Celebrating Oloye Abubakar Olubukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) @50

Published:19 Dec, 2012

Celebrating Oloye Abubakar Olubukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) @50 – Compiled by Wale Bakare


The Man, Bukola Saraki

Oloye Bukola Saraki was born on  the 19th December 1962 to the family  of Late Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, the Turaki of Ilorin.  In recognition of his obvious talents, particularly in the area of budgeting and finance management, the Federal Government appointed him as Special Assistant to the President on Budget in the year 2000. He worked closely with the Ministry of Finance and actively involved in all negotiations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on behalf Nigeria.

In 2003, he was elected the eighteenth Governor of Kwara State, holding  office from 29 May 2003 to 29 May 2011. He is an influential member of the People’s Democratic Party, and the party leader in Kwara State. After the demise of the Senior Saraki, he was bestowed the new “Oloye” by his followers and consented to by His Royal Highness Alhajii Ibrahim Zulu-Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin.

 

Background 

Bukola Saraki  attended Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos, from 1966 to 1977 for his primary school education and King’s college, Lagos, from 1973 to 1978 for  his West African Senior  Secondary School Certificate. Saraki went to the United Kingdom in 1982, he attended London Hospital  Medical College, University of London where he obtained his M.M.B.S (London) in 1982. Between 1988 to 1989 Saraki worked as a medical officer at Rush Green Hospital in London and came home to serve as the Director and later Executive Director of Societe General Bank from 1989 to 2000. He also attended various courses both at home and abroad, including ’Advanced Credit Analysis’ at D.C. Gardner, London (1992) ; Executive Management Program at American Express, London (1993) and Nigeria in the Global Situation at the Lagos Business School in 1998.

 

Early Political Career

The Saraki’s have been actively involved in politics for decades. Headed by the late Waziri and Generalissimo of Kwara politics Dr Olusola Saraki fondly referred to as Oloye. Under Oloye’s tutor, Dr. Bukola Saraki contested and won the gubernatorial election of April 19, 2003 in the State under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He ran again in 2007, and won. He pulled 78,799 votes ahead of his closest rival the Action Congress who pulled 53,058 and ACPN with 32,499. He became the first Governor to govern the state for two terms consecutively. Following in the line of his father as a former Senator of the Republic, he was elected to the Senate in 2011 representing Kwara Central, a position he holds  till date.

 

Towering Achievements as Kwara Governor

When Bukola Saraki assumed office in May 2003, the mood of the nation was high, the subsequent expectations of the new government were even higher. Those who had voted for him looked to the new government to right the wrongs of the past and to heal the wounds and scars left on their psyche by the past injustices. The young and dynamic Bukola Saraki having identified the brazen challenges ahead made a promise to the people of Kwara to focus on Nine projects namely – The State Travel Plaza, the Aviation College, the Asa Dam development project, the new secretariats, the Commercial Agricultural Project phase II, Kwara State University, the Ilorin Water Distribution project, irrigations support, the building of new medical centres and various mixed developments. Most of these projects are visible in Kwara State, while the uncompleted once as a result of the 2009 global recession which hit Nigeria and subsequently affected the promised private sector support are taking upon by his  successor. Notwithstanding the daunting challenges. Kwara is an agrarian State, his administration made agriculture the hub of the State which prompted several awards and recognition from the Federal Government as the most Agriculturally developed State. This follows the eradication of polio,  massive investments in health and education sector amongst others.

 

A true Democrat

Bukola Saraki believes in politics practiced along with the best international standards. After the successful completion of his tenure, he demonstrated his  penchant for democracy and the rule of law by supporting a candidate who emerged from the party primaries besides imposing a candidate against the people’s wish. This gesture was acknowledged by all and sundry as most Kwarans  turned out en mass to vote the candidate of their choice to continue in the  era of a peaceful transition.

 

Oloye Saraki & Barrister Oluwatoyin Saraki

Behind of every great man, they say, is a greater woman. Mrs Oluwatoyin Saraki’s unflinching support of her husband during and after his tenure as the governor has birthed many  philanthropic gestures. She ensured the passage of the Kwara State Safe Maternity Service Act. Her love for children and downtrodden is unequalled – with the Alaafia Kwara, catering for the specific needs of the Kwara people and the WellBeing Foundation (WBF) a national organisation that has become one of the strongest voices on the national and international stage in advocating and providing support for  improved maternal, newborn and child health.

