The gathering was supposed to be a special prayer organised by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, over the recent victory of Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Supreme Court on his case with the federal government over allegations of false asset declaration.
The Senate President, his team, members of the emirates, guests and others had sat to offer prayers. It was not meant to be an elaborate gathering with fanfare and wining and dining, just a modest religious gathering inside the Emir's place.
The prayer session, according to the Emir, is typical of Ilorin, and it is another fulfilment of the emirate's firm believe in the efficacy of coming together to the inner chamber of the palace to offer such special prayers.
Just as the prayer session was coming to an end, the Emir held all present spellbound with his announcement of the elevation of Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to the position of Waziri Ngeri of Ilorin. It came as a rude and surprising shock. Saraki and his team had no inkling such was going to happen. They had all gone to pray.
The Waziri Ngeri of Ilorin is the traditional Prime Minister of the emirate. The last occupant of the office was the late Patriarch of the Saraki dynasty, Dr Olusola Saraki, popularly called Baba Oloye by his admirers. By the elevation, Bukola Saraki becomes the fourth Waziri Ngeri, stepping into the position left by his late father six years ago.
The last and the present Waziri of Ilorin sure have so many peculiar similarities, aside from being father and son. Just as the late Saraki, was a second republic Senate Leader, his scion is presently the Senate President. It would not be out of place to say that the Senate President took after his father all other attributes like being a foremost community leader, philanthropist, a statesman and amiable leader who is contributing immensely to the development of Ilorin, Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.
The former Waziri may be gone, but if truly departed souls have a way of looking back, he will no doubt be full of joy wherever he is, not only for having a worthy scion doing him proud, but also for leaving behind a heir apparent who is taking the mantle higher in contributing immensely to the development of Ilorin, Kwara State and Nigeria.
Just as Saraki has continued to record many wins in the past few weeks, one would want to ask, is this the year of Bukola Saraki's conquest? For a man who had fought too many wars in the last three years, it would not be out of place to say, yes, this is the year of Saraki.
About two weeks ago the Supreme court gave the landmark verdict that threw the whole of Ilorin, Kwara state and Nigeria into enthusiasm. While the Saraki's camp is yet to get over the euphoria that followed the verdict, came the welcome rally with a massive turn out that shut down the city of Ilorin just last week. When it looks like the euphoria was waning, the Emir of Ilorin came with another special surprise honouring Saraki in his own home base. Charity they say begins at home and a good prophet deserves greater honour in his own home base.
While conferring the title on Saraki the Emir justified it as "a show of recognition of your worth and achievements as a politician."
He was also reported to have said "We are excited by your political exploits because of late you have become the beautiful bride whom politicians across the board are beckoning to be in their camps. It is from here that we prayed for you to become governor, it was here that we prayed for you to become senator and it was from here that we prayed for you to become Senate President and all these came to reality. Today we are also praying from here that God will elevate you beyond your present position."
This is no doubt his moment, and Saraki seems not to be leaving any chances to bask in the glow of what many perceive to be the reward of diligence, hardwork and successful run as an outstanding and a thorough bred Senate President who have displayed class and high level of dedication in handling the affairs of the 8th Senate and the nation at large. While on the other hand, many believe it is a glow of what may likely be his turn and appropriate time to take shot at the Presidency, as calls from different quarters have been echoing.
At every gathering where he is being celebrated and talked about lately (in the media, political gatherings, social events etc), politicians and observers alike couldn't resist from talking up Saraki's likely Presidential aspiration. During the coronation on Sunday, the Emir of Ilorin dropped what looked like a hint in his prayer for Bukola Saraki, when he said "it was from here that we prayed for you to become Senate President and all these came to reality. Today we are also praying from here that God will elevate you beyond your present position."
Whatever the case is, only time will tell. For now we can only wish the rave of the moment and new Waziri of Ilorin, long may he reign. May his days be long. No doubt, it is a well deserved coronation.