Cover Stories, Politics

Bukola, Gbemi Saraki deny fighting over late father’s property



SENATOR Bukola Saraki and his younger sister, Senator Gbemi Saraki have denied ever fighting over one of the property left behind by their late father, Dr. Olusola Saraki.

News about their continued disagreement which surfaced a week ago indicated that one of the property of the late political godfather of Kwara, Dr. Olusola Saraki had further widened the gap between the two siblings.

ENCOMIUM Weekly was informed that few weeks ago, when Senator Gbemi Saraki pitched her tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) amidst fanfare with President Goodluck Jonathan and other political top shots, she (Gbemi) had converted a house on three plots at Olorunshogo Geri Alimi area, Ilorin, Kwara State formerly used by late Olusola Saraki as his political secretariat to her political campaign office, a move which did not get the approval of her elder brother, Senator Bukola Saraki.

Senator Gbemi Saraki, who just relaunched her Kwara governorship ambition, occupied the house and started working.  And upon hearing of this development, Senator Bukola mobilized men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and vigilante group to the property in an attempt to seal it off but the group met a stiff resistance from those already in the house.

Late Dr. Olusola Saraki

Late Dr. Olusola Saraki

Billy Adedamola, Senator Bukola Saraki’s media aide who spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly about the issue on Friday, March 14, 2014, said the story is not true, it lacked substance and should not be believed.

According to him, “Senator Bukola Saraki has never stopped his sister, Gbemi from making use of the Olorunshogo House.  He (Bukola) has his own campaign office called Mandate House in Ilorin, Kwara State.  I can tell you that Mandate House is one of the biggest political campaign offices in Nigeria today.  The place was bought in 2002.  So, Senator Bukola Saraki has a better office than the Olorunshogo House. Besides, their late father had shared his property equitably among the children.  Even grandchildren had a share in the estate.  The two maybe divided along political lines, they are still from the same parents.”

We also reached out to Senator Gbemi Saraki through her campaign publicity secretary, Dayo Thomas on Friday, March 14, 2014.  He also said the tale spreading is totally false.

“First, Senator Gbemi Saraki has not told anybody she would want to contest any political office in Kwara State, talk less of opening a campaign office in Olorunshogo.  The property you are talking about has been there for long.  The only political activity Senator Gbemi Saraki was involved recently was when she moved to the PDP as witnessed by the president himself. However, it is not true she is fighting her brother over their late father’s property.”

Both Senators Bukola and Gbemi Saraki have been on collision course politically in recent times. Before the death of their father, Chief Olusola Saraki, Senator Bukola Saraki who governed Kwara State for eight years had taken over the title of Kwara political godfather.  With his influence and clout, he ensured his candidate, Abdulfatah Ahmed became governor while he moved to represent the Kwara people in the Senate.

Senator Gbemi Saraki, who also contested the governorship elections of 2011 and lost to Abdulfatah Ahmed, just moved to the PDP weeks after her brother, Senator Bukola Saraki crossed to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Presently, the people of Kwara State are watching with keen interest how the political game of the state will play itself out with the two heavyweights divided on political lines.

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