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2011: Who is after Saraki Dynasty?
RECENT happenings in Kwara State politics are indications that the state governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki, may not be happy with some political office holders in the state, given the spate of allegations that some of the governor’s aides are trying to cause distractions for his administration with rumours and excessive lobbying.
Although Governor Saraki has been given the mandate to name his successor, via the pronouncement of the only political godfather in the state, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, the governor appears to be taking his time on who will eventually take over from him at the expiration of his tenure in 2011. Some people are of the opinion that the governor chose to remain silent as he does not want to disappoint the people of the state by picking a wrong successor.
The strongman of Kwara politics, Dr Saraki, has continually been praising the efforts of his son, saying that he has done well in changing the status of the state from that of a civil service state to an industrialised state. Thus, he would want a situation whereby his son’s successor would also leave a legacy for the people of the state.
“I am waiting for who the governor, Bukola Saraki, would choose in governing the state. He must be an acceptable candidate who would move the state forward. I want someone who would continue with the legacy that Governor Saraki has put in place in the state.
“The governor has worked hard to bring the dividends of democracy to the people of the state, especially in the areas of education, health, infrastructure, rural development and water supply, among others, in spite of the meagre federal allocations which have been coming to the state,” he said.
While the governor has not been categorical about his choice of a successor, he has always said that who ever would take over from him in 2011 must be part of the system so that there will be continuity in government.
Speculations are rife in the state that Dr. Olusola Saraki may eventually impose his daughter, Gbemisola Saraki, presently a serving senator, as the next governor of the state.
Before now, Governor Saraki had endorsed a sanction on any erring member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state found guilty of causing disaffection in the party, just as he maintained that anyone caught in the web would be dealt with accordingly. The governor, who expressed displeasure over the attitude of some party members, cautioned that the party would no longer condone any act of indiscipline.
“The chairman and other executive members of the party have now been empowered to clamp down heavily on any erring member of the party. This is necessary so as to arrest the incessant acts of indiscipline exhibited by certain members whose interests are not in tandem with the party objectives,.
“The chairman, some time ago, would have dealt with some bad eggs within the party, but we appealed for leniency. But let me assure you all that the saving grace is over. Anyone who misbehaves would be shown the way out of the party”, he had said.
The governor, who also explained that the party’s constitution was explicit enough on indiscipline, directed members to go back to their various wards and work together for the overall success of the party.
Already, posters of Senator Gbemisola Saraki with the bold inscription, “Here we stand”, have been allegedly pasted at different strategic locations in the state capital, confirming her intention to run for the 2011 governorship race, just as there were anti-Gbemisola posters which were allegedly pasted in Ilorin, saying that she was not welcome.
To put an end to the issue, the state chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Yusuf Aiyedun, warned that the political structure, which usually endorses a candidate in the state, has not endorsed any one as the next governor of the state in 2011.
The chairman, who also warned all party members in the state to desist from any form of political activities at all levels, stressed that failure to abide by the instruction would attract heavy sanctions from the party, no matter how highly placed the individual is.
He noted that flagging-off of any political activity at this period would amount to distracting the government, adding that the present administration remains determined to ensure that all on-going projects are completed and put to use for the benefits of all and sundry.
To put an end to the rumour of division within the Saraki Dynasty, Dr. Abubakar Saraki had said that the dynasty is not divided, adding that he can never quarrel with his own son on who is to succeed him in 2011.
He also said that he never informed anybody in any gathering or function that his daughter, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, will succeed her brother, adding that the rumour was spread by people who do not have the interest of the state at heart.
He enjoined all stakeholders in the state to rally round the governor so that, with the little time left for him in office, he can deliver more dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
He equally warned his supporters not to allow division among them, saying that the supporters of Gbemisola and that of Bukola are one and that the family remains undivided. He assured his supporters that the Saraki Dynasty will continue to be one and indivisible.
Former Secretary to the Kwara State Government (SSG), Alhaji AbdulGaniyu Olododo, presently the Chief of Staff, had, during the recent empowerment programme organised by the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Ben Duntoye, warned politicians in the state to desist form destroying the Saraki Dynasty by pitching the family members against themselves.
“I want to seize this opportunity to warn those of you looking for political office at all cost and hell bent on pitching the Sarakis against themselves to stop it. All of us are water around the Sarakis; it is only the family members alone that are blood and you know that blood is thicker than water. When they want to settle among themselves, we won’t be there. So, please be careful”, he warned.
But few days after the event, Olododo and two other top government functionaries were suspended from office, following some allegations levelled against them. The other two suspended officers are the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affairs, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, and the governor’s Personal Assistant on Political Matters, Alhaji Hassan Gegele.
Dr Ali Ahmad, a serving commissioner who confirmed the suspension, said that the officers were only asked to step aside to enable government investigate the allegations levelled against them.
However, later on, Olododo was recalled by the governor after he discovered that the allegations levelled against him were not true. But the governor, again, warned political office holders to stay clearly out of his family affairs.
“I cannot allow people to put my family in disarray in the name of looking for political office in 2011. If you know anyone of them, warn them or if you are one of them, then desist. All I am doing is to stick to the advice of my father because after the election in 2003, he advised me to take care of his people”, he said.
Many watchers of the unfolding political events in the state have expressed dissatisfaction with the indecent way and manner politicians have been lobbying to obtain favour at all cost. Stressing that the tenure of present administration is not yet over, they averred that these moves, if not checked, could as well be a sort of distraction for the governor.
However, some others have insisted that Governor Saraki’s action of keeping his cards too close to his chest could have been the cause of the ‘unrest’ among his supporters.
But it remains to be seen how the governor would manage to curtail the excesses of political lobbyists in the state before his term expires in 2011. Share
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