BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, AUSTIN OGWUDA, DAPO AKINREFON, ABDULSALAM MUHAMMAD, BASHIR ADEFAKA & DAUD OLATUNJI
LAGOS—In the words of some Second Republic politicians, who served with Saraki, the Oloye would be sorely missed because he was irreplaceable.
Second Republic Senator, David Dafinone, in a condolence message to the Saraki family Wednesday, described the politician’s death as painful, especially at a time when Nigeria was in a state of flux.
Dafinone lauded Saraki’s great concern for the unity of Nigeria and the growth of democracy. “Dr. Saraki as a medical doctor, international businessman, philanthropist and politician gained the respect, trust and love of the entire country and he will be greatly missed,” he said.
Alhaji Lawal Kaita, who said he was deeply hurt and bereaved because Saraki “was a very excellent person and a good friend of mine,” added that late political icon would be greatly missed. “He was a balanced person, a philanthropist and a sound politician, who we should all learn from.”
Speaking in like manner, Second Republic Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande said: “Sakari’s death is a great loss to the nation, Yoruba people and Kwara people. The whole country will miss him. He was very courageous, dutiful and patriotic. We can learn from his achievements in our politics.”
Also Second Republic Senator, Obi Nosike Ikpo, who was shocked when the news of Saraki’s death was broken to him, exclaimed: “Oh no! Oh no!! What? Where did he die in London or his town, where? It is unfortunate; that is a tragedy. He was a good friend of mine, a fine gentleman with a golden heart.
“He was a great Nigerian, a colleague of mine. He distinguished himself as a leader of the Senate, carried everybody along including the opposition. He helped Shagari to succeed in the Senate.”
Nigeria has lost a political strategist—Sen. Chris Anyanwu
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu says the death of Saraki has robbed the country of one of her finest political strategists.
Anyanwu, who covered the Second Republic Senate for the Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, noted how the late Saraki as Senate Leader harmonised political differences in the chamber for the good of the country.
A big vacuum in the hearts of the people —Sen. Smart Adeyemi
Senator Smart Adeyemi described the demise of Saraki as a big loss for the masses saying that the late Senate Leader through his acts of goodwill established himself in the hearts of the people.
Noting his passion for the poor, Senator Adeyemi, PDP, Kogi West said: “The way he attended to people, his passion for the poor affected me and it made me to make up my mind to join politics.
“As a journalist, I once asked him how to succeed as a politician and he told me I must help the poor, the women and the youth. He said that when you help the poor, they write your matter in their hearts.”
He brought smiles to many faces — Femi Fani-Kayode
He said: “I have just been informed about the passing on of Dr. Olusola Saraki and I am in deep shock. This news saddens me immensely. He was one of the greatest, kindest, most compassionate, most generous and most selfless leaders that we have ever had in this country. His power and influence stretched from the Second Republic when he was the Leader of the Senate on the platform of the NPN up until today.
He was my late father’s close and loyal friend and he was like a father to me and so many others. This is not a good time for him to go because Nigeria needs him now more than ever and we shall all miss him dearly. My heart goes out to the Saraki family.
He was a man of the people —Sen Joy Emodi
On her part, Emodi said: “I was with him in the National Constitutional Conference in 1994 and he was chairman of the Business Committee and I remember him encouraging me, he helped me to build up my confidence in the political arena. He was my leader and I will ever remain grateful to him.
Nigeria has lost another political icon—Aregbesola
Governor of the State of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, described the death of Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki as unfortunate and sad.
In a statement issued by the Director of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said the death of Dr. Saraki is a big loss to the nation.
The governor said Dr. Saraki’s experience, knowledge, versatility and ingenuity in the art and dynamics of lawmaking and politics in general would be missed greatly.
Saraki was a bridge builder —Daniel
The death of Dr Olusola Saraki has robbed Nigeria of an astute politician and elder statesman who was consistent in seeking and working for a better deal for his people and the country, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun State, has said.
