Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
Emir of Ilorin and chairman, Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, on Sunday, elevated the Senate President Bukola Saraki to the position of Waziri Garin of Ilorin, the traditional Prime Minister of the emirate.
The elevation, which came as a surprise package to the Senate President, was announced at the end of a special prayer organised by the Emir over the recent victory of Saraki at the Supreme Court on his case with the Federal Government over allegation of false asset declaration.
By the elevation, Saraki who is also Turakin Ilorin, becomes the fourth Waziri Garin, succeeding his father, the late Dr. Olusola Saraki who held the title until his demise in 2012.
Announcing the elevation, the Emir said it was in acknowledgement of the Senate President’s passion for the development of not only the emirate but the whole of Kwara State as well as his political exploits that had brought fame to the state, particularly Ilorin Emirate.
According to the Emir, “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.
“This is a show of recognition of your worth and achievements as a politician. We are very proud of you.
“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.”
The Emir noted that he was seated on a very special seat inherited from his forefathers and has their authority to conduct yesterday’s programme.
He also described the event as typical of Ilorin, saying unlike some communities that celebrate victories such as has come to Saraki with parties, the Emirate believes in the efficacy of coming together to the inner chamber of the palace to offer such special prayers.
The Emir immediately decorated Saraki with the regalia of his new title and ordered him to wear it throughout the day.
During the prayer, the Imam Imale of Ilorin, Sheikh Abdullahi AbdulHameed, had noted that Saraki survived his recent ordeal by the power of prayers offered from the emirate.
He also led participants to offer prayers for divine guidance for Saraki as he makes vital decisions over his political future.
“We pray that his decision which is being awaited and which has made him the beautiful bride today would be successful”, he said.
Responding to the elevation, an obviously elated Saraki who was beaming with smiles said the development took him by surprise.
He noted that he had only come to the palace for the special prayers not knowing that something else was waiting for him.
He promised to use the title to continue in his commitment to looking after the well-being of people in the emirate as well as the entire Kwara State.
The prayer session was attended by First Class traditional chiefs from the state as well as Senators Dino Melaye and Rafiu Ibrahim; Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahamad, and other notable politicians from the state.