The politics of reconciliation in Kwara

July 7, 2011
1 min read

A  MAJOR item on the discussion menu in Ilorin last weekend was the political road show which recently landed with so much razzmatazz in Kwara. It had all the contrived elements associated with a burlesque: there was a “special prayer session that featured many Imams”, according to THISDAY newspaper of Monday, June 27, 2011.

Dr. Olusola Saraki reportedly forgave his son and new governor, Fatai Ahmed of “some ugly events at the last election which polarised the dynasty”. To show contriteness, Bukola and successor, Fatai Ahmed went on their knees in front of the old man, much to the admiration of supporters of “the dynasty”.

At the heart of the burlesque, is the reconciliation of Saraki Pere (old man, Dr. Sola Saraki) and Fils (new helmsman Bukola Saraki). Saraki Fils, Bukola, decisively routed Pere, the Wazirin Ilorin, in an election which the old man described as the WORST RIGGED all his life! Fille, Gbemisola’s ambition was deflated and the old man’s mythical nine lives were torn to shreds.

Intra-family feud

The “unexpected” element of the intra-family feud was the emergence of Muhammed Dele Belgore and his ACN party.

Belgore is in court, and no one knows where the pendulum will swing. Saraki Fils, Bukola, sought the assistance of leading traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria, before Pere accepted his pleas for forgiveness. As the story went, Saraki: Pere, Fils sans Fille (Gbemisola), met, avec le nouveau gouverneur, Fatai Ahmed, in London, to seal the reconciliation. Reconciliation became imperative, according to those who know, to forestall a divided house, just in the event the courts order a re-run of governorship election.

This permutation was before the recent court decision that winners of elections can be declared by the courts, contrary to the amended Electoral Act, which aimed to forestall what happened in Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States (former Speaker Bankole had bragged that the worst that could happen a re-run would be ordered, which the PDP would win anyway!). The family’s heirloom (Kwara State) might be endangered, if there was continued division between Pere et Fils, as reflected in their two parties, ACPN and PDP. When united, they are formidable.


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