The Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, on Friday reconciled Senator Bukola Saraki and his sister, former Senator Gbemisola Saraki, the two most popular children of the late strongman of Ilorin politics, late Olusola Saraki, after years of bickering.
At a closed-door meeting with the Emir Friday, the two siblings were asked to put the past behind them.
When they came out of the meeting, they were received by a mammoth crowd who had gathered at the entrance of the palace.
They both walked out and rode in the same vehicle (Bukola’s vehicle) to their father’s house at Ilofa Way in the Kwara state capital.
Those who should know say the Emir and some notable northern figures, who were friends of their late father, and who felt concerned about the lingering crisis in the family, had worked quietly for years to reconcile the feuding siblings.
Ms Saraki was in the Peoples Democratic Party until recently when she defected to join her brother in the All Progressives Congress.
The disagreement between the siblings began in 2006 when Bukola, who was on the verge of completing his eight-year tenure as Kwara governor, declined to support their father’s proposal to get Gbemi to succeed him.
Instead, the former governor, who was then in the PDP, backed incumbent Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed as his successor.
In anger Gbemi and their father left the PDP to form a new party, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, on which platform she ran for governor.
She was however roundly defeated by Mr. Ahmed, a candidate backed by her brother, in what appears a political humiliation of some sorts for the elder Mr. Saraki, who for several years was in total control of Kwara politics.
On November 14, 2012, the elder Saraki died with his two politician children still bickering.
Bukola told PREMIUM TIMES in March 2014 that his differences with his sister underlined the beauty of democracy.
He added, “This is not the first time that we are having different political views…. It is not abnormal. It happens all over. We all have our own different political aspirations and wishes.”