Saraki’s Death: Govs, Ekweremadu, Ihedioha, Others Commiserate with Kwara, Family

15 Nov 2012

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Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki

Our Correspondents
The demise of Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, Wednesday triggered a flood of tributes from state governors, National Assembly members, and First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, amongst others.

Aregbesola: Demise Unfortunate
Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has described the death of Saraki as unfortunate and sad. In a statement by the Director of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said the death of Saraki is a big loss to the nation.
The governor said Saraki’s experience, knowledge, versatility and ingenuity in the art and dynamics of lawmaking and politics in general would be missed greatly. The statement added that the history of Kwara State as well as Nigeria politics would be incomplete without a chapter devoted to the contribution of Oloye.

Mimiko: Death, a Great Loss
Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko Wednesday expressed shock over the death of Saraki, saying the exit of the political gadfly is a great loss to the generation of political icons and nationalists in the country.
Mimiko, in a statement in Akure, said Saraki would be greatly missed for the roles he played in the nation’s political history especially his pre-eminence in Kwara State politics where he was the numero uno. Besides, Mimiko said the deceased elder statesman would be fondly remembered for the stabilising role he played while he was the senate leader of the Second Republic.

Fayemi: He Was a Colossus
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has described Saraki’s death as “the end of an era of one of Nigeria’s political legends”. The governor, who stated this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said Saraki bestrode the political terrain of Kwara State and the North-central like a colossus during his lifetime.
Fayemi lamented that Saraki’s death came at a time when the polity was yet to recover from the shock of the demise of former Oyo State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, who died last Sunday.

Ajimobi: A Colossal Loss to Nigeria
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has described the passing away of Saraki as a colossal loss, not only to the people of Kwara but also to the entire country. The governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said that the news of the death of the `Strongman of Kwara Politics’ came to him as a rude shock, describing it as very unfortunate.

“Dr. Saraki was a shining example of humility and philanthropy, as he shared virtually everything he had with the needy, irrespective of where they came from. Even though he never held any political office since 1983 when he left the Senate, he had endeared himself to the hearts of the Kwarans, thus becoming a rallying point in the politics of the state. Dr. Saraki left an indelible imprint in the sands of time. The vacuum created by his death will surely be difficult to fill,” the governor said.

Jang: Transition of a Great Rallying Point
Plateau 5tate Governor Jonah Jang has described Saraki’s death as the transition of a great rallying point of the people. In a press statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr James Mannok, the governor said late Saraki was a great mentor, a mobiliser, a symbol of the struggle for a better society and indeed a  philanthropist.
He urged the family to be comforted by the legacy of service the late elder statesman has left behind.

Amosun: Nigeria Will Miss Him
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has mourned the death of Saraki and condoled with the Nigerian Senate, government and people of Kwara State over the demise of the former federal legislator.
In a press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, Amosun described the exit of Saraki “as lamentable, especially coming at this period of constitutional amendment process, when his wealth of experience would have been very useful”.

Shettima: A Great Loss to the North
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has described the death of Saraki as a great loss to the North and the entire country. He said: “Nigeria and the North in particular, have lost one of its best political leaders who stood for the ordinary man’s welfare, ethno-religious tolerance, national unity and continued development.
“The late Saraki was a rallying point for the masses throughout his lifetime as a political actor which was why he garnered tremendous influence in his political environment and indeed in the Northern geo-political zone and at the national level.”

Yakowa: A National Loss
Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, yesterday described the death of elder statesman and second Republic Senate Leader; Dr. Olusola Saraki, as a national loss.
Yakowa in a press statement issued in Kaduna said Saraki’s death has created a great vacuum in the nation’s political horizon. The governor in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Reuben Buhari, said the late Saraki was a colourful politician who believed in the unity of the country.

Orji: He Contributed to Nigeria’s Development
Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, described the late Kwara strongman as a patriot, philanthropist and a leader who contributed immensely to the development of the nation.
Going down memory lane, Orji stated that the days of Saraki in the Senate as the Senate Leader in the Second Republic will forever be cherished and appreciated.

He was Friend of Masses, Says Oshiomhole
Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has described the late Senate Leader, Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki, as a friend of the masses.

In a condolence message to the scion of the family, Senator Bukola Saraki, Oshiomhole said: “I received with shock news of the passing of your beloved father and patriarch of the Saraki family, distinguished Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki.  I wish to convey to you the deepest condolence of the people and Government of Edo State as well as my personal commiseration.”

Obi: We Have Lost A Bridge-builder
Anambra State Governor Peter Obi Wednesday paid tribute to the departed Kwara State politician, Senator Olusola Saraki, describing him as a bridge builder.  In his reaction to the passing on of the Second Republic senator, Obi said he received the news of the elder statesman’s transition with regret and offered his condolences to the family, people and Government of Kwara State.

“As the people of Kwara State try to cope with the grief arising from his transition, I have no doubt that many Nigerians irrespective of class, creed, and community also feel a sense of loss. Late Senator Olusola Saraki was a detribalized Nigerian in the true sense of the word. He was a bridge builder in the vast canvas of our geo-cultures and national politics. This strong trait of character made him a stabilising influence in our national politics,” he said.

