The search for the root of the late strong man of Kwara politics and second republic Senate leader, Olusola Saraki who died on Wednesday takes HAMMED SHITTU to Agbaji compound in Ilorin
For most of this week, the only name on the lips of the residents of Agbaji compound, in Ilorin, Kwara State was that of late Dr. Olusola Saraki. Agbaji is located in Ilorin West Local Government Area of the state. Saraki was born here about 79 years ago.
The serene compound was in a pensive mood when THISDAY visited, with many staying indoors to mourn the man they described as "a great son of Agbaji." Sympathisers from across the country have also continued to troop into the compound to register their condolence over the death of the late politician.
The Agbaji compound which is located at the main centre of Ilorin has been a Mecca of some sort since the death of Baba Oloye as he was fondly called by his political admirers in the state. The deputy leader (Mogaji) of Agbaji compound, Alhaji Sheu Eleku Agoro said the death of Baba Oloye was a great loss to the family. "Baba Saraki was a major benevolent personality of note that all the families in Agbaji cherish. We have accepted the death as the will of Allah and Allah will grant him eternal rest. His death came when we were enjoying Baba Oloye but God knows the best. He impacted positively on the people while he was alive."
Tracing the family background of late Saraki at Agbaji, the deputy leader said, "Baba Saraki was born here and his late father was Alhaji Mutairu Saraki. Baba Oloye's father had twenty-two children from many wives and they have remained a major part of the Agbaji family." He disclosed that the mother of Baba Oloye was from Iseyin in Oyo State.
Agoro added: "We thank Allah for allowing Senator Bukola, Senator Gbemisola, Alhaji Laolu Saraki, Alhaji Mohammed Saraki to succeed the late politician and have followed his foot steps even before Baba Saraki died last Wednesday in Lagos."
The immediate sister to late Baba Oloye, Alhaja Morili Saraki said, "the death came to us unnoticed but we have accepted it as the will of Allah. Baba Saraki was a great benevolent man that had used his wealth to make people laugh including his immediate family here in Agbaji."
The old woman who was in tears while speaking added: "I thank God for giving us Bukola Saraki, Gbemisola, Laolu and host of others and they have been wonderful for the people of Agbaji and well-wishers in Ilorin and Nigeria as a whole." She prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
Alhaja Saraki who lauded the motherly role of the wife of the deceased, Morenike Saraki said, "Morenike has continued to play a major role in the stability of the family."
The last born of the Saraki family in Agbaji, Nafiu Saraki thanked God for the good life spent by Baba Oloye. "Our father improved the lives of the common man while alive and this was why people were disturbed when he died last Wednesday."
Nafiu called on Nigerians to take a cue from Baba Oloye and added that the late politician would continue to be remembered for his humanitarian and benevolent posture while alive.
One of the sisters to the late politician, Suwebat Saraki said, "What are praying for now is for all Kwarans and Nigerians to rally round Bukola and others so that the current peace within the family would continue."
Suwebat said the children should always remember what Baba Oloye had done and ensure that they support the entire family so as to continue to move the family forward.
Suwebat added: "Baba Oloye is not dead because Allah has provided us with the best of siblings that will continue from where Baba stopped. They have been doing it before the death of our father."