From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan has said the late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, one of Nigeria’s most prominent political leaders, medical practitioner and democrat, who passed away in Lagos yesterday morning will be remembered as a political colossus. In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president extended his sincere commiseration to Saraki’s family and the people of his home state, Kwara to whose service and uplift he selflessly devoted his long and very successful career in politics.
Jonathan urged them to be consoled by the knowledge that their departed father, leader and mentor lived a very successful and fulfilled life, rising to national prominence by dint of hard work, uncommon generosity, political sagacity, dedication and wholesome commitment to the service of his people and the entire nation. Jonathan said he believed that Saraki would be long remembered and eulogized as a consummate politician, an astute grassroots mobiliser, and a political colossus with awe-inspiring powers of political organisation.
He said he had no doubts that “this public-spirited politician will always occupy a place of honour in the hearts of his people, supporters, friends and associates across the nation.” Jonathan said he believed that the ordinary people of Kwara State in particular would always remember the ‘Oloye’ with great affection because of the constant support they received from him.
The president further noted that Saraki’s brand of people-oriented politics and his success in building on his strong support-base to contribute positively to Nigeria’s political development as a powerful voice in the nation’s dominant political parties, as the Senate majority leader in the second republic, and as the ultimate reference point in the politics of Kwara State for decades, had assured him of a place among Nigeria’s heroes of democracy.
President Jonathan urged Nigerians to emulate Saraki’s patriotic commitment to national unity, politics without bitterness as well as his magnificent spirit of philanthropy. He prayed that God Almighty would grant his soul eternal rest.