Exactly, 23 years ago history was made on November 11, 1995 (11/11/1995), as a new monarch was installed as the Emir of Ilorin and the Chairman of Kwara State Traditional Council.
He was a retired judge and his name is Dr Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, CFR, who took over the reign from the late Emir, Abdulkadri Baba Agba.
Leading hordes of personalities to eulogised the Emir is the Senate President and leader of Kwara State politics, Dr Bukola Saraki.
Saraki in a tweet, yesterday (@bukolasaraki) wrote: “Today marks the 23rd Anniversary of the ascension to the throne of my revered traditional ruler, Mai Martaba, Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari.
“I join all members of the ancient emirate in congratulating the Emir.”
Similarly, the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, said the reign of the Emir on the throne of his forebearers had attracted numerous growth and development to Ilorin and the entire emirate.
Governor Ahmed who saluted the fatherly role of the monarch in maintaining and strengthening peaceful coexistence among residents in the emirate, said “over the years, the unique qualities of the Emir has contributed immensely to the promotion of peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethnic groups in Kwara State.”
The governor therefore, praised the courage and sincerity of the Emir for always being a father to all and urged him to intensify efforts at maintaining the peace as another transition period approaches.
Ahmed prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the Marmartaba Ilory long life, prosperity, sound health, guidance and more wisdom and urged the people of the emirate and other parts of the state to jealously protect the prevalent peace in the state.
Also, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad in a congratulatory message which was issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Shuaib Abdulkadir in Ilorin yesterday described the monarch’s reign as worthwhile and eventful.
Ahmad said without doubt the traditional ruler’s emergence over two decades ago has brought about tremendous progress and improvement in all spheres to the Emirate as well as his subjects.
The lawmaker stressed that massive infrastructural facilities and development of various kinds have been witnessed during his reign while his subjects have continued to be elevated and recognised at state, national and international levels.
The lawmaker added that Sulu Gambari’s importance transcends his immediate domain, Ilorin Emirate as successive administrations have over the years found him a worthy and dependable ally in affairs of the state.
He, however, implored the subjects to continue expressing maximum cooperation and support the monarch in his bid to further lead the Ilorin Emirate to greater heights.
In his words, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the 2019 election in Kwara State, Hon Razak Atunwa on his twitter handle, yesterday, wrote; “To our progressive and peace loving Father, the Emir of Ilorin and environs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, a huge congratulations on your 23rd anniversary on throne, 23 years of unending progress! Many more decades Insha Allah! Amin! Shehuuuu!
In his remarks, the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Mohammed Soliu Woru described his principal as an exceptional leader whose tenure as Emir of Ilorin has witnessed unending development to the emirate and Kwara State at large.
He said, “For good 23 years on the throne, the Emir has performed wonderfully by enhancing peace and harmony in the state.
“Our Emir is a friend to the weak and the oppressed. He has brought lots of development to Ilorin and its environs, part of which is the new Central Mosque.
“Under his reign, Saraki became two-term governor and Senate President while Professor AbdulRaheem Oba became the Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin and Chairman, Federal Character Commission; he stated adding that there are other appointments bestowed on sons and daughters of the emirate since Sulu Gambari’s emergence.
“Also, the Emir gives out scholarship yearly to indigent students and he remains a role model to other traditional rulers in the country.”