From Oluseyi Dasilva, Ilorin
Friends, fans and political associates of the Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki gathered to celebrate his 56th birthday with prayers and fanfare.
Eminent personalities that graced the occasion on Wednesday included the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barr. Razak Atunwa and others in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
Although Saraki was not on ground due to the presentation of 2019 budget at a joint session of the National Assembly, his birthday was marked with special prayer organised by the ABS Mandate Constituency Office, Ilorin.
The Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheik Mohammad Bashir Salihu led other clerics at the famous Charity House, Iloffa Road, GRA, Ilorin where the prayer was held.
In his sermon, the Grand Mukadam of Ilorin, Ustaz Suleiman Dan-Borno, admonished Saraki to rely solely on Almighty God whenever he is confronted with any challenges. He said recent happenings clearly showed that Almighty God is with him (Saraki).
The cleric noted that the Senate President would always receive divine guidance and protection as long as he stands firm in his welfarist schemes, adding that whoever plots against him won’t succeed.
Dan-Borno urged Saraki to continue sustaining the path and legacies bequeathed to him by his late father, Dr Olusola Saraki.
The governorship candidate of the PDP in Kwara state, Barr. Razak Atunwa described the Senate President as a true Nigerian with patriotic zeal.
“We are gathered to wish him (Saraki) a very happy birthday. He has been a true Kwaran, a true Nigerian with patriotic zeal. He is particularly of exemplary leadership. He is a paragon of bravery and patriotism. He has shown that he is patriotic as a true Nigerian. He should be steadfast with the people and should be steadfast with God. I wish him all the best”, Atunwa said.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad stated that Saraki could not attend the session physically because of national assignment, adding that Kwara was proud of his achievements.
The Speaker said, “this is the time I can remember that he is not with us. He is on a national assignment. All we are doing now is the ritual. He is on a national assignment, we miss him. But what he is doing there, we appreciate it. We pray that Almighty Allah will continue to guide him.
“We are proud of him. May the Almighty Allah guide and protect him to continue to deliver good governance to the people of Nigeria. Kwara is very proud of him”.
Also speaking, the Director General, ABS Mandate Constituency Office, Alh Musa Abdullahi, said the prayer was organised to beseech God to grant Saraki long life, prosperity and victories in all his endeavour.
He added that the people would continue to pray for the Senate President because he had impacted positively in their lives through legislations that have direct bearing on them.
The state chairman of the PDP, Engr Kola Shittu hailed Saraki’s unparalleled philanthropist gestures, noting that he had through his numerous empowerment schemes put smiles on the faces of the women, youths, students, artisans, market men and women as well the physically challenged persons.