The Saraki’s Dynasty is a political dynasty in Ilorin, Kwara state and Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki is the founder.
Olusola Saraki was born on the 17th of May, 1933 at Ilorin, Kwara State. He attended the University of London, and St George’s Hospital Medical School, London. He worked as a medical officer at the General Hospital, Lagos and the Creek Hospital, Lagos.
His first venture in politics was in 1964, when he ran in parliamentary election for Ilorin, but lost. 14 years after he lost his first election, Saraki returned to politics in 1977 and he was elected as a member of constituent Assembly that produced the 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
To establish the Saraki’s dynasty, he supported Alhaji Adamu Atta who came from the minority ethnic group in his bid to become the first civilian Governor of the state in 1979, the support paid off as Atta emerges Governor.
Through the support of Olusola Saraki in 1983, Cornelius Olatunji Adebayo became the second civilian governor of the state.
Saraki nominated Saba Lafiaji in 1992 and he won the governorship under General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime, before the military took over under General Sani Abacha in 1993.
Upon the return of civilian rule in 1999 after the death of General Sani Abacha, Saraki annointed Late Admiral Mohammed Alabi Lawal who became the governor under the platform of ANPP where Saraki was a member of the Board of Trustee.
He then decamped to PDP from ANPP and nominated his biological son Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki to become the Governor in 2003, Bukola Saraki emerged the governor against the incumbent Governor.
After controversially installing Bukola, his first son, as governor in 2003, Saraki, who was senate leader in the second republic, wanted the younger sister, Gbemisola Saraki to replace him in 2011 as the next governor but Bukola had other ideas.
This led the senior Saraki to depart the PDP to a new platform (ACPN) with no structure with his daughter, Gbemi Saraki to contest for the governorship position.
Saraki failed and Bukola had his way and the conclusion was that Kwara now had a new godfather.
At the conclusion of the election, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed emerged as executive Governor of Kwara State
Bukola Saraki usurped the political leadership of the State from his father and retired the father. He did not allow his father to hand over to him, though the Kwarans were still under the leadership of the Sarakis, Bukola destroyed his sister’s governorship ambition.
The outcome of the new political regime did not go down well with the senior Saraki, and was reported to have placed curse on Bukola.
The senior Saraki lost his battle to cancer and died died in Lagos November 14, 2012.
The Many Sins of Bukola Saraki
Bukola Saraki name cannot be mentioned without mentioning the sins of misappropriation of funds, betrayals, treachery and sabotage.
Bukola Saraki, true to his nature, also refused to submit to political arrangement of the APC when he clinched the senatorial ticket under the umbrella of APC in 2015 instead he teamed up with the opposition party to hijacked the leadership of the senate.
Since then he has ridiculed the ruling party but he underestimated the loyality of Kwarans to the ruling party. It is even said that President Buhari is more popular in Kwara that Bukola Saraki himself.
Allegation of fraud which led to the collapse of the Saraki family-owned Société Générale Bank was levelled against Bukola Saraki. He was then the Director of the defunct bank and was indicted to have looted over N1bn from the bank’s treasury.
APC also alleged that Saraki was questioned by the Nigeria Police Special Fraud Unit over a N11 billion financial scandal at the defunct Intercontinental Bank.
Bukola was also accused of misappropriating of Kwara state funds, disregard of government due process and conversion of State government assets into his and cronies when he served as two-term governor of Kwara State.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Yekini Nabena, alleged that Bukola Saraki was also linked to the N298m armored Range Rover SUV seized by the Nigeria Customs Service as well as the link to $19.5b Paris Club Loan refund scandal.
His wife, Toyin Saraki, was also not spared in the anti-corruption war. She was invited by the country’s anti-graft agency, EFCC for ‘questioning over alleged fraud to the tune of N2 billion’. Mrs Saraki who honoured the invitation arrived the EFCC like a boss escorted by many political bodyguards including Senator Dino Melaye.
Another “perceived” sins of Bukola Saraki against the people of Kwara is the “poor welfare” of workers in the state. It is believed by many people of Kwara State that the State resources are still under Bukola Saraki control. Civil servants both at state and local government levels in the State are usually not paid their salaries, and when paid, the salaries come in percentages. Residents who spoke to “The Cable Newsline” complained that; “Sometimes, they pay workers as low as 30 percent.” Though Bukola Saraki is not the governor but the people of Kwara believe he is calling the shots and controls the payment of salaries.
Bukola Saraki is also said to be arrogant to the people. It is claimed that he does not have a good relationship with the people like his late father . A resident told the Cable that, “He is not free with his people like his father was, people used to throng to their house when the father was alive but not anymore.”
Lastly the “O to Ge” movement and the “Offa robbery” made the people of Kwara revolt against the Saraki family.
Kwara State have been under the rulership of the Saraki family and they have called the shots and installed governors in the State. But the people are “fed up” of the influence the family has over the state especially as they have dictated who rule the state for 40 years.
This led to the popular ‘O to ge!’ movement began loosely translated as ‘Enough is Enough’. The movement was spearheaded by key political figures in Kwara including Abdulrahman AbdulRazak, APC governorship candidate in the state, with the help of prominent figures there such as Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.
Also on April 5, 2018, armed robbers attacked banks in Offa, Kwara state, killing 33 people, including pregnant women and 12 police officers. This event shook Offa and Kwara State to its roots.
Some of the suspects in the robbery were linked to Bukola Saraki and the Kwara state government. This created a major PR disaster for the Bukola, tarnished his image and reduced his popularity. He became publicly involved in a spat with the police IG.
On Saturday, the people of Kwara voted an end to the rulership of Bukola Saraki in the State, According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Saraki, who ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost out by a wide margin to Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the APC in each of the four local governments in the district: Ilorin South, Ilorin West, Ilorin East and Asa.
Kwarans are tired of the Saraki dynasty created by the senior saraki but brought to an end by his own son brought Bukola Saraki.
What is Next for Bukola Saraki
Saraki nurtured the ambition of the becoming the Nigerian President. He retired his father to become the godfather of politics in Kwara in 2011. Since then the family bond has not been strong as claimed in some quarters. Many alleged that the failure of the senior Saraki contributed to his death in 2012.
He destroyed the sister political career because she went into political oblivion after her governorship defeat with the new party her father created (though Bukola’s detractors have used his same sister to speak against him and work for the opposition). Through schemes and games he clinched the number three position.
Below is a video of Gbemisola Saraki mocking her brother after his defeat to the APC
Now he is back to the congregation of Nigeria masses and he might not have a political position in the next dispensation except by sheer luck his party wins the presidential election, then he gets a key position.
If it happens otherwise that the APC wins then Bukola Saraki may be on his way to political oblivion because I see no political appointment coming his way.
Congratulations to Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the APC for ushering a New Era to the people of Kwara and delivering the people from the shackles of godfatherism.
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