The biblical prophecy of siblings turning against each other in the last days has found fulfilment in Kwara politics. There is no other way to explain the gaping rift between brother and sister who have entered another phase in their long and titanic battle for the soul of the state.
Senate president, Bukola Saraki and his sister, Gbemisola are two political powerhouses who ordinarily should be getting along with each other and having each other’s backs on account of their blood relation but the reverse is the case. Ever since Bukola helped to truncate his sister’s bid to become the governor of the state, the war between them has only waxed stronger, and there is no end in sight.
Saraki, the acclaimed godfather of Kwara politics, had overruled his own father, the late Oloye Olusola Saraki who had wanted Gbemi to succeed Bukola as governor. Bukola instead backed the current governor Abdulfattah Ahmed, much to his sister’s dismay. His refusal to release the Saraki political machinery for her ambition led to her suffering a sound trouncing at the polls. To add insult to injury, Bukola proceeded to take over her Kwara Central senatorial seat.
Forced to spend some years in the political wilderness while making do with a role as chancellor of an obscure federal university in Otuoke, Gbemi silently vowed to get her pound of flesh. The opportunity presented itself when Saraki decamped to the PDP. Gbemi became a rallying point for opposition politicians who wanted to free the state from Bukola’s hegemony.
She might have lost the battle to become governor then but Gbemi was determined to win the war to oust her brother from his pride of place as Kwara political overlord. And if she hasn’t quite totally succeeded yet, she has still scored a huge victory as the APC’s ‘O To Ge’ movement swept Bukola out of office and trounced his PDP governorship candidate at the polls.
Right now, Gbemi is on cloud nine and in no mood to listen to entreaties to bury the hatchet with her brother. While Bukola silently strategizes with a view to making a comeback in future, Gbemi is determined to crush him underfoot. As brother and sister continue to enact their own version of the game of thrones, the Saraki dynasty remains a house divided against itself, with family members forced to choose where their loyalty lies.