Bukola Saraki is a Nigerian politician and medical doctor. He was the President of the Nigerian Senate from 2015 to 2019.
|Name||Abubakar Bukola Saraki|
|Date of Birth||19 December 1962 (60 years)|
|Occupation||Politician and Medical Doctor|
|Net Worth||$11 million|
Who Is Abubakar Saraki?
Abubakar Bukola Saraki is a Nigerian Politician with Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of SurgeryMBBS,. He was the 13th President of the Senate of Nigeria from 2015 to 2019 and Chair of the 8th Nigeria National Assembly. He was previously the Governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011; and was elected to the Senate in 2011, under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District, and then re-elected in the 2015 general elections under the party of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He left the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC) and returned to his former party People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Where he became the opposition leader, on 31 July 2018. Saraki declared his presidential campaign for the PDP presidential ticket in the 2019 election but lost the primaries to Atiku Abubakar. He was subsequently announced as the director general of Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign for the 2019 presidential election, which he lost to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Early Life of Abubakar Saraki
Saraki was born on 19 December 1962 in London to his mother Florence Morenike Saraki and his father Olusola Saraki, who was a Senator in the Second Nigerian Republic. Bukola Saraki is married to Toyin Saraki (née Ojora), they have four children together.
Saraki was educated at King’s College, Lagos, where he graduated in 1978. He attended Cheltenham College, a public boarding school in the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1981. He then proceeded to London Hospital Medical College of the University of London from 1982 to 1987, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.
Abubakar Saraki’s Career Path
Saraki worked as a medical officer at Rush Green Hospital, Essex, from 1988 to 1989. He was a director of Société Générale Bank (Nig) Ltd from 1990 to 2000. In 2000, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Saraki as Special Assistant to the President on Budget.
Governor of Kwara State
In 2003, Bukola Saraki ran for Governor of Kwara State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) defeating the incumbent Governor Muhammed Lawal of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). On 29 May 2003, he was sworn into office and was re-elected in 2007.
As governor of Kwara, Saraki led reforms in agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, power generation and environment policy. One of his major achievements was inviting displaced white farmers from Zimbabwe to Kwara State and offering them an opportunity to farm. This led to the establishment of Shonga Farms programme, which is now being replicated across Nigeria. He was also appointed as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ forum.
Under Saraki, Kwara became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project. In collaboration with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Saraki re-energised the Ganmo Power Station at Ilorin, and connected over 3750 rural communities to the national grid through the development and installation of 725 transformers and 7 substations. Kwara also completed 4 electrification projects which meant power became stable 18–22 hours a day. 90% of people living in Kwara have access to electricity, compared to a national average in Nigeria of 30%.
In 2007, Saraki became Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum. As chairman, Saraki increased his national influence and he led efforts for a more reformed and unified relationship with other states governors. The Forum also developed better and more extensive polio immunisation in Nigeria. Signing a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), with a number of international organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, DFID, GAVI, UNICEF, UNDP.
In 2011, after the completion of his two-term tenure as Governor of Kwara State, Saraki ran for Senator representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District. He won, succeeding his sister, Gbemisola Saraki-Forowa. He was appointed as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology and is also a member of the Senate Committee on Capital Markets and Finance. Senator Saraki has campaigned extensively on health, food security, education and the environment – arguing for strengthened laws on the clean-up of oil spills. In 2010, Saraki intervened in the lead poisoning crisis in Zamfara State in 2010.
Saraki pushed a motion in the Senate to end the fuel subsidy regime in Nigeria, which has been an excessive waste of the country’s national resources. Other motions and private member bills he have sponsored include the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Amendment Bill 2012, the Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill 2012 and the Climate Change Commission Bill 2013. In 2013, Saraki established GLOBE Nigeria as an affiliate of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International), establishing a platform for legislators to advance environmental and sustainable development laws in Nigeria. He currently serves as GLOBE Nigeria’s president. Saraki has also spoken and campaigned internationally on issues such as better governance, deforestation and economic development.
President of the Senate
After his re-election in 2015 general elections, he was on 9 June 2015 elected unopposed as President of the Senate by an across the party alliance comprising PDP and APC Senators. Saraki had faced stiff opposition from Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan who was a preferred candidate by a group of senators-elect within the APC. His deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, emerged after a tightly contested election. Senate President Bukola Saraki and a delegation of Senators visited Maiduguri, Borno State on 3 August 2015 to get an on-ground assessment of the damage done in the north-eastern part of Nigeria by terrorist group Boko Haram and to give hope to internally displaced persons. The delegation was the first of its kind by the leadership of the Senate since the insurgency began.
