This love story is quite unusual. Both are from wealthy backgrounds—Toyin’s parents Otunba Kunle and Erelu Ojuolape Ojora, while Bukola’s father is the late strongman of Kwara politics and Senate leader in the Second Republic, late Olusola Saraki. But their pedigree never hindered their building a wealthy union for their kids to emulate.
For Nigeria’s Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and his wife, Toyin, marital life has been on a roller-coaster. They have been together for almost 27 years and still counting.
Revealing in an interview to Kemi Ashefon, Toyin Saraki, who is the founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa said even as the Kwara State Governor’s wife, where she spent eight years at the Governor’s Lodge, she never felt superior to others.
She said, “I never for one moment felt like ‘a governor’s wife’ because when my husband and I got married, he most certainly was not a governor and I reminded myself of this whenever I felt things were getting out of hand! Being a governor’s wife then and now a Senate President’s wife, was/is a responsibility, not a lifestyle, for a finite term of years, and with it, for me, came huge sacrifices which I was honored and humbled to make in support of my husband’s political leadership. I have always defined myself as exactly what I am— a woman, a human being, with rights and obligations, who cares about the people around her, the environment she lives in, the community with which she interacts.
There is no level, no matter how high one may attain that will ever shake my conviction that one must cling to the basic truths of life. With blood in my veins and a heart that loves truth, I have absolutely no hesitation in defending myself on any matter of personal integrity. I was brought up, as an Ojora, to face battles squarely, I don’t run away from issues. Of course there were times that I was under attack because often, people judge by their own standards and misconceived assumptions. The fact is that while position may protect, position can also render the occupant more vulnerable.”
Amazingly, the duo still share gifts and a bouquet of flowers the Senate President sent to his wife during a Valentine’s Day rocked the Internet.
How is a day in the life of the Sarakis?
Toyin replied, “My daily life has always been an interesting mix of contrasts, the daily challenge of balancing my purpose as a mother and wife with the derivative duties imposed by marriage to a spouse in high office.”