Abubakar Olusola Saraki was the father of Bukola Saraki and Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, prominent Nigerian leaders. He was born on 17 May 1933 and was a former Nigerian senator, politician, philanthropist, professional medical doctor, and Kwara State political godfather before his death on 14 November 2012, at the age of 78 after a five-year-long battle with cancer.
Olusola Saraki has contributed to the growth of politics and democracy in Kwara State. This would lead to his becoming one of the most notable and influential people in Nigeria and even a decade after his demise, his name has not been forgotten. Olusola also had a fair share of his regrets and alleged taints on his rather clean slate in Nigeria.
Summary of Olusola Saraki’s Biography
- Full name: Abubakar Olusola Saraki
- Nickname: Baba Oloye
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: 17 May 1933
- Aged: 78 (at his death on 14 November 2012)
- Ethnicity: Yoruba
- Nationality: Nigeria
- Zodiac Sign: Taurus
- Sexual Orientation: Straight
- Religion: Islam
- Marital Status: Married
- Olusola Saraki’s Wife: Florence Morenike Saraki
- Olusola Saraki’s Children: Bukola Saraki, Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, Temitope Edu, Laolu Saraki
- Olusola Saraki’s Parents: Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki (Father), Alhaja Humuani Ayinke Saraki (Mother)
- Olusola Saraki’s Net worth: $1- $3 million (Estimated)
- Famous for: Medical Practioner and Nigerian politician
- Education: Breadfruit Memorial School, Lagos, Eko Boys High School, and Reverend Lucas College, Lagos. Regent Street Polytechnic and Woolwich Polytechnic. Diploma Certificates from the Royal College of Physicians, London, and the Royal College of Surgeon MRCS in England.The University of London and St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.
What Tribe is Olusola Saraki From?
Olusola Abubakar Saraki was a Yoruba man from Kwara State. He was born into a Muslim family on 17 May 1933. Olusola claimed to be from Mali originally but time afforded the means to settle in Kwara State. According to the account, his paternal ancestry hailed among the Fulanis but settled in Western Nigeria over 200 years ago.
His father, Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki was a businessman that dealt in textiles across countries and cities such as Lagos and Abidjan. His mother on the other hand was Alhaja Humuani Ayinke Saraki, a native of Iseyin, Oyo State, and a well-respected trader. Coming from a polygamous home, Olusola Saraki had quite several siblings and two stepmothers.
In 2010, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Alhaji Folorunsho Adbulrazak disputed Olusola’s claims of origin in Kwara. He revealed that he had information that Olusola Saraki was an Egba man from Abeokuta in Ogun State. Late Abdulrazak insisted that Olusola’s father told him of origin was not Kwara State.
Olusola Saraki’s Education and How He Became a Medical Doctor
Olusola Saraki, though a Kwara State indigene spent most of his life in Lagos. His educational pursuits began at the primary school level at Breadfruit Memorial School, Lagos in the late 1930s to mid-1940s. He was later enrolled in Eko Boys High School for a year but had to leave because the school did not offer sciences. Saraki received his secondary school leaving certificate from Reverend Lucas College in Lagos.
Coming from a home where both parents came from affluence, he had the opportunity to go abroad to receive higher education. Plying for knowledge, he began by attending Regent Street Polytechnic and Woolwich Polytechnic.
As a man with an enviable thirst for knowledge, Olusola underwent Diploma Certificate courses. The courses were from the Royal College of Physicians, London, and the Royal College of Surgeon MRCS in England.
The opportunity to chase his dream came in 1956. He was admitted to study Medicine at the University of London from 1956 to 1959. Baba OLoye became a certified medical practitioner and a qualified House Surgeon at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.
Olusola Saraki Abandoned Medical Practice For Politics
On returning to the shores of Africa, he gained employment at the General Hospital as a medical officer. Olusola Saraki later worked at the Creek Hospital in Onikan, Lagos State for a short period of time.
Nevertheless, his active service in public medical practice came to an end barely two years after he began. Olusola Saraki decided to set up a private medical practice alongside the late Dr. Ikomi. The clinic is now known as Saraki-Ikomi Group Clinics, Apapa, Lagos. It still stands even after being in existence for over 50 years.
Olusola Saraki’s emergence in politics in Nigeria began after he was introduced by Alhaji Abdulrazak Folorunsho in Abidjan. The former ambassador claimed to have advised Olusola Saraki to try out for politics.
The Rise of Olusola Saraki in Nigeria Politics
It was quite easy for Saraki to gain the love of his people as a politician. He used his expertise in medicine to set up a free healthcare service. Olusola Saraki rendered care to the people of the Asa community initially, as there were no other hospitals there. With this and more, he moved to become a grassroot leader.
