15 November 2012

Nigeria: Private Jets On Offer

A time comes in the life of every man when he needs the support of those around him. Such a time came Wednesday for former Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and his siblings following the death of their father, Dr. Olusola Saraki.

It was a moment that served as a litmus test of their friendship with so many people, both in government and in the private sector, who rallied round Bukola, Ms. Gbemisola Saraki-Fowora and their siblings at their critical moment. The Sarakis, in accordance with Islamic injunctions, had planned to bury their father Wednesday.

Their father was no ordinary man that could be buried anywhere, except in Ilorin, his hometown, where for almost 40 years, he played a prominent role, not only in governance, but also in the lives of hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants.

Immediately it was clear that burial plans were in top gear, friends of the Sarakis did not only besiege their Lagos residence, they also assisted in ensuring that the burial plans went without hitches. One of the ways their well-heeled friends assisted was to offer their private jets (PJs) to convey some of those billed to attend the burial ceremony to Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Close family sources hinted that those who offered their private jets included Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Group Managing Director of OANDO Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu, and Managing Director of Guarantee Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje. While the duo of Amaechi and Tinubu was not sighted at the Lagos residence of the deceased yesterday, Agbaje, who had come in early in a shirt and tie, obviously from work, went back home to change into native attire before the funeral party eventually left for Ilorin at about 2.19 pm.

THISDAY also discovered that many of the early callers at the Saraki residence had come in from work when they heard the news of the elder Saraki's death, and majority of them, including women, were to later return home to change to befitting attires for the burial.

Some of the early callers at Saraki's home included former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas, Chief Adekunle Ojora, Chief Niyi Adebayo, Dele Belgore, Lai Mohammed, Habib Fasinro, Kola Abiola, Segun Oniru, Quincy Ayodele, Olu Akinduro and Olofa of Ofa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi, Esuwoye II.

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