What has history said of eminence without honour, wealth without wisdom, power & possessions without principles? The answer is reiterated in the overthrow of the mightiest power of ancient times. Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome! The four successive universal powers of the past. What and where are they? If the Saraki Dynasty could have rethink about this empire, they would had left the stage when the ovation was high.
Since the creation of Kwara state on 27th May, 1967 when the federal military government of General Yakubu Gowon broke the four regions that then constituted the Federation of Nigeria into 12 states, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to “Kwara”, a local name for the River Niger, little did the then habitants of Kwara and generations to come know that they will breath the first Air of liberation on 23rd of February, 2019 after so many years of political reign by dynasty, (Saraki Dynasty).
The entry of Saraki family into Ilorin politics started with the late Mutahiru Saraki, the grand father of Bukola Saraki who opened up to admit he was an Egba man from Abeokuta but went to a Quranic school in Ilorin at Agbaji, an area reputed for Islamic scholarship as reported by Alhaji AbdulGaniy Folorunsho Abdulrazak, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire in 1962.
Saraki family started politics in Ilorin with Dr. Olusola Saraki, the father of Bukola Saraki in 1964 on the advise of Alhaji AbdulGaniy Folorunsho Abdulrazak.
Olusola started off his political campaign by setting up a medical centre in ASA as their was no hospital in ASA, people had to go to Ilorin for medical care.
He contested but lost the election under ASA local government which shares border with Ilorin Central to one Mr. Babatunde whom the party had agreed should go back to the parliament unopposed,
That was the Sarakis’ entry into Ilorin politics, he started visiting Ilorin, sharing money to people; money that he had made from medical practice through the retainership he had with the Nigerian Ports Authority and Ministry of Defence. At that time, the army did not have a hospital or a medical department. The Air Force also did not have any. So, whatever bills he sent to them, they paid him. So, he was making constant visits, and building himself up. Olusola claims to be an Ilorin man as Agbaji was the place his father schooled.
That is the connection the Sarakis have with Ilorin. Another connection the Sarakis could claim they had was that of one Iya Alaro, Iya Alaro was a daughter of Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki, who married to an Ilorin person. And that is another root of Sola Saraki coming to Ilorin. Whenever he came to Ilorin, he stayed with Iya Alaro at Agbaji. But Iya Alaro’s relationship with Ilorin was that of a wife of an Ilorin man.
MOULDING AN EMPIRE
Olusola Saraki deepened his root in Ilorin politics with his goodwill and benevolence to Ilorin people until he was given the mandate to rule over Kwara states. His son Abubakar Bukola Saraki came into power as the Governor of Kwara state on May 2003, he ran for the same office in 2007 and won again under the Peoples Democratic Party.
After two term tenure as governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki ran for the office of Senator, representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District. He won, succeeding his sister, Gbemisola Saraki-Forowa. He was appointed as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and is also a member of the Senate Committee on Capital Markets and Finance. He pushed a motion in the Senate to end the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria, which has been an excessive waste of the country’s national resources.
After his re-election in the 2015 general elections, Saraki was on 9 June 2015 elected unopposed as President of the Senate by an across the party alliance comprising PDP and APC Senators. Saraki had faced stiff opposition from Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan who was a preferred candidate by a group of senators-elect within the APC.
GENESIS OF THE REVELATION
Quest & thirst for more power brought about the beginning of the end for Bukola Saraki, the moment he dubiously outsmarted those in the red chamber to become the Senate president thus turning himself to the Jack Bower of Nigerian politics and number three citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, little did he know he shot himself badly, a move which sprang up a counter-move from those who were politically offended by his dubious means of becoming the Senate president.
This de-enveloped the Code of Conduct Bureau which cited a 13-count charge of corruption against Saraki. In charge number ABT/01/15, dated 11 September 2015 and filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Saraki was accused of offences ranging from anticipatory declaration of assets to making false declaration of assets in forms Saraki had filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state. He was also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor, acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings, and accused of operating foreign accounts while being a public officer.
An official of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Peter Danladi, stated in a court affidavit that the investigation of the various petitions of corruption, theft, money laundering, among others, against Saraki in 2010, was conducted jointly by the officials of the EFCC, CCB and the DSS.
“The EFCC conducted its investigation on the various petitions and made findings which showed that the defendant/applicant abused his office, while he was the governor of Kwara State and was involved in various acts of corruption as the governor of the state. The defendant/applicant borrowed huge sums of money running into billions from commercial banks, particularly Guaranty Trust Bank, and used the proceeds of the loan to acquire several landed properties in Lagos, Abuja and London, while he was the governor of Kwara State.
