By Demola Akinyemi
No one could confirm it last night, but the speculation amidst celebrations in Ilorin yesterday was that Senator Gbemisola Saraki was full of smiles over the defeat of her brother’s political dynasty as represented by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Saraki had in response to the declaration of Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate as the winner of the election extended his congratulations to the victorious APC candidate.
Abdulrazaq, a billionaire businessman had been dogged in his bid to govern the state over the years. He had been at odds with the Saraki political dynasty and consistently opposed everything that it represented.
Indeed, following the announcement yesterday, Ilorin was turned into a frenzy with victory and praise songs by supporters and sympathisers of the APC.
Yesterday’s declaration of victory for the APC had its seed in the crisis in the Saraki family over appointments and hijacking of resources by his subordinates. The mutterings started more than five years ago, but Saraki did not address the issues.
The outcome of the local government elections in November 2017 was the first sign that all was not well with the Saraki political dynasty as the opposition to it as represented then by the PDP worked to ensure that the political family was denied the complete victory it was used to at that time.
The defeat in one Local Government Area chairmanship and three councillorship was what inspired many to believe that uprooting the Sarakis was a possibility.
As the internal crisis within the Saraki dynasty persisted, the next casualty was the defeat of the political family in the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency bye-election last year.
After that time the dream of freedom for those who had been long on the losing side against the Sarakis was encapsulated into the O to ge political movement.
The O to ge slogan was adopted by the gubernatorial candidate and indeed all the candidates of the party.
Also, the local radio stations did various programmes to enumerate what they claimed as the evils of the government over the years a development that fuelled the acceptability of O to ge movement.
Though the PDP countered with O tun ya meaning Let’s do it again, but the impact was politically nil as the majority despised it.
The former aides of Dr. Bukola Saraki who defected to the APC over irreconcilable political differences did more damage by revealing the winning strategies of the dynasty which helped in no small means in the APC landslide victory.
For Dr. Bukola Saraki who thrived on the political legacy he inherited from his father since about twenty years ago, now that the dynasty has given way, his capability to return to political space and be relevant again will show his true political prowess.