Top fuji musician, Alhaji Kolawole Rasaq Ilori a.k.a. General Kollington Ayinla, spoke about the relationship between him and the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister before his death, why he is supporting Fashola’s second term bid and other issues
General, what has been happening to you?
Good things. I have been working.
Why haven’t you released an album in honour of your friend, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister?
I don’t want to join the bandwagon because his death really affected me. You know, it is not a thing of joy to lose one’s friend. I was so devastated by his death but that notwithstanding, I am about going into the studio to record an album in his honour.
How did you receive the news of his death?
I read it in the newspapers. Initially, I did not believe it because I thought it was one of those rumours, but when the news kept on coming till the second day, I was no longer myself until I saw his corpse.
When you saw the corpse, what did you do?
Although I had been crying after I was informed officially that Sikiru had passed on, when I saw the corpse, I was dumbfounded and could no longer cry. Instead, I was shaking and asked myself, “is this Sikiru?”
Did you really see the corpse?
Yes I did.
People were saying that the corpse that was buried was not Barrister, is this true?
No, it is a lie. The corpse that was buried was Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. In fact, he was buried by respected Islamic clerics not cult members or traditionalists. I am a living witness to that.
But he was buried inside the sitting room?
Yes, when the coffin was taken inside, it was opened for the children, wives and those of us that were present to see. Rasaq, his first son, called on me to come and pay my last respects to my friend and when I saw him, it was pathetic.
What lesson did his death teach you?
There is no lesson to be learnt in somebody’s death because we will all die one day.
What of the animosity between you and him before he died?
I thank God that we did not start quarrelling and end same way. I thank God that things went fine between us before he died. At least, you guys did see us at events together. I thank God.
What is the title of the album in the making?
It is yet to be given a title but I can assure you that I will be in the studio this week and the album will be released during the Easter period.
Is it a full album or a single?
It will be a full album.
Why haven’t you released an album for so long?
As you can see, the music industry is in comatose state. Pirates have taken over everything. So, it is not a good investment releasing albums, but now things are getting better.
What about the VCD being released by younger artistes?
Well, it has caused more harm to the industry than good. It has destroyed the music industry. You know that too much of everything is bad. I enjoin the younger ones to stop it.
Now that Barrister is gone, how do you intend to manage the disharmony in fuji music circle?
It is only God that can assist us. In fact, Barrister tried but it is only God that can help us. Although I have used the opportunity of Barrister’s death and burial to plead with them to stop the crisis and thank God, there is little or no quarrel among them presently.
Have you really made money from the sale of your albums?
Yes I have, that was then but with the release of VCDs, the sales have dropped drastically. In fact, the young ones are not making money.
Apart from the new album, what other plans do you have?
For now, my plan is to honour my friend. Other things will be communicated to the public later.
What informed your campaign for Fashola?
I am doing that because he (Fashola) has done well and as such, deserves a second term ticket. So, I had to campaign for him. You know that I hate politics but when it comes to performance, I will support a performer and he has performed well. I did not receive a kobo from him, I did it for him free of charge, having met him at Wasiu Ayinde’s house and during the funeral of Barrister. He also assisted me when I was seriously ill.
But you campaigned for Governor Lawal in Kwara State in those days?
Yes, I have been a progressive all my life, from the time of Chief Obafemi Awolowo up till now. I am still doing it, although not as a professional politician. I am a progressive and will continue to be one. I love Fashola so I will continue to support him.
But do you believe in the saying that politics is a dirty game?
Yes, I do.
If, for instance, you were attacked, what would you have done?
They could not. I know Fashola will come back for a second term.
If other political parties approach you to work for them like you did for Fashola, will you oblige them?
No, I am not for sale. I will only support Fashola to the end.