Associates, including past government officials and some serving political office holders, yesterday, gathered in Ilorin, Kwara State, for a special prayer session in memory of the former political lord of the state, Dr. Abubakar Saraki.
The philanthropist and former Senate president died in 2012. The prayer, led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Mohammed Saliu, was observed by other Islamic clerics in the state and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faithful in the state.
In their numbers, the mourners urged the federal and state governments to address current socio-economic hardship among Nigerians, especially Kwara residents, as the late statesman did while alive.
Chairman of Kwara PDP, Babatunde Mohammed, and other PDP stalwarts, including former member of the House of Assembly and commissioner Nimotah Ibrahim, and the Chairman of the new PDP (nPDP) in the state, Ishola Fulani, told journalists that Saraki lived his life for survival of the people.
Mohammed recalled: “For close to 40 years, he was making lots of people happy with his philanthropic activities”.
“He was always happy helping people. Even when not politicking, whenever there was a sort of hardship, he was always giving assistance in the 16 local councils of the state, just as his son (Bukola), our leader, is doing today, taking after his father.”
Ibrahim suggested: “With the present hardship in every part of the state, the state government should make everything legally possible to ameliorate the hardship. The governor should stop politicking now but find a way to ensure everyone in the state is taken care of, irrespective of party affiliation, because the hardship is becoming unbearable.
“I also call on all elected leaders in the state to empower their constituents to reduce the hardship being felt.” On his part, Fulani said: “Today, we are praying for our highly respected father, Dr. Olusola Saraki, because of what he did while alive. He impacted so many people meaningfully; I am an example. Baba brought me up and made me become one of the recognised politicians in Kwara and Nigeria. May God give him eternal rest.
“Saraki is somebody that should be emulated. He lived for the survival of Nigeria and Kwara as regards politics,” he added.