Top 10 Most Prominent People in Ilorin, Kwara State. Ilorin is home to a lot of prominent people in Nigeria. These people are important both in the state and in the country as a whole and they contribute to the development of both the state and the Nation.
The following is a list of the prominent people in Ilorin:
1. Olusola Saraki
Dr. Olusola Saraki was born on the 17th of May, 1933 at Ilorin, in Kwara State. His mother was from Oyo State and his father was an indigene of Ilorin. He had his secondary education at Eko Boys High School and his university education at the University of London and St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London. He was employed as a medical officer at the General Hospital, Lagos and the Creek Hospital in Lagos.
He was popularly called “Baba Oloye”, and “the godfather of Kwara politics”. Dr. Olusola Saraki was the patriarch of the Saraki family in Ilorin.
He foray into politics began in 1964, when he ran in the parliamentary election for Ilorin as an independent. He however did not win the election and returned to working in the hospital.
Dr. Olusola Saraki was elected as a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1977. This Constituent Assembly was the one that produced the 1979 constitution. He was elected as a Senator of the Second Republic in 1979 and eventually he became a Senate Leader. In 1983, he was re-elected into the senate on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
He became a National Leader and member of the Board of Trustees of the All People’s Party (APP) in 1998. He supported Mohammed Alabi Lawal in becoming the Governor of Kwara State. He headed the team from the Arewa Consultative Forum, which was a Northen cultural and political group in 2001. This group was sent to meet with Northern state governors and other leaders so as to have a discussion with them about common goals. He later decamped to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Dr. Olusola Saraki was the father of Dr. Bukola Saraki who was a past Governor of Kwara State and is the current Senate Leader in the Eighth Senate of Nigeria. Gbemisola Saraki is also his daughter and she was a senator for Kwara State Central in 2003.
The godfather of politics in Kwara State, Dr. Olusola Saraki died on the 14th of November at the age of 79 in Lagos after a long battle with cancer. His remains was laid to rest in Ilorin.
2. Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari
He was the eleventh Emir of Ilorin and the permanent chairman of the Kwara State Traditional Council. Alhaji Sulu-Gambari was a retired Justice of the Court of Appeal and he is a direct descendant of Sheikh Salihu Alimi, who was the founder of what is now known as the Ilorin Emirate.
On the 11th of November, 1995, he ascended the throne of his forefathers. This was three years after his father, Alhaji Zulu Karinaini Mohammed Gambari, the famous 9th Emir of Ilorin passed away.
3. Mohammed Dele Belgore
Mohammed is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). His father was the late Justice Babatunde Mahmud Belgore, who was the longest serving Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria. Alfa Saliu Madibo Belgore who was his uncle was also the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
4. Babatunde Idiagbon
Idiagbon was born on the 14th of September, 1943 to the family of Hassan Dogo and Ayisatu Hassan Idiagbon in Ilorin, Kwara State. He attended United Primary School Ilorin and Okesuna Senior Primary School from 1950-1957. His secondary education was at the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1958-1962.
He joined the Nigerian Army in 1962 when he enrolled into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) which was then known as the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC). From there, he went on to the Pakistan Military Academy in Abbottabad, Pakistan. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Economics there. When he got back to Nigeria, he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in 1965
He was a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army who served as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters and as a defacto Vice President in the military regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari from 1983-1985. He served as a Military Administrator of Borno State during the military Government of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Idiagbon played a key role in the military Government of Buhari where he controlled all visible instruments of national, political, governmental and administrative powers. He died in Ilorin on the 24th of March, 1999.
5. Sheikh Onikijipa Almisqeen
He is a highly revered Islamic spiritualist. Sheikh Onikijipa Almisqeen also teaches Islamic knowledge and he does a lot of preaching. He has a large number of Islamic faithful as followers.
6. Alhaji Kawu Baraje
He had his Primary School education at Baboko Native Authority School, Ilorin. He then went on to attend the Arabic and Islamic School for all round Islamic Education. In 1978, he bagged his Teacher’s grade II Certificate and National Certificate in Education and he was awarded a Bachelor of Education in Arts from the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria in 1982.
He has worked as a teacher, education administrator and public administrator with the Kwara State Government where he rose to the position of Permanent Secretary before his retirement.
He was elected as the National Secretary of PDP in March 2008.
7. Alhaji Saka Onimagbo
He is the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development in Kwara State.
8. Justice Saidu Kawu
The Justice was the first Chief Judge of Kwara State. Later, he was elevated to the Supreme Court where he became the first person from Kwara State to attain the position of Justice in the Supreme Court. His eldest son is the popular Justice Suleiman Durosinlorun Kawu.
9. Adebayo Salami
He was born on the 9th of May, 1964 in Lagos state. Adebayo Salami began his acting career in 1964 with the Young Concert Party which was headed by Ojo Ladipo which later became the Awada Kerikeri Theatre Group. He was popularly known by his stage name, “Oga Bello”. After the death of their leader, he assumed leadership position of the group which made him become famous.
He is a producer, actor and director. He was also a pioneer member of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners and had served in the capacity of president for the association.
10. Justice Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi
He is a lawyer and a retired judge and a former president of the court of appeal and he headed the Nigerian Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
Justice Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi became a board member of the Justice and Law Enforcement Reformation Organization, a non-profit organization whose aim is to eradicate corruption and poverty from the perspective of the judiciary and Law enforcement agencies.
He founded the Mustapha Akanbi Foundation in 2006 in Ilorin. This foundation is dedicated to strengthening civil society groups, governmental agencies and private business concerns while helping them to imbibe a culture of transparency and accountability.
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