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Published On: Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

Gbemisola Saraki: Like father, like daughter

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From Olanrewaju Lawal, lorin

Like a cat with nine lives, her defeat in 2011 gubernatorial general election has not deterred her from reaching out to the grassroots. Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who contested under Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) with the support of her father, late Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, the Waziri of Ilorin and political strong man for over 40 years, is back on track. This time, the former Senator under Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) may be contesting under the party after parting ways with her brother, Dr Bukola Saraki, who supported Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed in the last general election.

It was gathered that Gbemisola Saraki has started to toe the path of her late father by reaching out to less privileges, disadvantaged women in the society, children, Islamic clerics, especially those who were with her father, and old and new political stakeholders in the state.

Besides, during the collection of Permanent Voters Card (PCV) in the state, Gbemisola seized the opportunity to visit her father’s family house, Agbaji, in Ajikobi ward, Ilorin West local government area where she met the leaders of the compound, Mogaji and other strong members of the family.

Addressing a mammoth crowd at her father’s compound, the first daughter of the late strongman of Kwara politics disclosed that her father’s dying injunction to her was the need to be level-headed and be extra careful with sycophants.

Saraki said that her father advised her against arrogance, self- centredness and the need to continue to support the women and the advancement of the cause of the youth in the society.

According to her, as an obedient and loyal child, she would not but obey the dictate of her late dad. The former Senator who remembered how she stood firmly by him at the sick bed, fought back tears on the mention of what transpired between her and her late father. She said everyday, she always remembered her father.

It could recalled that during the life of Olusola Saraki,he always pick less privileges to contest for political positions as well empowering the masses who might not dream of becoming anything in life.

Speaking with Peoples Daily weekend, Gbemisola expressed her readiness to work with other stakeholders in PDP and in the state to free Kwara State from the APC ruling party.

The PDP Chieftain, who described the chances of the only opposition party in Kwara State as bright, said the wind of change is around for all to feel and that the PDP will win in the next general election in the state. She said that the voters card of electorates would serve as a weapon to chase out APC out of government in 2015 stressing that she was not afraid of challenges ahead of her in 2015.

She encouraged people in the state to register in the ongoing voters registration exercise, saying they needed to register to be able to vote and make a difference.

She said: “At the end of the day, it’s the government of the people, by the people and for the people. And if the people will not participate, then we’ll have no right to complain. This is our way of changing things. This is our way to make our voices heard. This is how we tell whoever will govern us that this is how we want to be governed and when we want to be governed. I implore everybody to go out and get registered and more importantly come out to vote on the day of election.”

Commenting on the national conference, Gbemisola said Nigerians should not entertain fear on the final report, saying there was no hidden agenda. Some Nigerians in certain quarters had been describing the confab as a waste of time and public resources, while they said that it was set up to achieve an agenda of the current government.

According to her, such Nigerians only believe in conspiracy theory, stressing that there was nothing unusual or unnatural about the national conference.

“You know we Nigerians believe in conspiracy theory and I think all of us should be writing books on this. Everyone believes there’s a hidden agenda. It’s unfortunate our system, the way it is, does not allow or encourage that.”

Earlier, the gubernatorial aspirant in the state had visited residents at Tanke, Ilorin South local government where she met women and Islamic Clerics and prayed for peace in Nigeria. During the Ramadan fasting period, apart from donating food stuffs to the less privilege at ‘Koro Afoju’, (Enclave for the Blind) at Gambari area, Ilorin, which always remember by her late father, she also reached out to PDP members and other in her Senatorial districts.

Many observers are convinced that with her rising profile and philanthropic gestures among PDP strong stakeholders in the state, Gbemisola would make positive impact in 2015 general election in her bid to dislodge ruling party from government.


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