 

His philanthropy and Love for Sports

Before he became the governor of Kwara Sate he has been involved in a number of charities, donating to non-governmental organisation and sponsoring the indigent students to achieve quality education. He has used his position to affect positively the lives of those around him and his immediate environment. He will be strongly appreciated for his role in stemming the oil spillage in the Niger-Delta and his timely visit and donation to the flood victims.

Bukola Saraki has demonstrated his strong affection sport most especially the round leather game, his administration’s greatest investments in young people remain the Kwara Football Academy. The academy has produced young budding talents, it boasts of potentials that has been  imported to other European clubs. He also reiterated the dearth  of sport infrastructure in the game, citing corruption as a major obstacle to the development of the game. He spoke in Lagos at the Teslim Balogun Stadium during the finals of the2012 Shell/NNPC Cup “We need to clean up Nigerian football because it is corrupt and stinks,” Saraki, who owns the only privately run club in the Nigeria Premier League, ABS FC, said.“The NPL (board) should go and sort itself out. We can’t change the system from outside; we must do that from the inside. I am now a stakeholder and I am happy that I can contribute my quota to the development of football in Nigeria.

 

Achievements & Membership

A firm believer in the immense progressive possibilities of Nigeria and has continued to work with Nigerian democrats from all walks of life towards achieving his goals.The brilliance he showed as a governor endeared him to be elected as the Chairman of Governors forum,  during his stint at the helms of affair he took up a number of initiatives notably the joint partnership with the United State on capacity building. He instilled discipline in the board and gave every member a sense of belonging. Dr Saraki’s  tenure also pushed for the establishment of a Relief Fund for the crisis in Jos in January 2010, which saw all the members of the forum pledge N5 Million each to alleviate the hardship and suffering.   He is a member of many professional bodies such as the Nigeria Medical Council, the British Medical council, World Young Presidents Organisation, Board of Trustees, John Kennedy Performing Arts Centre, Washington, and FITC Governing Council.

 

Awards & Honours

Bukola Saraki’s achievements over the years have been noticed and acknowledged both locally and internationally by private and public agencies and institutions. Some his awards include: ‘Governor  of the Year’ by This Day Newspapers (2004), ‘Best Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development 2004/2005 by City People, KSNG; Leadership Award in appreciation of commitments and outstanding leadership qualities (2005). Harvard Business School Africa Club Award 2005; Kenneth Kaunda Foundation Best Governor in Africa 2006; Osun State Broadcasting Corporation Man of  the Year and a host of other awards too numerous to mention.

 

The Golden Cheers

“Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age”

As he demonstrated uncommon political sagacity, wisdom and selflessness by identifying and firmly supporting the emergence of a competent successor capable of carrying aloft the banner of continuity, progress and transformation in the State of harmony, the widely acknowledged servant leader,  Abubakar Olubukola Saraki, deserves some respect even from his enemies. He remains the conscience of Kwarans and indeed Nigerias.

Bukola Saraki is 50, therefore it is time to celebrate a leader on the account his many political accomplishments. No amount of celebration or merry making will be too much to honour one of Nigerias’ finest senator. We wish you success and many more years on earth years as you forge ahead towards the reclamation of our dear country.

The Birthday celebration had begun since Friday with the special Jumat prayer in Ilorin to launch the newly built  Ilorin Central  Mosque and Kwara State Diagnostic Centre.

 

– Compiled by Wale Bakare

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Manchester United’s Mourinho needs to play attacking football – Eto’o

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho needs to keep playing attacking football, his former Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o has said. Eto’o played under Mourinho at Inter when the club won the Treble in 2010 and also worked with him at Chelsea in 2013-14. Success in Italy was built on a solid defence — something Mourinho has become strongly associated with — but this week he praised the “beautiful, attacking football” he feels United are playing. Eto’o told Telefoot: “Jose has changed a...

Yemi Alade, Falz, Tekno make Future Awards nominee list. [See Full List]

Ahead of the 11th edition of The Future Awards Africa, which holds on December 18 in Lagos, the organisers have unveiled the 2016 nominees. The nominee list was contained in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES. Top Nigerian music artistes, Yemi Alade(27), Falz(26), Teckno(22), Kiss Danielz(23) and Mr. Eazi(25) will compete...