In 1964 at the age of 31, Saraki’s father participated in his first-ever run for office in the House of Representatives. The election was for a seat in the First Republic parliamentary office. Although he intended to run under the platform of the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), circumstances were not in his favor. The party, headed by Sir Ahmadu Bello, went through some reforms that led to the ousting of Olusola from the position. Consequently, he decided to run as an independent but had barely any structure. This led to an unfortunate loss against the ruling party during the First Republic.
This is not to say that he gave up on his heartfelt services as he expanded his reach beyond the Asa LGA. Soon, the whole of Ilorin was the beneficiary of Olusola Saraki’s generosity. His private medical practice, on the other hand, was doing great at this point also.
He Became The First Senate Leader Under The New Formed Second Republic Government
Having tried and lost his elections in 1964, Olusola Saraki waited for the military reign to be ousted to return. When civilian rule returned to the people in 1979, Olusola emerged as a senator under the constituent assembly elections.
By this time, he had become so hands-on in politics that the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was formed under his watch. Olusola Saraki was one of the party’s founders and first eleven, yet he did not succeed in his run for the presidency under the party. Baba Oloye came in fourth as compared to Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, and Mallam Adamu Ciroma.
Subsequently, a new presidential system was formed under a constituent assembly, and he became the first senate leader under the policy. He was re-elected as a Senator under the NPN in 1983 at 50.
How Olusola Saraki Became One of The Biggest Chieftains of The PDP
As the third republic rolled by, Olusola Saraki became thirsty for the seat of the presidency. At that time, he was a member of the Abacha transition program and the Committee for National Consensus(CNC).
Saraki still did not emerge flagbearer under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) flag in 1998. This of course had him reclining to the All People’s Party (APP) to become a National Leader and member of the Board of Trustees. While Olusola Saraki belonged to the party, it thrived tremendously in the North-central states of Kwara and Kogi.
Five years down the line, Saraki had become a bona fide member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Part of his portfolio entails a seat as head of the Arewa Consultative Forum. In a way, one would say he passed the reins of leadership to his son, Abubakar Bukola Saraki. Olusola Saraki’s son became the longest-serving governor of Kwara State in 2003.
While he was alive, all six governors who came into leadership in the state had the Olusola Saraki stamp and endorsement of power. Today, he is still known as the godfather of Kwara State politics.
Olusola Saraki’s Wives and Children
One of the many characteristics of Olusola Saraki was his love for family. He seemed to have led a successful life not only in politics but also in his family life. As was known, he built a good relationship with his children as much as he disciplined them.
Bukola Saraki’s Father Was Married to Florence Morenike Saraki
Olusola Abubakar Saraki was married to only one wife, Florence Morenike Saraki from Ondo State. The matriarch of the family was born on 8 August 1935 and is still alive as of 2023.
Despite coming from different religions, Olusola Saraki a Muslim got married to his wife, Florence a Christian, in 1962. His marriage coincided at the time with his house job as a medical doctor in London. Their first child together, Bukola Saraki was born in London and before he clocked one year, they returned to Nigeria.
Olusola Saraki’s First Child Is the Former Senate President of Nigeria, Bukola Saraki
Olusola Saraki is the father of Bukola Abubakar Saraki. He is the first child and son among four children Olusola Saraki had with his wife Morenike Florence Saraki. The two-time governor was born on 19 December 1962 and was schooled vastly both in Nigeria and London. The politician is a qualified medical doctor from the London Hospital Medical College of the University of London and Cheltenham College, London. The father of four also obtained his first school leaving certificate from King’s College, Lagos from 1973 to 1978.
Bukola Saraki was the longest-sitting governor of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011. As a governor, he was able to serve under the presidential regimes of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Bukola Saraki also served politically under Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s political dispensation. He was also the former 13th Senate President of Nigeria from 2015 to 2019 under the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.
Presently, he is a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) after leaving the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressive Congress (APC). Although he contested in the 2023 elections, he did not win but showed immense support to Atiku Abubakar, PDP flagbearer
Currently, he is married to his Toyin Ojora-Saraki and they have four children together. Mrs. Saraki is a well-learned lawyer and president of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA). The organization is a global health advocacy foundation. She also works as a Director and Board member of organizations and industries such as Seven-Up Nigeria Ltd, EDC Securities Ltd, and Ojora Group of Companies. Asides from this, the philanthropist and mother of four comes from the royal family of the Ojora and Adele of Lagos State
The couple is blessed with four children named Hamilat Oluwatosin (first child and daughter who lost her twin at birth). The others are; Oluwaseni (a lawyer, musician, and second child), as well as the twins in the family, Teniayo and Teniola.
Olusola Saraki’s Second Child Was A Minister in Two Key Sectors of The Country
Until July 2022, Senator Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki was the minister of transportation in Nigeria. In the same year, she was moved to serve as the minister of State for Mines and Steel Development of Nigeria. She was also the former senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District from 2003 to 2011 when the state was headed by Bukola Saraki. She emerged and won under the All People’s Party (APP) for the House of Representatives seat in 1999.