On Wednesday, 14 June 2017, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja discharged and acquitted Saraki, in the 18 count charge of corruption in the false declaration of assets charge brought against him in September 2015 by the federal government.
The tribunal held that the evidence proffered against Saraki by the federal government was bereft of probate value and manifestly unreliable to hold the charges against the defendant. The chairman of the tribunal Danladi Umar said the prosecution at the close of the case failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant.
Umar said the four witnesses called by the prosecution to testify in the matter gave contradictory evidence that were manifestly unreliable to convict the defendant or order him to enter his defense.
Umar further said that the report of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) put at the disposal of the tribunal was more of intelligence gathering rather than conventional investigation.
Umar said that the defendant was never invited or be made to make statement so that truth can be unearthed if there are allegations against him.
This was celebrated by the Sarakites in Ilorin, little wonder there were so many bill boards, posters, newspapers & prominent blog sites congratulated Saraki while social media went disarray at the judge’d decision. While some anti-sarakites believed it was a narrow escape, others believed it had the hands of Saraki’s Ilorin clerics ( those who only see the sun just 2 times in a year as proclaimed) in the case.
Enough is Enough “O TO GE”.
A movement which flagged off immediately after 2015 election on Radio under the Peoples Democratic Party with a staunch agenda of change and ease for Kwarans. While Saraki was battling with his CCT & Kwara state government finding a way out of log of salaries not being paid, this movement dug up the dirts in Kwara politics & gradually, Kwarans were beginning to get enlightened on how long they’ve been cheated by those who wield political power.
As 2019 general election approached, “Sai Leader” decamped to PDP, in a bid to support Atiku and also outshine his masters, immediately he decamped to PDP, those in the O to ge movement stood their ground and decamped to APC, the state House of Assembly in Kwara also joined their leader except for a few who did not, but were as expected probed over one issue or the other.
Saraki fought for what his father built, but it was too late, monetarily, he tried to buy his people the old way, Ile-loke along Radio Kwara axis was always filled with arched back women for the daily business as usual (N500 & 1 derica of raw rice), he intended to off set the backlog of arrears of over N6billion, millions of Naira were shared in virtually all localities & for the last-minute decampees.
It was as though Kwarans were ready to walk the talk of “O to Ge”, February 23rd witnessed the liberation of Kwara, as Kwarans turn out en-mass to show Saraki the true meaning of pay back & Enough is Enough. Souvenirs from Saraki were collected gladly with saying “Owo Wa Naani”.
How have the mighty fallen, the walls of Ile-loke shared from the agony of his master, a house which in no time could become deserted & become a shadow of its self, probably turned into a museum of such for future reference for any tyrant ruler who feels the world revolves around them.
Saraki fled from the four walls of Kwara with the speed of light in the evening of 23rd of February, 2019 as people from virtually all 16 local governments jubilated and rejoiced in chants and dance that they have been liberated by God & Allah has broken the shackles of outright enslavement in the hands of Sariki.
MY TWO PENCE:
O to Ge is here, the people’s choice, come March 9, if by God’s will, Kwarans replicates this same victory. Abdul Rahman Abdul Rasak should note the following;
1. Kwara state is a land for the Ilorins, Offa, Barutens, Nupe & its existing souls alone but it is a Kwara for all and sundry, this will foster speedy development.
2. All dead producing companies in Kwara state should be revived to a world class standard, thus creating job opportunities for Kwarans and its environs.
3. Round pegs in Round holes affair should be a must in all parastatals, enough of the “Omo wa ni, E je o se” slogan in Ilorin & Kwara state. Let’s live the harmony the state proclaim.
4. Remember this all the time, the O to ge movement has been embraced, however, the problem is not the political party but the sytem that only seeks to empower the elites rather than create wealth for the masses. What baffles an average man is that will the fate that cripple the Saraki Dynasty not surface in the O to ge movement? Stay away from all the brouhaha that may make Kwarans decide who they want next.
5. Masses do not ask for too much, provide basic amenities like roads, water, affordable & available healthcare system, quality education, security, food, minimum wage with prompt payment & every other necessary things the people need.
6. A blueprint to revive Kwara & a blueprint for further development and maintenance.
7. Work assiduouslyas if you have just only one term to set things right in Kwara state.
God Bless Nigeria