By Henry Umoru, Abuja
SENATE President David Mark described the late second republic Senate Leader, Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki as a bridge builder who united Nigerians irrespective of tribe, faith and politics .
This statement came even as Chief E.K Clark also extolled the virtues of the late statesman.
Speaking on Thursday when he paid a condolence visit on the scion of the Saraki family, Senator Bukola Saraki and the governor of Kwara state, Alhaji Abdulfatai Ahmed in Ilorin, Senate President Mark urged Nigerians to emulate the legacies of late Saraki whic was built on integrity and honour.
in a statement by his special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, Senate President Mark said, “ the Oloye never acted nor pretended in any vocation he engaged in. He lived naturally and brought up people in politics and other areas of our lives.
”We should not mourn him as if he died without a legacy rather today’s pretenders on the political scene should learn to live naturally and leave behind legacies that would form guiding principles for the younger generations.”
In his own condolence Chief E.K Clark expressed shock and sadness on the sudden passing on of Senator Olusola Saraki, the father of Kwara politics.
“ He would be remembered as one of the founders of modern democracy in Nigeria, which we refer to today as the 2nd Republic. He was an original founder and member of the National Party of Nigeria in 1978 and was one of the first Presidential aspirants at the NPN convention in Yaba, Lagos in1979 which we all attended.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari emerged as the Presidential candidate. He contested the 1979 senatorial election and became the most popular Senate leader. He created a record by installing all the civilian Governors of Kwara State except for the incumbent. Governors Adamu Atta, Mohammed Lawal and his son, Bukola Saraki. He also created another record by being a Senator with two of his children, Senator Gbemisola Saraki and Senator Bukola Saraki. They were Senators during his lifetime.
“ He was also the founder of Northern Union, which actively campaigned for a Northern Presidential candidate in 2007, resulting into series of meetings between the Northern Union and the South South Elders Council which eventually strengthen the unity of the Country. By his death, Nigeria has indeed lost an Iroko Politician. A determined politician. A philanthropist and a man of great honor and respect.
A vacuum which will be very difficult to fill. I pray the Almighty God to give the family and the Kwara people the courage and the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. By his death, I have lost a true, reliable and understanding friend and a resolute frontline politician. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”