Abubakar Olubukola Saraki is a Nigerian politician who served as the 13th Senate President of Nigeria from 2015 to 2019, and also the Chair of the 8th Nigerian National Assembly. He is a former Governor of Kwara State, who held the position between 2003 and 2011 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, before proceeding to represent Kwara Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. Saraki declared his intention to run for the presidential seat of Nigeria in the 2019 general elections. However, he lost the People’s Democratic Party’s primary elections to Atiku Abubakar. Saraki is a physician by profession.
He was born on 19th December 1962 in London, the United Kingdom to Mrs Florence Morenike Saraki and Mr Olusola Saraki, who was a Senator in the Second Nigerian Republic. He is a Muslim, married to Toyin Ojoro Saraki, and they have four children together, namely: Halimat Oluwatosin Saraki, Oluwaseni Saraki, and twins, Teniola Saraki and Teniayo Saraki.
He is a football fan, and has an eponymous football club – Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club (ABSFC). During Saraki’s tenure as governor, he was conferred the Turaki of the Fulani emirate of Ilorin. In 2018, the Emir of Ilorin elevated him to the position of Waziri (Prime Minister) of Ilorin, a chieftaincy title last held by Saraki’s father.
|Name Of School||Degree||Year|
|Corona School, Victoria Island, Lagos||Primary SChool Certificate||1972|
|Kings College Lagos||WASSCE||1978|
|Cheltenham College||High School Certificate||1981|
|London Hospital Medical college, University of London||MBBS||1987|
|International Human Rights Commission||Ambassador-at-Large||2019|
|GLOBE (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment) Nigeria||President||2013|
|Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (initiative of the United Nations Foundation)||Member, Leadership Council||2012|
|Société Générale Bank (Nig) Ltd||Executive Director||1990-2000|
|Rush Green Hospital, Essex, United Kingdom||Medical Officer||1988-1989|
19 December 1962
All Progressive Congress (APC)
Governor of Kwara State
Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Saraki began his political career in 2000 when President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as his Special Assistant on Budget. As a Special Assistant, Saraki initiated the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and Public Procurement Act. He held this position until 2002, subsequently served on the Economic Policy Coordination Committee and formulated some key economic policies for Nigeria.
In 2003, he ran for the governorship seat of Kwara State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), defeating the incumbent governor. Saraki was re-elected into office in 2007. Thus, making him the Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011. Saraki also served as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum from 2007 to 2011.
Following the end of his tenure as governor, in 2011, Saraki was elected into the Senate under the PDP umbrella, representing the Kwara Central Senatorial District. He was appointed as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology. During this time, he established GLOBE Nigeria as an affiliate of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International), establishing a platform for legislators to advance environmental and sustainable development laws in Nigeria. He currently serves as GLOBE Nigeria’s president.
In January 2014, Saraki defected from the People’s Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress. He went on to be re-elected to the Senate in the 2015 general elections on the platform of APC. On 9th June 2015, he was elected unopposed as the Senate President of the 8th National Assembly, by an across the party alliance comprising PDP and APC senators.
On 31st July 2018, Saraki announced his defection from APC back to his former party, PDP, making him become the opposition leader. He blamed his defection on the intolerance of influential people in the party; according to Saraki, “they have done everything to ensure that the basic rules of party administration, which should promote harmonious relations among the various elements within the party were blatantly disregarded”.
In 2018, Saraki declared his intention to run for the presidential seat of Nigeria in the 2019 general elections, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. However, he lost the PDP presidential ticket to Atiku Abubakar. Saraki has subsequently announced the Director-General of Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign for the 2019 elections.
Saraki also lost his Kwara Senatorial Seat to APC’s Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe by polling a total of 68,994 votes against Oloriegbe’s 123,808 votes.
Blunt style of leadership.
