Supporters keep vigil at Saraki’s house

With commercial
activities and meetings by political groups stretching into the night,
Olusola Saraki’s house in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, is now the
city’s centre of attraction.

The 79-year-old
former Senator, popularly referred to as ‘Baba Saraki’, is well
acknowledged as the grand master of Kwara politics, having decided most
of the past political leaders in the state. Mr. Saraki’s son is the
present governor of the state and he is also determined to ensure that
his daughter who is a serving senator, Gbemisola Saraki, becomes the
next governor of the state.

Most of the
supporters found sitting around Ms. Saraki’s campaign office on
Wednesday night, told NEXT that the reason they have been supporting
him and his choice is because they think that he is not greedy like
other politicians in the state that only assumed office at the expense
of the people, only to amass wealth.

Idris Akintola, an
indigene of Offa town in the state who was amongst hundreds of others
who had trooped to the campaign office to show solidarity, said that
“even ants in Ilorin know that Gbemisola is our next governor.” With so
many exotic cars parked, supporters hanging around, the GRA residence
of Mr. Saraki was filled till midnight when the reporter left.

So many campaign
buses were parked, with politicians designing and discussing strategies
and next campaign moves. The presence of an ambulance and medical teams
in the campaign train was, however, a sign that the group is conscious
of the present violent nature of campaigns all around the country.

A father of four
who pleaded anonymity was mercilessly beaten because his taxi, a Mazda
626, had hit one of the hundreds of motorcycles that were packed at the
gubernatorial candidate’s campaign office.

According to the man, who later packed a few metres away from where
he was first beaten to weep, “I never knew that it was a motorcycle
that fell. I was only working late to meet some family challenges, but
see the way I was treated. Am I not a human being? God will judge,
because I know that I was only cheated, despite all my plea with them.”