The Saraki dynasty is well known
to Nigerians. The first person that came into limelight is the father Olusola
Saraki, a senator (1979 – 1983) and a onetime Senate Leader of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria. Olusola Saraki, popularly called ‘Oloye’ in Ilorin, Kwara
State became a godfather afterwards till his son; Bukola Saraki was introduced
into politics. Olusola was also an entrepreneur as he founded the Societe
Generale Bank in Nigeria before it became moribund.
Before his foray into politics,
Bukola Saraki is a medical doctor by training; he was educated at the London
Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987
and practiced as a medical doctor at Rush Green Hospital in London. He was
also on the board of Societe Generale Bank.
Bukola became the special
assistant on budget issues to President Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2000. However, there was tension between the
Governor of Kwara State, Rear Admiral (rtd) Mohammed Alabi Lawal and
Olusola Saraki. At the end of the four year term of Mohammed Lawal, Bukola was
field in to contest on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and
he defeated the incumbent governor. Dr Saraki became Chairman of the Nigeria
Governors Forum in 2007. Under Saraki’s Chairmanship, a reformed Forum was
established, with a fully resourced secretariat, with a technical and
administrative division that was entirely focused on delivery. He was the
Governor for two terms that ended in 2011.
As a student of politics under
his father, Bukola played a political game with his father who wanted his
younger sister, Senator Gbemisola R. Saraki to succeed Bukola in
2011. Bukola put up his team which was constituted by some of his cabinet
members and the elections was in their favour. Bukola became a Senator of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria taking over the position left by his sister and
this was a systematic unleashing of his political prowess which prepared him to
succeed his father’s political influence.
Strategically, Bukola and his
political masterminds joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the
2015 General Elections. Bolaji Abdullai, one of his allies, was fired by President
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during the 2015 election campaigns when Abdullai was
not openly supporting the President when the campaign train berth in Ilorin.
The APC had the opportunity of
taking over leadership positions in the National Assembly. Political analysts
came up with the allotment formula for the offices because of the zoning of the
political offices. However, Bukola Saraki played a very fast one on other
members of the APC by aligning with members of the PDP and he emerged as the
Senate President unopposed. There are great assumptions currently in the
political spheres that he might still join boats from the APC if he assumes the
tide would be favourable.
Bukola has not been without his
share of allegations. The most recent of it is the Code of Conduct Tribunal
(CCT) that alleged that he did not declare his assets correctly. According to
the Senate President, it is a political crucifix to unseat him as the Senate
President. Many Senators keep thronging after the Senate President whenever he
goes to the tribunal. The case has been deferred till the March 18, 2016.
Some other allegations include his
dual citizenship of being a Briton and a Nigeria; the remote-administration of
Kwara State. Many people believe that the current governor of the state, Alh Abdulfatah
Ahmed is a stooge for Bukola Saraki. Also, the
bankruptcy of Societe Generale Bank is believed to be the handiwork of the
Bukola Saraki has the tendency of
orchestrating another fascinating revolution just like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed
Tinubu. Nonetheless, Nigerians want leader with clean reports, as all fraud
committed in the past is now being visited by the anti-graft agencies, it is
believed that the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari would
give birth to a new Nigeria where development can be at a faster pace.