Awards & Honours
- 2021 Honorary Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Nation Building by the African Youth Empowerment Award
- 2017 Outstanding Leadership Award by the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed
- 2013 Emerging Political Icon of the Year by African Exchange and Investment Forum
- 2013 Honorary Citizen of the State of Georgia
- 2012 Award of Excellence in Development of Education and Health Care Delivery in Nigeria, conferred by the College of Medicine, University of Lagos
- 2010 Nigerian Bar Association Award of Excellence
- 2010 Nigerian National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
- 2010 Institute of Chartered Accountants Award of Excellence
- 2010 Emerging Tiger of Nigeria (Leadership Award by This Day Newspaper)
- 2009 Compass Newspaper’s Outstanding Governor on Energy
- 2008 This Day Newspaper’s Best Governor on Food Security
- 2006 Best Governor in Africa Award conferred by Kenneth Kaunda Foundation
- 2006 Osun State Broadcasting Corporation Man of the Year
- 2005 Africa Club Award conferred by Harvard Business School
- 2004 This Day Newspaper’s Best Governor of the Year Award
- 2004/05’ Best Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development conferred by City People
- African Governor of the Year in Agricultural Development by African Union Media Group in Pretoria, South Africa
- Doctor of Science and Public Administration Award by the University of Port Harcourt for his administration’s focus on agriculture
- Under his administration, Kwara State became the first state to complete the Nigeria Independent Power Project. In collaboration with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Saraki re-energised the Ganmo Power Station at Ilorin and connected over 3750 rural communities to the national grid through the development and installation of 725 transformers and 7 substations.
- Completion of 4 electrification projects leading to stabilisation of power in Kwara State (18-22 hours per day), and 90% of people living in Kwara having access to electricity
- Creation of community health insurance scheme and environmental “Clean and Green” scheme
- Transformation of Kwara State into a net exporter of food
- Collaboration with Zimbabwean farmers by offering them an opportunity to farm in Kwara State, leading to the establishment of the Shonga Farms Agricultural Program, and the subsequent development of the Nigerian farming industry
- Donation and distribution of malaria prevention kits to pregnant women and children
- Under his leadership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, he facilitated several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with international agencies such as the Bill & melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, UNICEF, UNDP, GAVI, etc
- Establishment of the Kwara Football Academy
- Renovation of the Ilorin Airport to that of an international standard, along with the construction of a cargo terminal
- Sponsored several bills (National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Amendment Bill 2012, Gas Flaring Prohibition Bill 2012, Climate Change Commission Bill 2013)
- Under his leadership as Senate President, the Senate set a record of passing 204 bills and clearing 138 public petitions.
- During his reign as governor, he introduced the Price Intelligence Unit (the first by any state government) thereby reducing leakages in government revenues and introducing transparency and efficiency in government procurement. The idea was later adopted by the Federal Government as it became the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP)
- Established GLOBE Nigeria as an affiliate of the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International), a platform for legislators to advance environmental and sustainable development laws in Nigeria
- Spearheaded the issue of the Lead Poisoning crisis in the mining areas of Zamfara State and the Great Green Wall, in order to combat desertification and climate change.
- Establishment of the International Aviation College, the first state-owned aviation college in Nigeria.
Dr Bukola Saraki has consistently fought and rejected all claims of corruption against his person, and has won a series of court cases to that effect. He has also described the allegations as political vendettas and “witch-hunts”.
- Bukola Saraki was the first Senate President in Nigeria to be issued arrest warrants in September 18, 2015
- His name was in the list of politicians named in “Paradise Papers” allegations in November 2017. However, on Wednesday, 14 June 2017, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja discharged and acquitted Saraki of the 18-count charge of corruption in the false declaration of assets charge which was brought against him in September 2015 by the federal government. With this acquittal, the CCT laid to rest all controversies surrounding Saraki’s alleged false declaration of assets, and the claim that as a public office holder, he operated offshore assets.
- Bukola Saraki and some of his aides were allegedly indicted by EFCC for laundering up to ₦3.5 billion from the Paris Club Loan Refund.