The former governor in a statement by his Media Assistant, Adegbenro Adebanjo, said Saraki belonged to the second generation of Nigerian nationalists who worked to keep Nigeria as a united country.
Saraki was an outstanding leader —Oni
Also the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Vice Chairman (South-west), Chief Segun Oni said the late strongman of Kwara politics was an outstanding professional, grassroots man and leader.
Oni, who reacted to Saraki’s death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Lere Olayinka said Kwara State people, Nigerians and in particular, the PDP will miss him so dearly.
Saraki’s demise, a national loss — Ihedioha
To Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, Saraki’s exit was a national loss to the country.
The deputy speaker in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Oke Epia, said Chief Saraki’s death at this time in the country’s drive towards consolidation of democracy is painful as the polity will miss his invaluable contributions in moving the nation forward.
He described the late Saraki as a nationalist, a compassionate personality, and a celebrated achiever whose life and times were largely dedicated to the improvement of the lives and living conditions of the poor .
Saraki was friend of the masses—Oshiomhole
In a condolence message to the scion of the family, Dr (Senator) Bukola Saraki, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said: “I received with shock news of the passing of your beloved father and patriarch of the Saraki family, distinguished Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki. I wish to convey to you the deepest condolence of the people and Government of Edo State as well as my personal commiseration.
The death of distinguished Senator Abukakar Saraki at this time is no doubt a loss not only to the family but to the whole nation as the late former Senator Leader was a bridge builder who played politics of development and not politics of division.
While he will be sorely missed by the political class, the masses who regard him as their friend will miss him even more.
Saraki died when he was needed most—Amosun
Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun yesterday expressed shock over the death of Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr Olusola Saraki.
Governor Amosun, who condoled with the Nigerian Senate, government and people of Kwara State on the demise of the former federal legislator, described the exit of Dr Saraki as lamentable because it came “at this period of constitutional amendment process, when his wealth of experience would have been very useful.”
It’s the end of an era — Fayemi
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the death of the erudite politician, as “the end of an era of one of Nigeria’s political legends.”
Fayemi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said Saraki bestrode the political terrain of Kwara State and the North Central like a colossus during his lifetime. He lamented that Saraki’s death came at a time when the polity was yet to recover from the shock of the demise of former Oyo State Governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina, who died on Sunday.
The Governor noted that Saraki touched the lives of many people in his lifetime through his philanthropy and generosity from which indigent people benefited.
FG should name monument after him— Senator Kanti Bello
A prominent Northern leader, Senator Kanti Bello, in his condolence, called on the Federal government to name a national monument after the late Kwara-born politician.
According to him “That’s a great loss to the nation. I knew him personally, he is an icon and just like an elder brother to me. He has contributed immensely both to the economic and political development; he is a highly respected leader. May his soul rest in peace and I hope that the Federal government and not Kwara State, should name certain monuments after him. Though he is from Kwara State, he is a national figure and these are the type of people Nigeria should respect and ensure that their names are written in gold. Some national monuments should be named after him.”
He’s a great patriot –Adebanjo
A chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo said, “I am really shocked to hear that. He was one of the leaders of the First Republic. He did well for the country; he is a great patriot and nationalist. May his soul rest in peace.”
It’s a loss to Nigerians— Balarabe Musa
On his part, Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa described the late politician as a dogged fighter.
He said “for Nigerians, it is a serious loss of a dogged and democratic fighter in Nigeria.”
Saraki‘s death, painful end of an era —Yakasai
Octogenarian Elderstateman, Tanko Yakasai, sees Saraki’s death “as a ‘painful end of an era” that would take a long time to replace.
Tanko Yakasai told Journalists in Kano that ‘by his death the country has lost one of its leaders, who worked hard to sustain and strengthen democracy in the country.
The former Special Adviser to President Shehu Shagari noted that ‘the death of Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki is a great loss not only to his family and political associates but to the people of Kwara state and the nation in general.’
Alhaji Yakassai who also described Senator Saraki as a philanthropic per excellence and a symbol of unity of the country having his father from the North and mother from the West’