During his presidency, the Senate under his leadership has surpassed all previous Senate’s in Nigeria’s history, passed 201 bills and cleared 138 public petitions. Recently, the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill which was passed by the Nigerian Senate was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari stating that it reduces the President’s powers. The bill had been passed by the Nigerian National Assembly to promote transparency and accountability in the industry. On 6 June 2019, Saraki gave the valedictory speech at the final plenary of the 8th Senate.
Awards and recognitions of Bukola Saraki
Bukola has received numerous awards and recognitions, of which some of the awards he has bagged so far are listed below,
- Governor of the Year, This Day Newspapers, in 2004.
- Best Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development, City People KSNG, for 2004/2005.
- Africa Club Award, Harvard Business School, in 2005.
- Best Governor in Africa, Kenneth Kaunda Foundation, in 2006 Man of the Year, Osun State Broadcast Corporation, in 2006.
- Grand Patron, Nigeria Referee Association, in 2007.
- Best Governor on Food Security, This Day Newspaper, in 2008.
- Life Fellowship, All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), in 2009.
- Outstanding Governor on Energy, Nigerian Compass Newspaper, in 2009 Emerging Tiger of Nigeria (Leadership Award), This Day Newspaper, in 2010.
- Award of Excellence, Chartered Accountants, in 2010 Award of Excellence, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, in 2012.
- Good Ambassador of North Central Zone, Radio Television, Theatre and Art Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU), in 2014.
- Man of the 21st Century, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in 2016.
- Outstanding Leadership Award, Governor of Kwara State, Abdulahmed Fatai, in 2017.
- Award of Excellent Leadership, Association of Maritime Journalist of Nigeria (AMCON), in 2018.
- Outstanding Politician of the Year, Sun Newspaper, in 2018.
- Politician of the Year, New Telegraph Award, in 2018.
Is Bukola Saraki Married?
Yes, Saraki is a happily married man, and his wife’s name is Toyin Ojora-Saraki. She is a global health advocate, healthcare philanthropist and the Founder-President of Wellbeing Foundation Africa. She was born on September 6th, 1964. The couple share four children, namely, Halimat Oluwatosin, Oluwaseni, Teniola, and Teniayo. The former Governor and his lovely wife Toyin Saraki. Bukola Saraki son, Oluwaseni, is a barrister by profession. He graduated from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus. He is also a talented rapper who has performed in various events. His last-born daughters Teniola and Teniayo, are twins.
Bukola Saraki social media Handles
The politician has a vast social media presence with verified accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He enjoys an incredible following on these platforms. Facebook page: @bukola.saraki Instagram page: @bukolasaraki Twitter handle: @bukolasaraki the former Governor of Kwara State Dr. Bukola Saraki is one of the most popular politicians in Nigeria who has achieved a lot.
Bukola Saraki Net Worth
Bukola Saraki net worth is estimated at about $11 million which makes him among richest politicians in Nigeria. Bukola Saraki has been into politics for over 20 years now.
The politician has had a fair share of controversies during his political career. Corruption allegations have faced him. Some of these scandals include,
The misappropriation of Kwara State funds scandal, it was alleged that the politician took advantage of his two-term tenure at the helm of Kwara State to acquire properties under his name. During his second term as the Governor, the EFCC received several petitions from various groups in Kwara State. Most of the petitions were bordering on allegations of abuse of office, misappropriation of public funds and money laundering.
The Offa robbery investigation, in 2018, the former Senator of Kwara Central Senatorial District was caught on the wrong side of the law after it was alleged that he financed bank robbery in Offa. The robbers attacked six banks in the remote town of Offa in Kwara State and fired at a police station. They killed nine police officers and passersby, including some pregnant women during the incident. Five of the robbers who were arrested alleged that they had been funded by the politician, which is why the police investigation summoned him. He was, however, cleared off all the allegations.
Paradise Papers, Paradise Papers was a major data leak of over thirteen million confidential files, most of which were related to the Bermuda law firm, Appleby. A group of media organizations collaborated to investigate the documents, coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. It was revealed that the then-President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had a company registered in the offshore tax haven of the Cayman Islands. According to Nigeria’s Premium Times, Saraki failed to list this company on his assets declaration when he became the Governor of Kwara State in 2003. The Supreme Court of Nigeria, however, acquitted him of all charges. The court declared that all his asset declarations throughout his public life were accurate and correct.