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Saraki: Kwara declares 3-day mourning

14 November 2012, 14:10

Ilorin - The Kwara Government on Wednesday announced the death of  Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr Olusola  Saraki.

The elder statesman died  at the age of  79 years.

Gov.  Abdulfattah Ahmed of Kwara,  who  announced the death of the politician at the Government House in Ilorin,  said Saraki  passed on in the early hours of Wednesday.

The governor  declared Wednesday  a work-free day to allow residents  of the state to receive the body of the late politician who died in Lagos.

Ahmed also declared a three-day mourning period across the state.

The body of the late politician was expected in Ilorin  at  2:00 p.m while the burial was expected to  take place at  4: 00 p.m.

Scores of residents had trooped to the GRA  residence of the late politician as news of the death filtered into the state capital.

Government officials, however,  kept sealed  lips on the death of  Saraki while many top public officers  were sighted at the Government House and the residence of the deceased  discussing  in groups.

The state-owned  radio station,  Radio Kwara, suspended all regular programmes in honour of the late Waziri of Ilorin.

In its place, the station was playing different sound tracks  eulogising the life and times of the late  politician.

NAN reports that Saraki was born in Ilorin on the 17th of  May, 1933, and was educated at Eko Boys High School, Lagos.

He also attended the University of London and St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.

The late politician also  worked as a Medical Officer at the General Hospital, Lagos,  and the Creek Hospital, Lagos.

He first entered for the  parliamentary election in  Ilorin as an independent, but failed to win.

After the election, he returned to his medical practice in Lagos, only returning to party-politics in 1978/79.

In 1977, Saraki was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly that produced the 1979 constitution.

Also in  1979,  he was elected a Senator of the Second Republic and became the Senate Leader.

In 1983,  Saraki was re-elected into the Senate on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

The late politician  in 1998  became a National Leader and member of the Board of Trustees of the defunct All People’s Party (APP) and  contributed  to the party’s  success in Kwara and Kogi States.

Saraki was also to  declare support for the PDP  in the 2003 elections  and backed  his son, Bukola, to clinch the  governorship seat.

NAN

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