Former Senate President Bukola Saraki made a rare public appearance in Ilorin, Kwara state on Saturday.
The Saturday’s homecoming was Saraki’s first pronounced visit to Ilorin since he left office as Senate President in June 2019.
Senator Saraki who was in the town for the 8th year memorial prayer of his late father Dr Olusola Saraki, was given a heroic welcome from associates and supporters in Ilorin, Kwara state capital.
A mammoth crowd of supporters and well wishers had earlier besieged Ilorin International Airport to welcome Senator Bukola Saraki back home after a long break.
Shouts of “idera de”, (comfort has returned) rented the air as chorused by supporters of Saraki along Ilorin International Airport road and adjoining roads in the metropolis.
Human and vehicular movement from the popular Garin Alimi area, Sawmill road and other communities leading to the Emir’s palace became Herculean task as supporters of the former Senate President crowded the places.
The scenes at the surrounding streets of Ilofa GRA, the residence of the Saraki family was a beehive of activities, as the crowd of supporters milled around to welcome their political leader back into the town, dressed in customized T-shirts and caps, with such inscriptions as “Saraki we love”, “o su wa”, “ABS-Saraki”.
The 8th year fidau prayer was held at the Sarakis’ Iloffa, GRA residence, Ilorin.
Other dignitaries present at the event included the minister of state for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Kola Shittu, former Acting national chairman of the PDP, Alh Abubakar Kawu Baraje and former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad among others.
The Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheikh Mohammed Bashir Solihu led the prayer session. He was supported by the Grand Mukadam of Ilorin, Sheikh Sulaiman Dan-Borno, Sheikh Saanu Sheu and Imam AbdulRazaq Aduagba.
The clerics, in their separate sermons, admonished parents to bequeath love, good moral and religious teachings to their children for them to benefit remembrance prayers from such responsible children.
Sheikh Bashir, said that late Saraki touched lives in all parts of the state and beyond through his philanthropic gestures, adding that the late politician lived an exemplary life being emulated by the children.
The clerics said that the Fidau prayer should be part of the obligations of every responsible child to late parents, adding that it attracts reward from God because it is what God loves and commanded.
Chief Mukadam of Ilorin, Sheikh Sulyman Dan-Borno expressed gladness over the presence of both Senators Bukola Saraki and Gbemisola Saraki, at the event.
“We hold it that with your togetherness, love and unity, people will not see the secret of Ilorin. Late Olusola Saraki planted goodness, peace, prosperity, in all parts of the state. And people benefitted therefrom. We are assured that Saraki is happy in his grave with what is happening among the children and the people he left behind,” he said.
Also, Imam AbdulRazaq Aduagba said that the people of Kwara are happy with the children of the late political icon, adding that, “Saraki is a symbol of love. ”
The cleric urged people to discourage bad publicity against Bukola Saraki, saying that Allah has His ways of controlling affairs of life.
“We can all see the difference in what happened before and what’s happening now in the political situation of Kwara. Our people, should, therefore, change their ways to love one another. Let’s forgive ourselves and accept God’s ways,” he admonished.