‘A Huge Loss to Nigeria’
Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, has commiserated with the Saraki family and the people of Kwara State over the passing of its patriarch and former Senate Leader, Chief Olusola Saraki.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, Amaechi said the death of Saraki was a huge loss to the nation and its political sphere. He described late Saraki as a political giant with great values whose commitment to nation building and the development of Kwara state was highly commendable.

Fashola: He Was a Vibrant, Colourful Politician
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Wednesday condoled with his Kwara State counterpart, Alhaji Abdulfatta Mohammed, over the demise of Saraki. In his condolence message, Fashola expressed sadness over the sudden passage of the elder statesman whom he described as one of the most vibrant, colourful politicians Nigeria has ever produced.

Tracing the political history of the man who is widely referred to as the Father of Kwara Politics, Fashola, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Hakeem Bello, noted that from the time he emerged in the nation’s political space in 1977 as a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the nation’s 1979 Constitution, Saraki had consistently impacted on the politics of the country with such effectiveness which made him a household name across the country.

Ekweremadu: Exit of a People's Democrat
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has described the death of the Second Republic Senate Leader as a grave loss to the nation and exit of a people’s democrat. He said the late politician was a people-centred leader, noting that Saraki “lived for the people  and was totally committed to the people”.

While lamenting his death as a collective loss for the Senate as a whole, he added that Senator Saraki “distinguished himself as one of the most charismatic and vibrant Senate Leaders of his age”. The politician, according to Ekweremadu, would be forever remembered in the annals of Nigerian politics for “promoting the philosophy of people’s welfare as the crux of politics”.

Ihedioha: It's a Painful Loss
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, has expressed sadness over the death of Saraki, who passed away yesterday. He described his death as a national loss to the country.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Oke Epia, the deputy speaker said Saraki’s demise at this time in the country’s drive towards consolidation of democracy is painful as the polity would miss his invaluable contributions in moving the nation forward.
He described the late Saraki as a nationalist, a compassionate personality and a celebrated achiever whose life and times were largely dedicated to the improvement of the lives and living conditions of the poor and down-trodden around him.

First Lady Commiserates with Family
First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan, has described the death of Saraki as a great loss not only to the people of Kwara State but the entire nation especially the political class.

She said his death came as a rude shock and becomes more painful with reference to his invaluable wisdom which is obviously required in the urgent efforts to re-engineer the development process of our great country.

The First Lady noted the dedication, courage and deep focus of Saraki especially his personal accomplishments as a professional, businessman, community leader and politician.

Oni: He Was an Outstanding Leader
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Vice-Chairman (South-west), Chief Segun Oni, has described Saraki as an outstanding professional, grasssroots man and leader.

Oni, who reacted to Saraki’s death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said Kwara State people, Nigerians and in particular the PDP would miss him.
“Baba was truly a political timber, a colossus of wide diameter and a wonderful political strategist.  He was unarguably one of the most successful politicians in this part of the continent of Africa, having controlled the politics of Kwara State for over 40 years," he said.

‘He Was a Detribalised Nigerian’
The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, said Saraki was a mentor who instilled political discipline and confidence in the younger generation of politicians in Nigeria.
Emodi described the deceased as a nationalist, a patriot par excellence and a detribalised Nigerian who played politics according to the rules of the game.

“He played politics the way it should be played and that is by bettering the lot of the less-privileged. He joined politics as a very comfortable man but devoted his political career to improving the lives of the people. This is why he held sway from the day he joined politics till his death.”

Dafinone Mourns
Senator David Dafinone, in a condolence message, described Saraki’s death as painful, especially at a time when Nigeria is in a state of flux. Dafinone lauded Saraki’s great concern for the unity of Nigeria and the growth of democracy.

“Dr. Saraki as a medical doctor, international businessman, philanthropist and politician gained the respect, trust and love of the entire country and he will be greatly missed” he said.
He prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the soul of the late Second Republic politician eternal rest and grant members of the family the strength to bear the loss.

‘An Uncommon Politician’
A former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has described the late Saraki as an uncommon politician. Kalu said in an era when politics moved from seeking the good of the majority to self-centredness, Saraki stood firm by his age-long belief of communal living and still cared for his constituent till he died.

Kalu, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Emeka Obasi, said the few times he had the opportunity of visiting Saraki in his base in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, he saw why he was popular and won elections with so much ease in the state.

Ohakim: Death, Shocking
Former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has described Saraki’s demise as a shock, saying that his death at this point in time is a big blow to Nigeria, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the current efforts by Nigerians to rediscover those nationalistic ideals for which Saraki and his contemporaries worked so hard “to inculcate in our collective psyche”.

In a statement by his Special Assistant, Ethelbert Okere, the former governor said: “We should, nonetheless, find consolation in the fact that our dear great leader and father, Olusola Saraki, lived an exemplary life both at the family level and as a politician who, in spite of his effortless popularity, was an epitome of humility and candour. Nigerians will miss him but though, as is said in our native parlance, there is never a ripe age to die, Chief Saraki’s passage should, indeed, be a celebration of life given the totality of what he represented during his earthly sojourn.”

Oyinlola: It's the End of an Era
Former Osun State governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has described the death of Saraki as the end of an era. Oyinlola, who is the incumbent National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a statement, described Saraki as a colossus in the politics of Nigeria who left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.

He described the deceased as a leader per excellence who ensured the development of democratic culture in his political life.  The PDP national secretary said the death of the Waziri of Ilorin ended a phase in the politics of Kwara State and in Nigeria.

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