High Life…Amazing lifestyles of Nigeria’s rich and famous    

with LANRE ALFRED

More than any day in recent memory, every corner in the city of Kano, last Friday November 10, heaved, creaked and pulsated with excitement and festivity as 11 state governors, former governors, scores of Federal and state legislators, political appointees and other dignitaries stormed the state for the marriage introduction ceremony between Fatima Baby Ganduje, daughter of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and Idris, son of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State. Some of the governors present were Alhaji Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Ogun), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Abubakar Baguda (Kebbi), Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Abdullaziz Yari (Zamfara), Rauf Aregbosola (Osun), Kashim Shetima (Borno), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina) and Abdulfatai Ahmed.

The eminent visitors were received by, among other personalities, the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and Alhaji Ishyaku Rabiu. The Emir who accepted the Ajimobis’ proposal on behalf of the bride’s family described the union as a positive ingredient in cementing relationships across tribes and geopolitical zones and destroying stereotypes between southern and northern Nigeria. He said, “I am pleased that two leaders of this country at a time when this country is most in need of reminders that we are all Nigerians.

We are part of one common humanity descended from one man and one woman, made from the same earth decided to apply this teaching to show an example to all of us.” The Emir continued, “No superiority for the light skinned over the over the black skinned or black skinned over the white skinned all of you are from Adam and Adam is from the earth. The reason I quote this Hadith is to remind all of us that tribalism, racism and all these ‘’isms’’ that are based on ethnicity have no place in Islam. Marriages are unions especially when they come from prominent families. They are not just unions between boy and girl or man and woman, they are unions of people, they cement relationships, they improve understanding, they breed love and respect, they destroy stereotypes”, Emir Sanusi added.

DEMOLA SERIKI PLANS LOW-KEY 58TH BRITHDAY CELEBRATION
Few days from now, precisely November 30th, Senator Demola Seriki, one of Lagos’ finest politicians, would add a year. However, prevailing circumstances in the nation, his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC and his political family have combined to ensure that the United States of America-trained accountant cum teacher would have a low-key birthday celebration. Few weeks back, Seriki’s political leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, lost his first son, Jide. It was a devastating occurrence that threw the Nigerian political establishment into poignant sorrow. Jide was in his late 30s and died of cardiac arrest, according to his grieving father. He left behind a wife and three sons, all of who are based in London. The former Lagos governor and his wife, Senator Oluremi, were in London to be with the deceased’s young family then.

Again, the uncertainty in the APC, compounded by the presidency to compensate party members with juicy appointments as expected, is also a major reason Seriki would not be rolling out the drums. Sources close to him say on his 58th birthday, he would just have a prayer session and dinner with family and select friends. Indeed, he has so much to thank God for and if permitted, celebrate unabashedly on his birthdays. This year alone, his daughter, Faridah or Kah-lo, as she is more popularly known in the international music circuit was nominated in the Grammy Awards’ Best Dance Recording category for her feature on Riton’s song, Rinse and Repeat. Debonair Seriki has also become more integrated in the APC. An alumna of Herbert Lehman College of the City University of New York where he bagged a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting, Finance & Management, Seriki had his fair share of political failure before he was first elected Minister of State for Agriculture and Water Resources in 2007 while concurrently supervising the Ministry of Mines and Steel around 2008. Subsequently, he served as Minister of State for Defence, and later, in the same capacity in the Ministry of Interior. He was then a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

LANRE SHITTU LOSES WIFE
Grief and gloom now sashay and saunter about in the home of popular Lagos auto dealer and boss of Lanre Shittu Motors, Alhaji Lanre Shittu, who lost one of his wives, Alhaja Wuraola Shittu, after a brief illness in a London hospital last weekend. Since the news broke, the multi millionaire auto magnate has been a picture of deep-seated desolation and distraught. Indeed, if money were a language understood by death, the deceased would be alive. But her time was up, as it were. Her remains are being expected in Nigeria in the new week. Regarded as the number one dealer for Mack Trucks in Africa, he once introduced single-digit interest rate finance for its Mack Truck customers nationwide with the view to making acquisition of the trucks easier for them. He was recently in the news when the Senate came under fire for acquiring over N300m vehicles. Lanre Shittu Motors supplied the vehicles. A well known socialite in the South-West and a deep-pocket fan of popular musicians, the deceased was one of his four wives.

WHEN LATE OLOYE OLUSOLA SARAKI CAME ALIVE IN ILORIN
Five years after his demise, Oloye Olusola Saraki, former Senate Leader in the Second Republic and father of Senate President Bukola Saraki, came alive in the blizzard of tributes and prayers offered at a memorial service held in Ilorin, Kwara State, last Tuesday. The late Oloye, a redoubtable politician and philanthropist, was also the strongman of Kwara politics and had a huge following. Not surprisingly, the memorial service had a huge turnout of politicians and peasants, Islamic faithful and party followers. Friends and associates of the Sarakis turned out in their numbers in celebration of the man who singlehandedly made his son a two-term governor. The llorin talakawas who regarded him as a ‘Messiah’ of no mean stature turned out in their hundreds to pray for the repose of the Waziri of Ilorin’s soul. Unarguably, Oloye Saraki controlled the politics of Kwara State for over 40 years and throughout his sojourn on earth, he was a man who had an-awe-inspiring pre-eminence in the political landscape of Nigeria. Until his death, the former Senate leader was like the oak tree on which birds of different shapes, sizes and names perched. His shoulder became a rock to lean on and he provided succour to many hungry mouths through the many jobs that were created.

His name was all his medical doctor son, Bukola, needed to become governor of Kwara State in 2003. And he served for two terms of eight years. Bukola has eased into his father’s big shoes as he now oversees Oloye’s political structures. It was no mean feat. And the Senate President remains eternally grateful. In his tribute, he stated, “Dear Father, today makes it five years since you left us. Although the years may pass, we still celebrate the legacy of your greatness, goodness, and selflessness. Your memory remains a blessing to all the lives that you touched. Thank you Baba, we miss you.” Born May 17th, 1933, the Saraki patriarch was a successful medical doctor turned politician. He died in November 2012.