Bukola Saraki, a current member of the All Progressive Congress (APC), who was the governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011, became the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after the March 2015 elections. Before he emerged as the Senate President, he represented the Kwara Central Senatorial District.
BukolaSaraki was born on 19 December, 1962, to the family of OlusolaSaraki and Florence MorenikeSaraki. His father OlusolaSaraki, happens to be a onetime Senate President (1979 – 1983) of Nigeria.
He attended King’s College, Lagos, from 1973 to 1973 to 1998 when he obtained his West African School Certificate (WAEC). He attended Cheltenham College, London, from 1979 to 1981 when he obtained his High School Certificate.
He studied at the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London, from 1982 to 1997 when he obtained his M.B.B.S (London).He was a director of SociétéGénérale Bank (Nig) Ltd from 1990 to 2000.
BukolaSaraki’spolitical career started off in the year 2000,when he was appointed by the former president OlusegunObasanjo his special assistant on budget issues. He initiated the Fiscal Responsibility Bill during his tenure and also served on the Economy Policy Coordination Committee.
Kwara State Governor
In 2003, He contested and won the Kwara State gubernatorial elections which was conducted on April 19. He was sworn in as Governor of Kwara State on May 29, 2003.
He again contested and won the gubernatorial elections for the same state which was conducted on April 14, 2007. He was sworn in for a second time as governor of Kwara State on May 29, 2007. During his eight years tenure, had mostly positive reviews about his job.
One of his major achievements was inviting displaced white farmers from Zimbabwe to Kwara State and offering them an opportunity to farm.
He also introduced new health programmes, including a campaign in 2008 to reduce maternal and child,which involved the distribution of insecticide-treated nets and free malaria drugs to mothers and their children.
He was the first Nigerian governor to be awarded the national honour, a Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
His charisma among his fellow governors got him appointed chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
In 2011, he was elected into the Nigerian Senate (7th National Assembly), where he represented the Kwara Central Senatorial District.
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.
Note: Bukola Saraki defected to the All Progressive People’s party in 2014 after lamenting about repressive policies of the PDP government.
In 2015, He was elected unopposed as President of the Senate by an across the party alliance comprising PDP and APC Senators.
The election was a tough one for him as he had faced stiff opposition from Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, who was a preferred candidate by a group of senators-elect within the APC.
Saraki was the first serving Nigerian governor to be awarded the National Honor of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 2010.
The Code of Conduct Bureau cited a 13-count charge of corruption against Bukola Saraki in 2015. He was accused of making false declaration of assets in forms he had filed with the Code of Conduct Bureau while he was governor of Kwara state. He was also accused of failing to declare some assets he acquired while in office as governor, as well as acquiring assets beyond his legitimate earnings. He was also accused of operating foreign accounts while being a public officer.
The EFCC had conducted its investigation on the various and arrivedat incriminating facts against him.
On September 18, 2015, Danladi Umar, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, issued an arrest warrant against Saraki. On March 18, 2016, Saraki’s lead counsel and ex-attorney general of Nigeria, Kanu Godwin Agabi, led a delegation of 79 lawyers to defend him at the tribunal.
Bukola Saraki is married to Toyin Saraki and they have four children together.