Saraki gets hero’s welcome in Ilorin after Supreme Court victory

Bukola Saraki in Ilorin

Senate President Bukola Saraki was on Tuesday given a hero’s welcome at the Ilorin International Airport in Kwara State 10 days after the Supreme Court discharged and acquitted him of allegations of false assets declaration.

The crowd of supporters patiently waited for Saraki’s return to his hometown for about eight hours, having assembled at the airport as early as 8.00am.

Motorists and other road users had a hectic time on the Ilorin-Ogbomosho Road, as supporters lined both sides of the road with vehicles stretching for about five kilometres.

Although Saraki’s flight didn’t arrive until about 4.17pm, the supporters kept themselves alive with dance and music from various bands.

He was accompanied on the flight by the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad; Senator Rafiu Ibrahim; former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and chairman House Committee on Judiciary, Razak Atunwa, as well as former presidential spokesman, Dr.  Doyin Okupe.

While taking questions from newsmen, Saraki described his three-year trial as tough but expressed satisfaction that his followers never doubted his innocence as he had told them on many occasions.

On his trial and the visit, he said: “It’s been a long journey for all my own people in the state, and today we thank the Almighty God for this. I want to thank all of them who did not at any time waver. They believe in my innocence and supported me throughout those three very tough years and it was a great feeling for all of us.

“It is my first homecoming to thank them for all the support they have given me and the victory and for the fact that the truth prevailed and justice was done.  Today is a day for me to visit and more importantly thank the people for the support they have given for years.

“As I always say time will come for everything, a time will come I will tell people where I am, what I’m doing. For now it is just to thank the people of the state because the last three years have been tough and they are still committed and remain and I have to appreciate that.  I appreciate that.”

The Senate President and his entourage drove directly from the airport to the palace of Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, to pay homage to the monarch.

It was cheers all the way for Saraki by residents who lined the streets to show their love for their hero.