I’ve been vis­it­ing Ile Arugbo for over 40 years –racheal, oc­to­ge­nar­ian

The Punch - - INTERVIEW -

What is your name?

I’m racheal ade­bayo; I’m a Chris­tian woman from Iyin Ek­iti in Ek­iti State. I’m over 80 years old.

How long have you been com­ing to Ile Arugbo?

I have been sup­port­ing the Sarakis in pol­i­tics for more than four decades and been vis­it­ing Ile arugbo for that long. We stood with him af­ter the mil­i­tary coup when sol­diers took over, and when po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties re­turned, we re­mained with him. We meet in his house any time but usu­ally it is al­ways on a weekly ba­sis – Fri­days.

What have you ben­e­fited from the place?

Dr Olu­sola Saraki used to give us lots of things, rang­ing from money to food items, clothes and even slots for pil­grim­age to Jerusalem and Mecca. For ex­am­ple, I went to Jerusalem for pil­grim­age through the slot I got from Ile arugbo. Se­na­tor Bukola Saraki has been treat­ing us the way his fa­ther did; he didn’t al­low us to suf­fer. The his­tory of Ilorin can never for­get Baba Saraki be­cause to his con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of the city and Kwara State as a whole.

How did you re­ceive the news of the de­mo­li­tion of Ile Arugbo?

I felt very sad and the same goes for those of us in the po­lit­i­cal fam­ily of Dr Saraki be­cause we didn’t ex­pect that such a thing could hap­pen in this state. It is sad. Ilorin is a town of peace and we ap­peal to the gov­er­nor to please leave Bukola alone to en­able him con­tinue to take care of us.

My chil­dren know that we ben­e­fit from Ile arugbo with­out be­ing en­slaved.

It is a place where we dis­cuss freely.

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