OrderPaperToday – Last Saturday’s election for the Kwara Central Senatorial district was all about Senator Bukola Saraki. As godfather of politics in the north-central state for about two decades, it was inconceivable that he would suffer a deadly blow on the field.
But the outcome of the election has proved bookmakers wrong as the incumbent President of the Senate fell under the weight of the popular O To Ge (Enough is Enough) anti-Saraki movement that had swept through Kwara in recent months.
Headlines from late Sunday night has been mostly about the defeat suffered by the Senate President. Not much has been said however, about the feat accomplished by Ibrahim Oloriegbe who emerged victorious at the poll.
Mr. Oloriegbe defeated Saraki in a major upset by polling 123,808 votes to the latter’s 68,994. This defeat is the first electoral defeat to be suffered by Saraki in a general election since his participation in 2003 when he contested and won governorship of Kwara.
So who is Oloriegbe?
Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe is a medical practitioner who was a former member of the Kwara State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2003 under the now defunct All Peoples Party (APP). He was the Minority Leader of the House during that period.
He appeared to have hibernated politically until 2011 when he contested for the Kwara Central Senatorial District and lost against Saraki. In that election, Saraki polled a total of 78,799 votes to defeat Oloriegbe who scored 53,058.
The 2011 election was disputed up to the Appeal Court which in a unanimous decision, dismissed the appeal brought before it by Hajia Bilikisu Gambari of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for lack of merit. Saraki thereafter enjoyed his tenure in the senate in peace and went on to win reelection in 2015.
But by 2019, the story has changed. Mr. Oloriegbe resurfaced by latching onto the O To Ge mass movement and dealt Saraki a vindictive blow.
The senator-elect for Kwara Central is a medical doctor having studied Medicine at the Ahmadu Bello University.