A long-standing supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Saliu Mustapha, has been named Turaki of Ilorin.
The Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, conferred Mustapha, founder of Saliu Mustapha Foundation and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), with the title on Thursday.
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The Turaki title was previously held by the Sarakis.
The late Olusola Saraki once held the title before he was elevated to the position of a Waziri.
His son, and a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, stepped into the father’s shoes between 2006 and 2018.
The Younger Saraki was later turbaned as the Waziri, succeeding his father for the second time.
While announcing the new honorary title holders at a colourful event on Thursday, Sulu-Gambari said only those deserving of a title should be given one.
“If someone is contributing to the development of the Emirates, we have to reciprocate it by honoring him with a traditional title. In Ilorin Emirates, only someone deserving of a title is conferred with one. It is our way of appreciating their efforts.”
“One person we all know that expends all his resources to the growth and development of the Ilorin emirate and its affairs is Saliu Mustapha. I therefore confer him with the traditional title of the Turaki of Ilorin,” the monarch declared.
The 48-year-old Mustapha is aspiring for the national Chairmanship position of the ruling APC.
Some believed that he may enjoy the goodwill of the President, who he has worked with over the years.
In 2009, when a breakaway faction of the ANPP led by Muhammadu Buhari formed the Congress for Progressive Change, Mustapha was the national deputy chairman of the party, a position he held until the party merged and formed APC.
Another title announced on Thursday is that of the Mutabali of Ilorin, which was bestowed upon the state Governor’s elder brother, Dr Alimi AbdulRazaq.
The title was last held by his late father and the first commissioner of Finance in the state, AbdulRazaq Ganiyu Folorunsho, who died last year.
Others honoured at the event include Ilorin-born Islamic scholars; Sheikh Farouq Suleiman Onikijipa, Professor Yakubu Aliagan and Sheikh AbdulRahman Sholagberu.