The Enigma of a Woman in the Steel Sector in Nigeria was born to the Late Olusola Saraki family on May 3, 1965. She was married to Olusegun Fowora in 1990 and the couple until their divorce had two children; a boy and a girl. The graduate of the University of Sussex’s first child and daughter, Tiwalola Oyinkansola Fowora was born in 1991. Gbemisola Saraki gave birth to her son, Olaotan Fowora in 1995.
Unlike her father, Olusola Saraki, and her brother Bukola who studied medicine, she is a graduate of economics. Gbemisola Saraki has worked in several parastatals like the Lagos branch Nigeria Bank of Commerce and Industry. Other places she has worked are as Head of Money Markets, and Domiciliary Accounts at the Societe Generale Bank (Nigeria). The second child of the Olusola Saraki family was also the Executive Director of Ashmount Insurance Brokers, Lagos.
In 2011, hoping to succeed the Kwara State governorship seat from Bukola Saraki, she relinquished her senate seat. However, Bukola Saraki, rather than endorsing her, decided to endorse another candidate from the PDP where they all belonged.
The incident created a rancor among the Saraki siblings, household, and Kwara State. The decision led the patriarch, Olusola Saraki and Gbrmisola Saraki to leave the party for the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). She lost the election to Abdulfatah Ahmed and since then, both politicians have been at loggerheads.
Temitope Edu, the Unpopular Third Child of Olusola Saraki
Temitope Edu is the third child of Olusola Saraki. She is an interior architectural designer and owns the company, Tope Edu Designs. Through her expertise, she is now known to handle upscale organizations such as Oando Marketing Plc. Others are; The Moorhouse Hotel, Ermenegildo Zegna as well as a host of many others.
In 2020, the Tope Edu Designs company was shortlisted as the only Nigerian and African design company for the SBID International Designs Awards.
She got married to her husband Koye Edu, the son of the late Chief Shafi L. Edu, a former Federal House of Representatives member. In the course of their marriage, they have been blessed with children.
Laolu Saraki, The Last Child of Olusola Saraki and Former Presidential Aide
Laolu Saraki is the last son and child of Olusola Saraki and the co-founder of Rhino Niger Networks. Like Bukola Saraki who is a father of twins, Laolu’s wife Carolina also gave birth to twins, Sola and Lani (boys) in 2015.
He was the former aide of Presidents Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Laolu Saraki is also the managing director of a marine service company called Supreme Off-shore. He works in partnership with AP Moeller Maersk Group, a shipping and logistics company.
In 2018, Laolu Saraki alongside Kojo Annan, son of Kofi Annan, a former United Nations Secretary-General was publicly investigated. It was alleged that the investigation was pertaining to the hidden and false declaration of assets and alleged corruption. It was claimed that many documents showing his link to offshore shell companies were found.
What is Olusola Saraki’s Net Worth?
Olusola Saraki is estimated to have had an estimated net worth of $1-$3 million dollars.
He started earning before he was 30. His first known job was as a medical practitioner before he became a politician and later a senator. Also, he earned from other business ventures which include his being a co-founder of a renowned hospital Saraki-Ikomi Group Clinic in Lagos.He was a stakeholder and an active key player in the affairs of Kwara State as well as Nigeria.
As a politician, he was regarded as one of the richest politicians in Nigeria.
In politics, one of the most renowned ways he made fortune was his being a senator in the Nigerian Second Republic (1979-1983). While his exact fortune at the time may be shadowy, a renowned politician and senate president (2019-2023), Ahmed Lawan claimed that a Nigerian senator earns about ₦1.5 million monthly and ₦13 million quarterly office running allowance.
With this, a senator makes about ₦52 million per annum in a ₦13 million office running cost. However, there are other reports that senators earn about ₦13.5 million monthly.
Going by the former report and if senators from 1979 to 1983 earned the same amount, then he may have earned about ₦72 million as salary alone in his 4 years of service. If we judge his income based on the ₦13.5 million, Olusola Saraki may have earned about ₦648 million.
Olusola Saraki’s Death and Legacy
Olusola Saraki led a successful career and perhaps family life before his death on November 14, 2012. He died in Lagos at the age of 79 after battling cancer.
He is mostly remembered for his philanthropy works. Many have claimed that the act of giving that he was famous for was for political gains. Others have a contrary opinion and have often tagged him “a man of the people”.
His legacy was beyond touching lives as he laid a solid foundation for democracy and politics in Kwara State. In fact, he contributed immensely to the life of his son, Bukola Saraki, and how he turned to become the former governor of Kwara State and Nigeria’s 13th President of the Senate of Nigeria from 2015 to 2019.