a Akile and a lot of people from all walks of life including politics, high society, entertainment, especially all the movie stars to come and support my wife and myself that day.  So, I am expecting a lot of people, both quality and non-quality.  All the people we have invited are those that deserve to grace the occasion.

How supportive is your wife, Foluke Daramola?

Honestly, you have asked me a very good question.  Since my father died, I want to tell you that Foluke visits the morgue to see my father’s corpse almost every week. She will be there praying around his corpse.  It’s as if it’s Foluke’s biological father that died because when my father was alive, he had a very good relationship with her.  She was just like a pet in my father’s hands.  I believe Foluke is also missing him so much.  Foluke has been very supportive, she travels to Igbajo with me anytime I go there in the cause of the preparations for the burial.  She is in fact, more than a wife to me, she is everything.

-TADE ASIFAT

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