President Goodluck Jonathan has joined Nigerians in mourning Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki who he described as “one of Nigeria’s most prominent political leaders, medical practitioner and democrat.”

In a statement signed by the President’s special adviser on Media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the President extended his “sincere commiserations to the elder statesman’s family and the people of his home state, Kwara to whose service and upliftment he selflessly devoted his long and very successful career in politics.”

President Jonathan urged people of Kwara to be consoled by the knowledge that “their departed father, leader and mentor lived a very successful and fulfilled life, rising to national prominence by dint of hard work, uncommon generosity, political sagacity, dedication and wholesome commitment to the service of his people and the entire nation.”

He noted that the late Dr. Saraki will be long remembered and eulogized as a consummate politician, an astute grassroots mobiliser, and a political colossus with awe-inspiring powers of political organisation.

“The ordinary people of Kwara in particular will always remember the “Oloye” with great affection because of the constant support they received from him” he added

The President further notes that “Dr. Saraki’s brand of people-oriented politics and his success in building on his strong support base to contribute positively to Nigeria’s political development as a powerful voice in the nation’s dominant political parties, as the Senate Majority Leader in the Second Republic, and as the ultimate reference point in the politics of Kwara state for decades, have assured him of a place amongst Nigeria’s heroes of democracy.

He urged Nigerians to emulate Dr Saraki’s patriotic commitment to national unity, politics without bitterness as well as his magnificent spirit of philanthropy.

Nigeria has lost another political titan – ACN

Also reacting to the demise of the Ilorin political icon, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) expressed shock and sadness, saying the nation has lost another political titan and a legend of his time.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also described Dr. Saraki as a “colossus who possessed an efficient political machinery that he used effectively to rally the people.”

”Dr. Saraki defined his era, and since his entry into politics several decades ago, politics has never been the same again, especially in his native Kwara state, where he became synonymous with the politics of the state.”

ACN said the death of Dr. Saraki, coming a few days after the passing of another great politician, Lam Adesina, is a big loss to Nigeria, especially at a time the nation needs the wisdom and rich experience of its great sons and daughters to help steer it to less-turbulent waters.

”The vacuum being created by the death of these political titans is a challenge to young politicians to strive hard to step into their shoes and work hard to make our country a proud member of the comity of nations,” the party said.