Saraki Dies After Five Years Battle With Cancer

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Second
Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, died on Wednesday after a five-year
battle with cancer. Saraki, who died in his 42 Cameron Road, Ikoyi,  Lagos
home, was 79 years. Olaolu,
his youngest son, spoke to reporters at his father’s residence as the deceased
was being prepared to be flown to Ilorin, Kwara State, for burial.
His
remains were later interred at his Ilofa, Ilorin home at about 6.20pm.
Olaolu
said the former Senate Leader died “peacefully”.

He
said, “My father was very comfortable at his last moments. He was actually fine
this morning but he had been battling with cancer for about five years. He was
ill for a while but he recovered.

“He
died around 6am  after he had said his prayers. He was with my mother,
brother and two sisters at the time he died.”
The
eldest son of the deceased and former Governor of Kwara State, Bukola, said his
father lived an exemplary life.
He
said the family was sad about his death but did not provide information on his
father’s health status.
Bukola
said, “We are sad but we take solace in knowing that our father lived an
exemplary life of service and selfless devotion to the development of his
people and nation.
“We
give praise to God, who gave and has taken. My father lived a great life. He
touched many lives. We are all proud of the life he lived because he fulfilled
many dreams. Baba will be sorely
missed. We pray for the repose of his soul.”
The 
Kwara House of  Assembly immediately  adjourned sitting for eight
days in honour of the late Saraki.
According
to the News Agency of Nigeria, Speaker of the House, Rasaq
Atunwa, announced the adjournment at the plenary session after announcing the
politician’s passing.
Atunwa,
who ordered the suspension of all matters in the order paper, described the
death of Saraki as “a rude shock”.
One
of the legislators, who paid tributes to politician, described him as a
“political calculator and algebra in Kwara politics”.
The
member, representing llorin East Constituency, Hajia Nimata Ibrahim, her
counterpart for Ekiti Constituency, Mrs. Ebun Owolabi, wept profusely on the
floor of the House.
In
their condolences, they described Saraki as a father who contributed immensely
to their careers.
Other
lawmakers, including Action Congress of Nigeria member, representing Ojomu
Balogun Constituency, Tope Layonu, prayed God to grant the deceased eternal
rest.
The
House later adjourned sitting till November 22.
The
Assembly flag was lowered at half mast after the adjournment as a sign of
respect for the late politician.
Meanwhile,
eminent Nigerians witnessed the interment of Saraki.
Among
the dignitaries were the Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu
Tambuwal; Minister, National Planning, Alhaji Shamsudeen Usman, who led the
Federal Government’s delegation; Minister of Internal Affairs, Abba Moro; and
the. Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Lamido Sanusi.
Others
were former Sports Minister, Chief Jim Nwobodo; ex-Minister of Defence, Alhaji
Haliru Bello, and ex-Gombe State Governor Danjuma Goje.
Saraki’s
body  arrived at the Ilorin International Airport about 4.30pm aboard a
chartered plane belonging to Overland Airways.
The
corpse, accompanied by the children, had arrived the Lagos airport at about
3:30pm.
It
was later driven to the Ilorin Eid prayer ground where prayers were offered for
the deceased at about 5.05pm.
A
large crowd thronged the arena while many supporters of Olooye struggled to catch a glimpse of his
corpse.
Bello
said  the country had lost a rare gem with the death of  
Saraki.
“Saraki’s
death is a great loss not only to  Kwara State, but the entire country,” NAN quoted him as saying.
Bello
added that Saraki was a great man who had  left a legacy of commitment and
benevolent philanthropy behind.
A
member  of the House of Representatives, Ali Ahmad, said the state and the
entire nation had  lost a rare gem.
He
said  the late politician gave all he had  to the people of Kwara
State.
Source:
Punch

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