…wear chieftaincy regalia wherever you go- Emir tells Senate President
By Mumini AbdulKareem
History was made yesterday as the Senate President and chairman of the National Assembly, Dr Bukola Saraki succeeded his late father and former Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki as the Wazirin Garin of Ilorin, the traditional Prime Minister of the emirate.
Saraki who was conferred with the title by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari at a special thanksgiving prayer by the Emirate over his recent victory at the Supreme Court for alleged false declaration of asset brought against him by the Federal Government, described it as a surprise, adding that he was short of for words.
By the elevation, the Senate President who was formally the Turakin of Ilorin becomes the fourth Wazirin Garin after his late father who died in 2012.
Announcing the elevation, the Emir said it was in acknowledgment of Saraki’s passion for the development of the emirate and its indigenes as well as his political exploits that has brought fame to the community.
The monarch said, “We are excited by your political exploits because of late you have become the beautiful bride whom politicians across board are beckoning to be in their camps. This is a show of recognition of your worth and achievements as a politician. We are very proud of you.
“It is from here that we prayed for you to become governor, it was here that we prayed for you to become senator and it was from here that we prayed for you to become Senate President and all these came to reality. Today we are also praying from here that God will elevate you beyond your present position.”
The emir noted that he was seated on a very special seat inherited from his forefathers and has their authority to conduct yesterday’s programme.
He also described the event as typical of Ilorin, saying unlike some communities that celebrate victories such as has come to Saraki with parties, the emirate believes in the efficacy of coming together in the inner chamber of the palace to offer such special prayers.
The emir immediately decorated Saraki with the regalia of his new title and ordered him to wear it throughout the day wherever he went.
Also in a post on his Facebook page, Saraki wrote:
“The Holy Quran teaches us that those who give thanks to Allah for His favours will always get more. Alhamdulilahi Robil Al-amin. As the prayer session was coming to an end, the Emir, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, surprised all of us by announcing my elevation to the traditional title of Wazirin Ilorin.
“The position of Wazirin Ilorin was last occupied by my late father, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki. May the Almighty Allah (SWT) retain for him a place in Aljannah Al-Firdaus. Alhamdulillahi, Alhamdulillahi, Alhamdulilahi Robil Al-amin.”
The Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Soliu Woru Muhammed and the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Poverty Alleviation, Hajia Aisha Sulu Gambari said the development is very significant for both Saraki and the emirate for his towering efforts in the development of the state and its indigenes, adding that it was the first time that anybody would be decorated in the Mosque of Shiekh Alimi.
The Magaji Nda also said that was the first time the Emir would decorate anybody with the regalia personally, which he said underscored the love and affection the monarch has for Saraki whom he sees as his son.
During the prayer, the Imam Imale of Ilorin, Sheikh Abdullahi AbdulHameed had noted that Saraki survived his recent ordeal by the power of prayers offered from the emirate. He also led participants to offer prayers for divine guidance for Saraki as he makes vital decisions over his political future.
The prayer session was attended by first class traditional chiefs from the state as well as Senators Dino Melaye and Rafiu Ibrahim; Speaker of Kwara State house of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad among other notable politicians from the state.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, said the elevation of Saraki is well-deserved considering the contributions of the Senate President to the development of the Emirate in particular and the entire state at large.
According to the governor, “the announcement of the elevation to the prestigious title of Waziri Ngeri by the Miamartaba Al Ilory, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, OON, was a pleasant but fitting surprise to cap our joy over the exoneration by the Supreme Court from the code of conduct tribunal trial”.
“It is fitting that you have stepped into the traditional shoes of your father and our great mentor, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki. The time is apt, the occasion is unique and your profile is most fitting for this honour”, Ahmed said.
The governor observed that the elevation would no doubt serve as morale booster for the Senate President to continue to do more for the emirate and the entire state.
Dr Ahmed therefore, enjoined the new Waziri Ngeri of Ilorin not to relent in his efforts to attract developments and growth to the state and empowerment for its people.
Also, Speaker, of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad in a congratulatory message by his Special Assistant on Media, Shuaib Abdulkadir, described the chieftaincy title as worthy.
Ahmad added that the conferment, which was coming on the heels of his recent victory at the Supreme Court shows that Saraki’s leadership qualities is acknowledged by his people and others within and outside the shores of the country.
The Speaker appreciated the traditional ruler for deeming it worthy to confer the prestigious traditional title on Senator Bukola Saraki, noting that it would further spur the Senate President to do more, not only for Ilorin but the state as a whole.
Similarly, the former leader of the nPDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje said by announcing Dr. Saraki as the new Prime Minister of the Ilorin Emirate, the Emir has continued to recognise the overall contributions of the worthy son of Ilorin Emirate, describing the traditional title as well-deserved.
He appreciated the Emir of Ilorin and all first class traditional rulers in Kwara state as well as other traditional rulers for organising a special prayer for the Senate President on his recent victory at the Supreme Court which he said depicted that Saraki’s leadership was well accepted by all the monarchs and the entire people of the state.
According to him, the conferment would further spur Saraki to do more for the people, especially in legislative duties by contributing to the development of Nigeria and advancement of the country’s democratic system.
In the same vein, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has said the elevation of Saraki, to the rank of Waziri Ngari of Ilorin Emirate was a validation of his leadership status in the state and Nigeria as a whole.
Abdullahi, a former minister of Sports, said the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, by conferring the prestigious traditional title on Saraki, had sent a clear signal that the Senate President’s political leadership in the state was beyond question.
In a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday, Abdullahi congratulated Saraki on his elevation as the 4th Waziri Ngari of Ilorin, pointing out that it was even noteworthy that the last holder of the title was the father of the Senate President.
“That he is only the 4th holder of the Waziri title in the history of the Emirate underlines the significance of this moment and Dr Saraki’s rise to prominence in Ilorin,” said Abdullahi.