Ignore dubious adverts, no sale of JAMB forms yet – Official

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has urged the public to disregard the speculations that it had commenced the sales of its application documents for 2017 UTME by some group of persons. The board’s head of media and information, Fabian Benjamin, debunked the speculations in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Sunday in Lagos. According to the statement, the registrar of the examination body, Ishaq Oloyede, has expressed disappointment with the development and called...

Obasanjo’s Challenge Of Buhari By Sonala Olumhense

As one who firmly believes that one Olusegun Obasanjo squandered the finest opportunity of any Nigerian leader since independence, I have often criticized him. Between 1999 and 2007, he could have transformed Nigeria into Africa’s most developed, most productive and most functional economy.  The records show that he compounded the situation, and then handed over to his handpicked successors who made matters considerably worse. That led, inevitably, to the arrival of one Muhammadu Buhari, who had sworn for years Nigeria...

Revealed: 40 Reps, 5 Senators Parade O’ Level certificates

A peek into the qualification details of the members of the National Assembly by Daily Trust on Sunday reveals that a staggering number of the parliamentarians got elected with Ordinary Level certificates during the 2015 general elections, a development that leaves doubts on the capacity and quality of legislation in the 8th National Assembly. A total of 45 federal lawmakers who got elected into the Nigerian parliament during the 2015 general elections to represent their various constituencies across the...

Atiku, Tinubu, Makarfi Converge Over Formation Of New Mega-Party

Barring any last-minute change of plans, the proposed mega opposition party in the country will be formed before the end of March, 2017, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt. It was gathered that the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party and aggrieved chieftains of the All Progressives Congress had intensified efforts aimed at forming the party since the result of the Ondo State election was released. Findings showed that besides the plan to form a new mega party, those involved in the...

Money Laundering: Ex-Lagos Speaker, Aide File Appeal At Supreme Court

A former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Ikuforiji Sabit Adeyemi, and his personal assistant, Olabode Alade Atoyebi, have filed an appeal at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, challenging a Court of Appeal judgment that recently ordered their re-trial on money laundering charges. In their separate notices of appeal, the duo’s lawyer, Barrister Abiodun Onidare, is urging the Supreme Court to set aside the whole ruling of the Appeal Court. In their filings, the former Speaker and...

OGFZA extends regulatory control to more oil & gas FZs

The Oil & Gas Free Zones Authority – OGFZA has begun the process of implementing the provisions of its enabling law and Federal Government directives ceding regulatory control of all Oil and Gas Free Zones in the country to OGFZA. In a letter dated 17 November 2016 to the managing director of Lagos Deep Offshore & Logistics Services Limited (LADOL) and the managing director of Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ), the chief executive officer of OGFZA, Mr Umana...

Police arrest two for allegedly hiding money abandoned by fleeing robbers

The Lagos State Police Command have arrested two men for allegedly stuffing N1.5 million abandoned by fleeing armed robbers into their private parts. Adegoke Adewale and Ganiyu Idowu were caught on Thursday evening by the operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, the police said in a statement on Sunday. The police said they were in hot pursuit of three armed robbers who had allegedly snatched N3 million from a yet to be identified bank customer in Oshodi. The suspects, whom the police...

Nigeria turns to Pakistan, China for war planes, helicopters, others

Concerned about global politics surrounding procurement of sophisticated arms from western countries, Nigerian Air Force is expecting arrival of war-planes and helicopters from Pakistan and Russia to boost its fleets. The Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, made the disclosure at a breakfast briefing with editors of online media in Abuja at the weekend. Mr. Abubakar said: “I want to say that we have been enjoying support from other countries. (Sometimes arm procurement) is shrouded in a lot of politics. Unfortunately,...

Super Falcons stars celebrate 8th African title

The Super Falcons players have continued in their celebrations after they won a record eighth African title in Cameroon on Saturday. The AWCON 2016 top scorer, Asisat Oshoala, Francesca Ordega as well as Courtney Dike have all expressed their delight following the lone goal victory against the Indomitable Lionesses on Saturday in Yaounde. Desire Oparanozie’s solitary strike in the 84th minute was enough to help the Falcons to their eighth African title. Oshoala who won the Golden Boot award having scored six...

