Indications of another major crack in the Saraki political dynasty and the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, emerged yesterday as the party’s leadership visited the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, without Senator Gbemisola Saraki.
Her absence in the team led by her brother and former governor of the state, Senator Bukola Saraki, is seen as a rejection of her recent defection to the APC, which is tightly controlled by Bukola.
Gbemisola defected to the APC on the eve of the presidential elections.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that Bukola Saraki, who represents Kwara Central Senatorial District, deliberately sidelined his sister from the trip of major stakeholders of Kwara to Buhari in Abuja on Tuesday.
Nigerian Pilot reports that the meeting, which held yesterday at the APC national secretariat, was in continuation of the consultations of the president-elect with critical stakeholders of states across the federation ahead of the May 29 inauguration.
Leading the Kwara delegation was Bukola Saraki in company of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, the Emir of Ilorin, Dr Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, members of the National Assembly elected on the APC platform, party executives and representatives of interest groups in the state.
But conspicuously absent was Gbemisola, a non-serving senator and first daughter of the late strongman of the Kwara politics, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki.
It will be recalled that Gbemisola led thousands of her supporters to join the APC on the eve of the presidential elections directing them to “go out en-mass on Saturday, being Sanitation Day, and sweep your environment clean of bad governance.”
Others who defected to the APC with her included the State Secretary, Women Leader and Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a former gubernatorial aspirant, a former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kwara State, Prof. Babatunde Opabola, a former Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Benjamin Ezekiel and former members of the National Assembly.
Shortly after the election, the Saraki siblings were reconciled by the Emir of Ilorin at a private parley at the monarch’s palace in Ilorin.
It is however not yet clear why she was excluded from the trip, but sources said that all may not be well with the Sarakis, despite spirited effort by their aides to paint a contrary picture. By virtue of her political strength in the state and the fact that she is now a bonafide chieftain of the APC, pundits had expected that she would be carried along in such an important meeting to give her and her supporters a sense of belonging.
A source, who asked not to be named, said contrary to speculations, the two Sarakis hardly see eye-to-eye, let alone talk days after their celebrated reconciliation. This may therefore inform the sidelining of Gbemisola by her brother, Bukola.
When contacted, the APC Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Suleiman Buhari, declined comments on the matter.
However, a media aide to Gbemisola denied that her principal was sidelined by her brother. The aide, Mallam Abdulkareem Alabi, said that there was no “iota of truth” in the speculations that she was sidelined from the Abuja trip.


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