A ‘five-year’ battle: How Sen. Olusola Saraki died of cancer

by Isi Esene

More details have emerged on how the godfather of Kwara politics, Senator Olusola Saraki died early Wednesday morning. Saraki was reportedly hale and hearty this morning and even said his prayers before finally succumbing to cancer.

One of the children of the Second Republic senator, Olaolu, spoke about the circumstances leading to his father’s death saying, “He has been battling cancer for about five years. He was fine this morning. He was comfortable and even said his prayers.

“He died in the presence of one of my brothers, my mother, and my two sisters,” Olaolu told newsmen at his father’s residence on Cameron Road, Ikoyi. “He gave up the ghost at about 6 a.m,” he said.

Former governor of Kwara, Sen. Bukola Saraki,  who is the eldest son of the deceased, said his father lived an exemplary life.

Bukola said, “We are sad but we take solace in knowing that our father lived an exemplary life of service and selfless devotion to the development of his people and nation.

“We give praise to God, who gave and has taken. My father lived a great life. He touched many lives. We are all proud of the life he lived because he fulfilled many dreams. Baba will be sorely missed. We pray for the repose of his soul.”

Meanwhile, the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, has reportedly described the late Saraki as a  statesman of immense character.

“Saraki was a national hero to many of us in this country and had greatly contributed to the freedom and political emancipation of Nigerian democracy,” said Tinubu, who spoke with newsmen at the Saraki residence in Lagos.

“His death came as a shock but he has lived a very fulfilling life. His death is a loss to the country.”

Tinubu said that the country should learn Saraki’s political strategy and maturity.

“The ability to create a political platform that endures is part of his legacies. He understood the country’s political terrain so much and that made him contribute greatly to the evolution of democracy and sustenance of welfare programmes.

“We have lost a man of immense political strategy at the time Nigeria needs to promote and further our democratization in a free and fair election that will elect true leaders.

On Wednesday, Saraki’s body arrived at the Ilorin International Airport about 4:30pm aboard a chartered plane belonging to Overland Airways.

The corpse, accompanied by the children, had arrived the Lagos airport at about 3:30pm.

It was later driven to the Ilorin Eid prayer ground where prayers were offered for the deceased around 5:05pm.

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