Saraki: A Visionary Leader, Architect of Modern Kwara

April 02 15:58 2020

Leaders are known as leaders for exhibiting qualities that conforms to all manners of environment and atmosphere. They see beyond the ordinary, and they provide the enabling atmosphere that absolutely caters for what would later be. They are visionary.

That absolutely describes the Senate President of the 8th National Assembly, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki CON.

He was Governor of Kwara between 2003 and 2011, and within this period, impacted positively on the state and its people both within and in The Diaspora, and could be best described as the ‘Architect of Modern Kwara’

As if he knew that the world would one day, be faced with a pandemic known as Covid-19, Saraki, popularly known as ‘The Leader’ built a world class international diagnostic centre in Ilorin, known as Harmony Diagnostic Centre.

As if he knew that the population of kwara would increase with security situation in the North, he pushed for the total overhaul and upgrade of the General Hospital Ilorin to ease the pressure on the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).

One of the first over-head bridges in the North Central states of Nigeria was built by Saraki, to ease the traffic situation in the central business district of Ilorin (The Post Office Area).

Saraki knew the importance of Agriculture and food security, he engaged the new Zimbabwean farmers and established the Songa Farms in the Northern part of the state.

He saw that the kwara North Senatorial District is the food basket of the state; he constructed the Barutein-Kosubosu road for easy access to the area.

Saraki saw the need for his people to get the best of education, he established the Kwara State University, and also approved Campuses in Kwara South (Osi Campus) and Kwara North (Ilesa-Baruba Campus) in a bid to bring tertiary education close to all parts of the state.

Saraki as the Waziri of Ilorin knew the importance his people attach to Islamic religion; he pushed for the upgrading of the Ilorin Central Mosque to international standard.

Saraki wanted the youths to be trained in the skills of Football and Education simultaneously, he established the kwara Football Academy, which is today one of the best around.

He also refurbished and upgraded the Mini-Bowl of the Kwara State Stadium Complex to a Main-Bowl, with standard facilities to host international matches.

He supported Kwara United Football Club to compete in CAF Confederation Cup Championship and formed Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Football Club, from amateur to professional status, a platform where numerous youths are rising to stardom.

Saraki saw the need for foreign investors to come to the state, he opened up the Ilorin International Airport to function optimally, and encourage airlines to ply Ilorin routes.

He established the International Aviation College, Ilorin, for youths to become future pilots.

He built the Ilorin Cargo Terminal to boost international businesses and cargo-planes destination to Ilorin.

He dualized the township roads to connect the Airport from town, to link Ogbomoso-Oyo-Ibadan-Lagos Expressway.

Saraki dualized the township roads to link University of Ilorin for easy access to students and visitors to the school.

To protect the Stadium edifice from hosting other events outside sports, Saraki constructed a multi-million naira Kwara Millennium Square.

Saraki upgraded and refurbished the Kwara State Government House to become one of the best among the North Central States in Nigeria.

Saraki built a modern Deputy Governor’s office to give the office a befitting status.

For government functions and major events in the state, Saraki built a modern Government House Banquet Hall, the best and biggest in the North Central Nigeria.

Saraki built a Modern Presidential Lodge in Ilorin, aside Modern Chalets for important visitors to the state.

For better local and inter-state marketing activities, Saraki established the new Mandate Market in Ilorin.

Saraki renovated and revamped Kwara Hotels, and brought in foreign experts to manage the hospitality edifice.

For Employment and Industrial growth in kwara state, Saraki interfaced with good friend and ensured the establishment of Dangote flour Mills in Ilorin.

Above all, Saraki encouraged human capacity building by aiding many youths to become top politicians, educated professionals, top State and Federal Civil Servants and appointees as well as the institution of daily support to the aged through the Ile-Arugbo Charity Home.

Saraki is indeed, the architect of Modern Kwara State.

Alloy Chukwuemeka ACC
Writes from Ilorin

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