President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has joined all Nigerians in mourning one of Nigeria’s most prominent political leaders, medical practitioner and democrat, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki who passed away in Lagos this morning.
President Jonathan in a statement extended his sincere commiserations to the elder statesman’s family and the people of his home state, Kwara to whose service and upliftment he selflessly devoted his long and very successful career in politics.
He urged them to be consoled by the knowledge that their departed father, leader and mentor lived a very successful and fulfilled life, rising to national prominence by dint of hard work, uncommon generosity, political sagacity, dedication and wholesome commitment to the service of his people and the entire nation.
President Jonathan believes that the late Dr. Saraki will be long remembered and eulogized as a consummate politician, an astute grassroots mobiliser, and a political colossus with awe-inspiring powers of political organisation.
The President said he has no doubts that this public-spirited politician will always occupy a place of honour in the hearts of his people, supporters, friends and associates across the nation. He believes that the ordinary people of Kwara in particular will always remember the “Oloye” with great affection because of the constant support they received from him.
The President further noted that Dr. Saraki’s brand of people-oriented politics and his success in building on his strong support base to contribute positively to Nigeria’s political development as a powerful voice in the nation’s dominant political parties, as the Senate Majority Leader in the Second Republic, and as the ultimate reference point in the politics of Kwara state for decades, have assured him of a place amongst Nigeria’s heroes of democracy.
President Jonathan urged Nigerians to emulate Dr Saraki’s patriotic commitment to national unity, politics without bitterness as well as his magnificent spirit of philanthropy, and prayed that God Almighty will grant his soul eternal rest.
Also today,President of the Senate , Senator David Mark lamented over the death of Second Republic Senate Leader Dr. Olusola Saraki describing him as a political giant and shinning star of the Nigerian politics.Reacting to the demise of the late political icon, Senator Mark said late Saraki was a political tactician and political engineer who navigated the political environment like a colossus.
A statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, special adviser, media, media &publicity to the President of the Senate said he noted the political sagacity of late Saraki who helped to midwife the modern day Nigerian politics.
He said:”Saraki was a political leader who stood to be counted when it mattered. He stood on the side of the people and worked assiduously for the liberation of the down trodden. He was a leader who lived and worked for others.
” We shall miss his fatherly counsel. We shall miss his candor. We shall miss his humility. We shall miss his robust political debate. He was one our brightest and focused political leader.
” Saraki has left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.The nation has lost one her best and fertile minds”.
As a parliamentarian, Senator Mark noted that Saraki distinguished himself and unarguably laid the solid foundation for today’s National Assembly.
Senator Mark added that Saraki left his positive footprint on the sand of time, adding that the only way to immortalize him is to uphold the virtues of hard work, honesty and dedication to the ideals of nationhood which he stood for.
He however asked Nigerians especially the political class to take solace in the fact that late Saraki lived an eventful and truly accomplished life worthy of emulation.
In the same vein,former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described the death of Dr. Olusola Saraki like the fall of a big star from the galaxy of Nigerian politics.
In a condolence message released by his media office in Abuja on Wednesday, the former Vice President said the late Olusola Saraki was not only tremendously influential but also uncommonly compassionate.
According to him, his uncommon compassion was the source of his political relevance and influence among his people.
The Turaki Adamawa acknowledged that despite occasional controversies that trailed his politics, few Nigerian politicians could rival Saraki’s compassion towards the ordinary people, adding that he touched so many lives while he lived.
On Saraki’s extensive and vast political career, Atiku recalled that the late Saraki popularly known as “Oloye” by admirers was a constant feature at every level of Nigeria’s democratic experiment, from the First, Second and Third Republics.
Atiku recalled with fond memories the role of the late Saraki in the formation of political parties – from Nigeria Peoples Party (NPN) Peoples Front (PF) and the defunct All Peoples Party (APP).
Atiku also recalled the role he and the late strong man of Kwara played in bringing Kwara State and its leading lights back into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003 after the state had initially strayed into the APP. The former Vice President said one of the greatest virtues of the late Ciroma of Ilorin was that he lived for the people and they loved him in return.
He advised other politicians to borrow a leaf from the compassionate virtues of the late Grand Patron of Kwara politics.
While condoling with the family of the deceased and wishing them the emotional strength to overcome this great loss, Atiku Abubakar advised the Government of Kwara State to immortalize this political icon.
Also Former Governor Gbenga Daniel of Ogun state has described late Saraki as a bridge builder.The death of Dr Olusola Saraki has robbed Nigeria of an astute politician and elder statesman who was consistent in seeking and working for a better deal for his people and the country. Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun State stated this while reacting to the death of Chief Olusola Saraki. Daniel said Saraki belonged to the second generation of Nigerian nationalists who worked to keep Nigeria as a united country and played active roles in steering Nigeria away from the brinks at very difficult times in our her history.
“Dr Olusola Saraki was indeed a titan in his own right. He was a bridge builder who was always available to contribute his own quota especially at very difficult moments in the history of the country. The death of Dr Saraki is a big loss not only to Kwara State but the whole country. With the death of Dr Saraki Nigeria has lost a bridge builder and firm believer in politics without bitterness. .Dr Saraki would also be remembered for his close affinity to the grassroots and bond with his people. I commiserate with the people and government of Kwara State especially Dr Bukola Saraki, the scion of the family, and his siblings. They should take solace in
the worthy legacy that their patriarch left behind,” Otunba Daniel said in the statement.
Otunba Daniel also prayed for the repose of the soul of the elder statesman and for God to give his family members, associates and friends the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Olusola Saraki ,Strongman of Kwara Politics is Dead