By Demola Akinyemi
The outcome of the gubernatorial election in Kwara State and indeed all the other elections of 2011 took many by surprise.

At the commencement of the contest many keen watchers of Kwara politics had thought and estimated that the strongman of Kwara politics, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki would pull the strings like he had successfully pulled in the last forty seven years.

After reviving the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) in January 2011, the elder Saraki who angrily left the PDP because of the gubernatorial ambition of his daughter, Senator Gbemisola Saraki had expected Kwarans to vote for his daughter and other candidates presented by the party.

But today all that has become history. The elder statesman failed not only to install Senator Gbemisola Ruqqayat Saraki as the governor, but other  senatorial, house of representatives and house of assembly candidates of the party ACPN did not make it.

Today in Kwara, the outgoing governor, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has emerged the undisputed political leader in the state haven successfully installed all the present local government executives, 22 out of 24 members of the state assembly, all members of the House of Representatives and three senators including himself.

Be that as it may, the failed alliance talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria[ACPN], Congress Progressive Change(CPC) and Democratic Peoples Party[DPP] may have upset the outcome. But it failed to take root.

Vanguard investigations on the failed alliance talks revealed that the leadership of ACN and other chieftains of the party in meetings which lasted three days  with Senator Gbemisola Saraki and her father urged her to step down for Muhammed Dele Belgore and dangled ministerial carrot at her.

The ministerial slot promised the ACPN gubernatorial candidate according to investigation was the product of the deal struck between the party leadership and President Goodluck Jonathan. But Senator Gbemisola Saraki according to impeccable sources at the meeting declined, insisting that Muhammed Dele Belgore of ACN should rather be asked to step down for her while they should give the ministerial slot to him since they are the ones that struck the ministerial appointment deal and have the assurance.

But the ACN leadership declined too, and at the end other talks on office sharing collapsed along this divide. Along the line Senator Gbemisola Saraki reportedly reached out to other gubernatorial candidates, such as Gbenga Olawepo of DPP, and Abdulrazaq Abdulrahaman CPC, but without success for a working alliance.

The CPC candidate, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahaman it was gathered was also reportedly sabotaged from within after he failed to heed the financial demands of some party stakeholders.

Since he refused to play ball, they collected what he offered and reportedly opened talks with another opposition party

The CPC saboteurs were further said to team up with the arc rivals of the guber candidate to spread the rumor which went like wild fire of the election day that Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq had stepped down. The supporters were said to have been confused and his votes crashed to 10043, from the 83,603 the party polled in the last presidential election.

The result of the house of assembly election did not come as a surprise to many people as the PDP took 22 out of 24 assembly seats. The party had earlier taken the three senatorial and the six House of Representatives seats in the state.

Perhaps, one of the worst hit by the political developments in the just concluded election is Arc Lola Ashiru who help formed and nurtured the ACN in the state but who dumped the party when the leadership refused him the gubernatorial ticket. He was wooed by the elder Saraki and Senator Gbemisola Saraki to ACPN where he contested for the Kwara south the senatorial election but lost to the not too popular Senator Simeon Ajibola of the PDP.


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