For too many people, death may be the most remarkable aspect of their lives. These people did nothing good for anyone at anytime except themselves. They lived for the moment and to satisfy only their desires. Such people are dead even before Death comes. They took more from the world than they gave. Only in death do they serve the world by making room for others who hopefully are less selfish. Once such people are interred, they are quickly forgotten for they did nothing good to remember.
NOT SO WITH KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU. Though he has passed on, those who know still salute him. Those lives he touched, he touched by doing good. And those who did not know, wish they had.
Death does not bring his life to an abrupt close. His legacy shall endure because the things that he accomplished celebrate and honor the best of humanity. His service to mankind, to his society and its people, continue to live on.
This man was a man of honor. No one can say any differently. He knew what it was to be right and to do good. He knew the sacrifices that service to mankind entailed. He made the tough selfless choices to do right. He never took the easy way. Always with his eye on what is good and right, he walked the path of justice and public service.
I am not saying he was some unique superhuman. If he had been such, he would deserve no acknowledgment because he would have been destined to superlative feats. No, KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU was a human being, a mortal made of flesh and blood, a man of flaws and individual passions like the rest of us. Yet, he decided he would not be normal. He chose to listen to the better passions and voices within himself and not surrender to the vices and ills of undue ambition and selfish gain. He chose to devote himself to a cause much greater than himself. This makes him better than a superhuman. It makes him a hero who had the courage to overcome his own failings to be great when it was much easier and less costly to be otherwise.
He rose above self to create a better society. The story of his public service career reads like a book of civic virtue and high purpose. He walked the path we all would do well to follow and emulate.
ALHAJI KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU was passionate about Lagos State and her development. He was passionate about me and the quality of stewardship I rendered to the people of Lagos. He deployed his resources and professional arsenal to secure and protect these two passions. At no time did I benefit from his protective arm of love than during the days of the Struggle when Gen. Abacha ran amock. I became vulnerable. A target. He helped me and made the NADECO days bearable. He did all of this in an unobstruptive manner. All through the turbulent period he was a sea of calm and a constant pillar of support. He was my sounding board for policy decisions especially when I was governor. A tough customer no doubt as he never took NO for an answer, marshalling superior arguments to win his case. To his credit he was perceptive and obsessed with about my political success and the development of Lagos.
He never shied away from any challenges, but embraced both challenges and opportunities. He was a man who loved to serve others. He was the longest serving National President of the Anwar-ur-Islam and deployed enormous goodwill and understanding in forging harmonious inter-faith relationship. He was passionate about the Tinubu clan. He was a rock of support, encouragement and motivation.
Today, we remember a man who left behind a sustainable and enviable legacy. We celebrate a detribalized Nigerian. I dare say that had more of those players been like K.O., Nigeria would have been better off then and would be better off now. While we cannot recast the past we can shape the future. To shape a better future, we would do well to follow the example this man set before us.
For he shall be remembered as a man of truth and devotion to the greater good. We glean from his example the view of a better humanity. In remembering him, we are compelled to look beyond the short horizon of our immediate and personal desires to a finer place where our collective welfare and the hopes of the people are paramount, protected and secured against ambitious encroachment.
ALHAJI KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU’S life may have stopped but his example compels us to move forward to a Nigeria greater than the one that now is. The patriotism that drove men like K.O. to invest their lives in making Nigeria work almost seems quaint and misplaced in our present circumstance where a succession of myopic leaders who have failed to make Nigeria work for all but themselves.
What began as a dream in the days of K.O. has turned into night dust. What was envisioned as a nation is now a contraption, a choir of contradictions and recriminations.
This is not what KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU lived for and it is not the legacy he has bequeathed us. He represented the good that is possible in this country. We must do honor to his life by living as he lived. He would want us to strive toward unity, justice, democracy, prosperity and peace. We should do this not only because this is what he would want but because this is good. It is the only way to give life its better meaning.
I shall miss KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU, popularly called K.O. but also not miss him for his spirit is with me, encouraging me to forge ahead. He is one of my personal heroes. He is a hero because he represented what is good, decent and proper about this nation I love so much.
Let us use this sombre occasion to rededicate ourselves to building a new Nigeria. However, this will not happen by mouthing happy words- It can only happen by emulating the life of the man we honor and of the lives of others like him who in their places of vocation, their homes and wherever they found themselves lived according to a lofty purpose and sought a higher goal. Let us be like them and build a better Nigeria by being better Nigerians. Let us do the right and principled thing. Let us stand for the premise that this nation is better than it’s past and present. That this nation finds its true self in the future that we shall begin to create. Only in this way, do we honor the life and legacy of ALHAJI KAFARU OLUWOLE TINUBU.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.