A dark cloud is hovering over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State over the ministerial nomination to replace the dropped ex-sports minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi. Firstly Weekly Magazine gathered that the name of a leading contender for the position, Senator Gbemi Saraki is conspicuously missing from a 10-man list yet to be submitted to the Presidency.
The list, according to sources in the know, was compiled by a faction loyal to the billionaire businessman, Hajia Bola Shagaya, who in recent times has gained prominence in the PDP, especially after the defection of the de-facto leader of Kwara politics from the PDP to the APC.
The business mogul is seen as a major obstacle to the emergence of Senator Gbemisola Saraki. A deep seated crisis is now playing out in the PDP, where high ranking party members have threatened a protest vote for the APC if Senator Gbemisola Saraki is favourably considered.
An impeccable source quoted a party chieftain as saying, “we have told the leadership of the PDP to forget Kwara votes if Gbemisola’s choice is made. To show the seriousness of the objection to Senator Gbemisola Saraki’s choice, a petition was being put together to be submitted to the presidency on reasons Senator Gbemisola should not emerge as a minister.
Hajia Bola Shagaya, who is a close ally of President Jonathan’s wife, Patience, is believed to have wielded a lot of influence on the presidency capable of making Gbemisola’s emergence an unrealizable dream.
It is however, interesting to note that earlier in the tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as president of Nigeria; Senator Gbemisola Saraki was reportedly instrumental to Hajia Bola Shagaya not becoming a minister, when she was being considered.
Ironically, Senator Gbemisola Saraki is now looking up to Hajia Bola Shagaya to facilitate her becoming a minister.
Other reasons adduced for her ineligibility is that there is a seeming report in the presidency that Ilorin Emirate is not favourably disposed to Gbemi’s emergence and also that her choice will further polarize the crisis-ridden PDP.
“If Gbemi emerges as a minister, she will automatically assume the leadership position of the party in Kwara State as against the interest of Hajia Shagaya,” a reliable source opined.
Another reason there is a mounted opposition to Gbemi’s choice is the opinion of party chieftains that her choice will put a lie to President Jonathan’s declaration to liberate Kwara if it is freed from the shackles of one Saraki and then handed over to another Saraki.
There is however, a twist to the tussle. First Weekly Magazine learnt that Gbemisola is enjoying the backing of
Another reason the PDP Chairman is well disposed to Gbemi’s choice is based on his belief that if PDP is to win elections in Kwara State, Saraki, as a household name, is a force to reckon with.
A staunch supporter of Senator Gbemi is President Jonathan’s adopted father and close ally of the late Dr. Olusola Saraki, Chief Edwin Clark. For Clark, our source argued that his stand was based on his ‘love’ for Gbemi and hatred for her sibling, Dr. Bukola Saraki. The hatred is borne out of the sour relationship between Saraki and President Goodluck Jonathan, Clark’s godson.
For the PDP, these are indeed interesting times. The ability of the party to navigate the shark-infested sea the issue of this ministerial nomination has become will ultimately determine its fortunes and chances in the 2015 elections.
Meanwhile, Hajia Bola Shagaya has reportedly said she’s ready to splash cash worth N2 Billion in a bid to oust the ruling All Progressives Congress’ (APC) government in the state.
Insiders in the affairs of the PDP in the state alleged that the business mogul, who is reported to be one of the richest women in Africa, had vowed to deliver Kwara for PDP come 2015.
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