A Sad Farewell To A Great Man – Alhaji Umar Ayinla Saro, OFR; CON

Alhaji Saro was no doubt an astute businessman. However, beyond that he was a
great man whose kindness, humility and generosity overshadowed and even
surpassed his business acumen.

He achieved success early and way back in the 1980’s he was the second-largest
importer of sugar into Nigeria. When the terrain became too hostile, he diversified
into property development where his achievements were superlative.

At every opportunity, he would remind me that when he was only a little lad, it was
his mother who took him to one of the most successful businessmen of the time, the
late Alhaji Ajao for prayers so that he too would become rich. The evidence is there
for all to see as confirmation that the prayers worked and his mother lived long
enough to witness the phenomenal success of her beloved son.

Alhaji was a silent but profoundly generous philanthropist. Although he was a very
devout Muslim, he held closely to his Christian friends and associates. He and I
enjoyed a private joke – namely, before the telecommunication giants emerged on
the scene, the Almighty himself had his own unique way of sending credit alert to the
faithful. Hence, whenever we met, the first question he would ask was:
“JK, have you received your alert” and he would immediately burst into laughter.

May the Almighty welcome him to his bosom and shower his abundant blessings on
the entire family along with the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
– Bashorun J.K. Randle

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