How Saraki siblings shunned each other at Professor Ogunshola's burial

Date: 2013-11-24

The feud between Senator Rukayat Gbemi Saraki and her brother, Senator Bukola Saraki took a dangerous twist today as the Saraki siblings shunned each other throughout the duration of the church service despite that they both sat close to each other.

Dailypost learnt that trouble started when Dr. Bukola Saraki arrived at the 1st Baptist Church, venue of the wake-keep, around 1:30pm, only to meet his sister already seated with her friends and security aides. But instead of exchanging pleasantries with Gbemi as protocol ordinarily demands, he made for his reserved seat with straight face. It was a tensed atmosphere throughout the three hours duration of the church service as the siblings avoided direct eye contacts.

Dailypost correspondent, who was present at the church service observed that Gbemi had earlier deliberately placed her gold-plated purse on the white plastic chair that was directly next to her in a bid to prevent Bukola from sitting next in line to her. This obviously served as the master stroke as Bukola, instead of sitting next to Gbemi, picked the other reserved seat with the empty white chair in-between the two unoccupied until another Gbemi’s female friend arrived and was offered the seat.

Sitting next to Bukola to the right was the state PDP Chairman, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani and a retinue of staff.

Even a surreptitious attempt by the officiating Minister, Rev. Tunde to douse the tension was equally unsuccessful as the Saraki siblings stuck to their guns. At a point, the official Minister specifically begged the duo to rise up and ‘dance for the lord’. While Sen. Gbemi stood up almost immediately, it took Dr. Bukola Saraki a few seconds to follow suit, albeit grudgingly.

It will be recalled that Gbemi equally recently shunned a prayer session organized by her brother and self-acclaimed leader of the new PDP in the state in memory of their father, Dr. Olusola Saraki. The prayer, which held at the Ilorin Grand Mosque penultimate Thursday, was attended by the who-is-who in the new PDP, including Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the governors of Sokoto, Kano and Adamawa states. But conspicuously missing was Sen. Gbemi Saraki and the other two siblings, Tope and Laolu Saraki. Although, no reason was given for their absence at the anniversary prayer, despite that they were all in Ilorin at the material time, but sources closed to the family confided in Dailypost that it might not be unconnected to the crisis rocking the ruling party in the country. While Gbemi is said to be sympathetic to Jonathan and the Bamaga Tukur-led PDP, her brother is on the other hand neck-dipped and is the main sponsor of the party’s break-away faction, which is led by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, another Ilorin indigene and loyalist of Sen. Bukola Saraki.

Sen. Gbemi Saraki is said to be disappointed that her brother, instead of offering quality advise to the President on how he could move the nation forward, as their late father would want to do, he (Bukola) has allowed himself to be manipulated by the enemies of the country who would who are wishing that Jonathan’s government fails.

Although, several attempts have been made in the recent past to debunk any claim of crack in the Saraki nuclear family, the event at Babanloma, a rustic town in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State has no doubt brought to the public glare the dirty ‘rofo’ rofo’ fight that threatens the dynasty of the late Dr. Olushola Saraki, the strongman of Ilorin politics.

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