Kwara Bombshell: Saraki Is An Egba Man, Ex-Ambassador Reveals

Kwara Bombshell: Saraki Is An Egba Man, Ex-Ambassador Reveals
thenews/pmnews .A former Nigerian Ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire, Alhaji
AbdulGaniy Folorunsho Abdulrazak has declared that the godfather of
Kwara politics and the Turaki of Ilorin, Dr. Olusola Saraki, is not
from Kwara State but an Egba man from Ogun State.

In an interview published in this week’s edition of TheNEWS

magazine, Alhaji Abdulrazak narrated how he became a close friend of
Dr. Saraki’s father, the late Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki and what the
older Saraki told him about his ancestry.

According to the former ambassador, Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki visited
him one Sunday at home and they had an important and historic

Alhaji Abdulrazak recalled: “He asked me where I come from. I told him
I am from Ilorin. Alhaji Saraki said he was an Egba man from Abeokuta.
By this time I did not even know the existence of Olusola Saraki. So,
the man told me he was from Abeokuta but he went to a Quranic School
in Ilorin at Agbaji, an area reputed for Islamic scholarship. The man
with his own mouth told me he was an Egba man from Abeokuta. This was
in early 1963.”

Alhaji Abdulrazak disclosed that Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki introduced
his son, Olusola Saraki, to him who at that time was studying Medicine
in London. He recollected that at their first meeting, as the then
young Saraki stretched out his hand to shake him, his father slapped
him. But he calmed the elder Saraki. After the first meeting, the
father said he was putting the younger Saraki in his care, stressing,
“Take care of him for me.”

“Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki, the father of Sola is dead now, and he is in
the right place. If I am telling lies, he is hearing. That was how I
met Sola Saraki. And I told him that it was good that as a young man,
he is a professional. I advised him to return home to participate in
politics. I am talking of 1963.”

Alhaji Abdulrazak also recounted that when Dr. Saraki wanted to enter
politics in 1964, he contacted him, adding, “he told me that he
decided to heed the advice I gave him in Abidjan to go into politics.”

He also identified a daughter of the late Alhaji Muttahiru Saraki as
Iya Alaro who is married to an indigene of Ilorin. Alhaji Abdulrazak
also remembered that Dr. Saraki’s father had a male child older than
Dr. Saraki. But the man did not have Western education. And he might
have settled back in Lagos or Abeokuta.

On how he met Dr. Saraki’s father, Alhaji Abdulrazak said: “In 1962, I
was appointed Ambassador of Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire and one of those
who met me at the port as part of the Nigerian community in Abidjan
turned out to be the father of Olusola Saraki, Alhaji Muttahiru
Saraki. As an ambassador there, my second secretary in the embassy,
Ignatius Olisemeka, who later became Foreign Affairs Minister, led
officials of the embassy to come and meet me. That was around
September or October 1962.  “In those days, there was only one flight
from Lagos to other West African countries. Ships plied the coast of
West Africa, carrying some passengers. One of the ships named General
Mangaine travelled on the West African coast, stopping at principal
ports. After leaving the Cameroons, it came to Lagos, where I went
aboard together with Ado Ibrahim, who is now the Emir of Kano. Both of
us were appointed the same day as ambassadors; he to Senegal, I to
Ivory Coast. We went with our respective families, stopping at several
ports along the way until we finally disembarked at Abidjan.

“I observed that the crowd that came to meet me at the port was
divided into two groups. I asked Olisemeka (his secretary)  why
members of the Nigerian community that came to meet me were waving
different banners and were standing apart, not mixing. “He explained
that the division was caused by a fighting over who would lead the
Nigerian community.

“When I asked who the contenders were, he said one Alhaji Muttahiru
Saraki and Emmanuel Alabi.

“I said I was not prepared to work with a divided community. I also
told them that I had not invited them to the embassy to hear why they
were fighting. I said from their looks, Muttahiru Saraki would be the
older person. And because of that I was recognising him as the leader
of the community. And against my expectation, Alabi stood up and
prostrated before Saraki, holding his leg and saying, ‘I accept you as
my leader.’ And I told him he will be Saraki’s deputy de

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