SERAP wants Nigeria’s Attorney General, Accountant General jailed

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has commenced committal to prison hearings against the Federal Government; Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; and Ahmed Idris, Accountant-General of the Federation “for having neglected to obey the order of the court made on Friday the 26th of February, 2016, requiring them to provide SERAP with up to date information on the spending of recovered stolen funds since the return of democracy in 1999.” The information ordered to...

APC wins Lagos by-election

Nurudeen Akinwunmi, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Saturday defeated his opponents to emerge winner of the Ifako-Ijaiye Federal Constituency bye-election in Lagos. The returning officer of the election, Clement Aghatise, made the declaration at the INEC office in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, minutes before midnight. Declaring the winner, Mr. Aghatise said that Mr. Akinwunmi polled 7640 votes to defeat his closest rival, Babatope Akinyele, candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who polled 1771 votes at the poll. According to him,...

CBN denies allocating dollars

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has denied reports from some quarters that it allocates dollars unilaterally. A statement by Isaac Okoroafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communications on Saturday in Abuja, decried the way some Nigerians chose to disparage those in leadership at this time in total insensitivity to the larger interests of the Nation’s economy. He added that the CBN had set up an inter-bank foreign exchange market where anyone who wishes to buy foreign exchange could bid for and buy...

About 500 Nigerians die of HIV/AIDs daily – NACA

At least 500 Nigerians die of HIV/AIDs daily, with an average new infection of 600 people every day, says Sani Aliyu, Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDs, NACA. Mr. Aliyu gave the figure during an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, about HIV/AIDs, aired on Saturday night. He said although the country has achieved great heights with the support of government and the international community, a lot of help is still needed from private individuals to address...

NEMA takes food to Nigerian refugees in Cameroon

The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said on Sunday that it has conveyed a total of 1,460 bags of assorted food items to the 80,709 Nigerian refugees that were forced by Boko Haram into Cameroon. NEMA had said that at least a documented 240,000 Nigerian refugees had fled into Cameroon, Chad and Niger in the wake of Boko Haram insurgents’ rampage and seizure of communities. The relief agency had last week said in a report that it has recorded the return...

Borno records 512 new HIV cases in IDP camps

The Executive Secretary, Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, BOSACA, Barkindo Saidu, says 512 new cases of HIV infections have been recorded in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps in the state. He spoke on Sunday in Maiduguri while briefing journalists. Mr. Saidu said that the cases were recorded after voluntary screening in some IDP camps in the state. He pointed out that two out of the 512 persons were children. “We are currently conducting voluntary screening on HIV/AIDS in IDPs’ camps across...

Gowon, Obasanjo, Shonekan, Osinbajo grace Villa Chapel thanksgiving

The Aso Villa Chapel on Sunday organised its annual end of the year thanksgiving with former Heads of State, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ernest Shonekan in attendance. The service which took place in the chapel was also attended by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, former Chiefs of General Staff, Ebitu Ukiwe and Oladipo Diya, and host Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Vice President Osinbajo said the service was an exciting time to thank God for all he had done for the...

Nigerians in U.S. celebrate Trump’s appointment of Bayo Ogunlesi

The Nigerian community in U.S. has lauded the appointment of Bayo Ogunlesi by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump into his Economic Advisory Team, saying it could signal a positive trend for Africa. The Nigerians told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in New York, that Mr. Ogunlesi has been an excellent ambassador for Africa and Nigeria in particular. Michael Adeniyi, former President of a Nigerian U.S.-based group, the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians Inc., told NAN that “Bayo Ogunlesi...

Buhari to attend security forum in Senegal

President Muhammadu Buhari will attend the Third Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa in Dakar, Senegal, from December 5 to 6.   The Forum, convened by President Macky Sall of Senegal with support from the African Union to discuss security-related challenges on the continent, will be attended by African leaders and representatives of regional and international organisations.   President Buhari is scheduled to participate in the Panel of Heads of State on Tuesday, December 6.   The President, who has identified improved...

Two Nigerians Create Epic Fight Game Based On African Mythology

There has never really been a space for African mythology in fantasy realms, and that’s why projects like these – ones that tap into Africa’s rich culture – are always welcome.   Creative artist, Akdogan Ali, and programmer, Umusu Samson Iruo, decided to embark on a journey in creating a video game that will showcase Africa to the world: Throne of gods.   (Photo: Throne...