President Muhammadu Buhari monday described the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, as one of the most influential politicians in the country.
In his goodwill message to Saraki on the occasion of his 54th birthday, Buhari congratulated the senate president, describing him as a man who has made tremendous impact on the country.
In a statement signed his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, the president noted that Saraki has successfully kept the memory of his late father alive by identifying with the grassroots in his home state.
While wishing the senate president many more prosperous years ahead, the president called for closer cooperation between the executive and the legislature to ensure the smooth implementation of government policies and programmes.
He said despite the principle of separation of powers, both arms of government should be united in the promotion of the common good of the people.
The president noted that whatever differences that might occasionally arise between the two branches of government should not be allowed to compromise their common goals of promoting the greater progress and development of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Saraki yesterday awarded scholarship to 73 First Class graduates from Kwara State to mark his birthday.
The senate president had hosted the graduates and their parents to a dinner last Sunday night.
The programme which was held at his residence in Ilorin, lasted till 12a.m. monday.
Speaking at the ceremony, Saraki said it was high time Nigerian began to focus less on oil and pay more attention to developing human resources.
The senate president observed that the disciplines in which the graduates bagged their first class honours were “very difficult disciplines.”
The feat, he noted, suggested that Nigeria is blessed with promising future leaders.
“We spend a lot of time talking about oil but we spend less talking about the most important resources. What we have before us worth more than many barrels of oil; they worth more than tantalite,” the senate president said.
He praised the parents of the beneficiaries for ensuring that their children have good education.
Saraki challenged other parents to take the education of their children and wards seriously for the betterment of the country.
“There are a lot we can do in this state if we focus on our human resources. We don’t have oil in Kwara State but our human resources is more than oil,” he said.
In his address, the Project Manager, Saraki Employment and Empowerment Centre (SEEC), Yinka Adeyeye, said the initiative which was first of its kind in the state, was the Senate president’s vision of nurturing future leaders.
He listed the disciplines where the beneficiaries distinguished themselves to include 11 first class graduates in mathematics, six in Economics; five in Biochemistry; four in Civil Engineering; three in Computer Science, Statistics, Microbiology among others.
A special prayer was also held at Saraki’s resident to mark his birthday.
The prayer was led by the Chief Imam of Ilorin, Sheik Mohammed Bashir Solihu.
The prayer session attracted dignitaries, including members of the two chambers of National Assembly, the state assembly, top government functionaries and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC).