TheBoss can exclusively reveal that Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has joined the 2019 Presidential race.
There is no doubt that he would be a formidable force that should not be ignored because only few politicians in Nigeria today have the pedigree, the experience, the clout and the connection of Senator Saraki. Having risen to the enviable position of the number three citizen, the only place to go for the two-term Senator and former two-term governor is up! Indeed, Saraki is not new to the dynamics of power politics, he is the scion of a political dynasty that is well-known across the nation. His father, the late Oloye, Dr. Olusola Saraki was a revered politician. He not only rose to become the Senate Leader of Nigeria under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), but was the Chief Strategist and King Maker of Kwara Politics. Born on December 19, 1962, Saraki went to Ivy League schools in Nigeria and United Kingdom. His parents certainly prepared him well for the tough task ahead. He attended Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he obtained a First School Leaving Certificate, attended King’s College, Lagos where he got his West African School Certificate, went to Cheltenham College in the United Kingdom for his High School Certificate. And then studied at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987, where he obtained his M.B.B.S (London). He has all the criteria that a modern Nigerian president should have, he is tall, urbane, suave, charismatic, cool and collected. But behind this charm, is a man of steel who is never afraid to pursue causes that he feels are right and just. Saraki is one of those rare breeds who is street smart as well as book smart. This was evident when he steered his political path away from his father, and triumphed without breaking up the family or the people’s faith in his leadership abilities. That 2011 incident was a defining moment in the Senate President’s political career. Just when he was rounding off his second term as governor, his father openly endorsed his sister, Senator Gbemisola Saraki as the next Governor. Maybe they had a discussion privately, but the matter came to a head publicly, when he refused to support his sister, forcing his father to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party he helped to form and nurture, into political wilderness. The Senior Saraki banked on his past record to trounce his son in the political arena but during the gubernatorial election it was the Junior Saraki that triumphed. The candidate he backed, current Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, eventually coasted to victory. That singular moment told many stories. That Senator Saraki is a man of principles, that he is a fearless fighter and a grassroots political force whose opponents under estimate at their own peril. Before politics, he was in the corporate world, working in the family-owned Societe-Generale Bank (SGBN) . Though his enemies will say he ran the bank aground and some even say, he emptied the bank vault to run for Governor, it was to his credit that after its demise, he insisted that the bank was solid and was closed down in error. Facts showed that he left SGBN in 2000 and in 2001, he became a Special Assistant on Budget to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He also served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee, and was responsible for the formulation and implementation of several key economic policies for Nigeria. He became Governor three years after leaving SGBN and his earlier believe that the closure of the bank was improper was proved right when the Central Bank of Nigeria eventually restored its licence. As Governor, he had a clear vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash Kwara’s economic potential through investment in Agriculture and infrastructure. Under his leadership, Kwara became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project, as well as re-energised the Ganmo Power Station, Ilorin in collaboration with PHCN, connecting over 3750 rural communities to the national grid through the development and installation of 725 transformers and 7 substations.