EXCLUSIVE: Former Saraki Loyalists Plot To Hijack Abdulrahman’s Government

By Yusuf Luqman.

As the wait for the announcement of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s cabinet drags on, more details have emerged detailing the behind-the-scene plots and counter-plots by the different interest groups that constitute the present APC in Kwara State.

Findings by INSIDER revealed that the two foremost individuals lobbying for the Chief of Staff position are Hon.
Yinka Aluko and Yahaya Seriki; both of them renowned Saraki boys who defected to APC in the twilight of the election. The governor is however said to be more favorably disposed to having Mr. Kale Belgore occupy the office.

Already, there are six tendencies in the ruling party in Kwara State scheming to outdo one another. One of these is a group made up of mainly the Saraki boys. In this group, you have people like Hon. Yinka Aluko, Hon. Gani Cook Olododo and Amb. Yahaya Seriki.

The second is the group of former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, which is made up of people like the party chairman, Mr. Bashir Bolarinwa, Saeed Popoola (who wants to be Speaker) and other elements of the old Lagos Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, group.

The third group is peopled by the old Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) group that Governor Abdulrazaq himself belongs. Frontline members of this group include Ambassador Nurudeen Mohammed, Prince Fagbemi who was Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s running mate when he contested under the CPC.

The fourth group is the Abdulrazaq family itself. This group has the governor’s siblings, Alimi, Isiaka, Khairat, Aishat and Baba as arrowheads.

The fifth group is comprised of lone wolves like Professor Shuib Oba Abdulraheem, a former chairman of Federal Character Commission; a former minister of sports, Alhaji Bio Ibrahim, Sobi FM Chairman, Mallam Luqman Mustapha etc.

The sixth and last group are the original old APC group that actually drove the Ot’oge movement. People like Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo and Alhaji Musbaudeen Esinrogunjo fall into this category. Of all the six groups, those in this category may likely be abandoned, since many power brokers in the new government now see them largely as henchmen who have done their job and are just being tolerated for their nuisance value.

In the game of wits playing out within the APC in Kwara State presently, the first group, that is the team of former Saraki boys, appear to be having the upper hand. The group, which comprises former aides of the defeated Kwara self-acclaimed political leader, Senator Bukola Saraki, is plotting to takeover the core of the governance structure of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq as the government takes shape in the days ahead.

The group of the Saraki boys, now known as ‘Saraki Mafia’, is originally a group of ten former aides of Dr. Bukola Saraki who are considered very powerful and highly connected. While some members of this powerful group are in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the old fox, Saraki, himself, others are in the All Progressives Congress (APC). Those in APC include Mallam Yinka Aluko, Hon. Mashood Mustapha, Arch. Kale Belgore, Gani-Olodo Cook, among others.

INSIDER learnt from a reliable source that the remnants of the Saraki boys in the APC are being led by Mallam Yinka Aluko, erstwhile Security Adviser to the disgraced Senate President. Aluko, the leader of the pack, is also supposed to be the biggest beneficiary of the plot at the state as he is being positioned for the plum post of the Chief of Staff to Governor Abdulrahman.

At the federal level, Hon. Mashood Mustapha, a former member of the House of Representatives who represented Ilorin West and Asa Federal Constituency at the Green Chambers, is positioning himself to replace the immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as the ministerial nominee from Kwara State.

The third of the four, Alhaji Cook Olododo, is already elected into the House of Representatives for Ilorin East and South federal constituency.

A highly placed source who’s close to the Governor confided to INSIDER that a sizeable number of party stalwarts who are aware of the plots of the Saraki boys are bothered about the subtle comeback bid of Dr. Bukola Saraki through the backdoor, using some of his former aides.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity told INSIDER, “There’s a belief that Saraki still relates with his former allies in Kwara APC, that they still talk and he still gets critical intelligence through them. So, this is the source of the fear in our circle. If care is not taken, the new Government will run into trouble waters and it would be caused by no less a people than those suspected to be surrogates of Saraki.

“Apart from the fear of sabotage and subterfuge, there is also the political immorality of populating the fresh government with people who were at the forefront of the old government that has wrecked so much havoc on the state.

“Imagine a Yinka Aluko as a Chief of Staff to the new Governor? With a past so filled with landmines and atrocities, how would anyone consider a person like this with such sensitive position? Now, come to also think of it. How would the Federal Government want to rationalise a replacement of a performing Minister with a Mafia boss like Mashood Mustapha whose source of wealth is still suspect till today?”

Notwithstanding the high powered lobby being deployed by two of Saraki former boys, Mallam Yinka Aluko and Ambassador Yahaya Seriki, for either of them to be appointed Chief of Staff, Governor Abdulrahman is said to be seriously in favour of Mr. Kale Belgore for the position; even as Kwara North is scheduled to produce the Secretary to the State Government.

The group comprising mainly the family members of the governor already produced the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi and one of them is likely to get ministerial nomination. The group is also insisting on making key nominations for the governor, including that of the Commissioner of Finance.

In the midst of all the intrigues and subterfuge, with the attendant confusion, suspicion and ill will, the governor in whose direction everyone looks for stability appears very much overwhelmed by the politics around him, so much that several days after inauguration, he has been unable to make a single appointment, not even that of a Chief Press Secretary.

However, a source, who appeared genuinely worried by the seemingly helpless situation Governor Abdulrahman finds himself, has cautioned that “the earlier the Governor realises that there are more enemies within than without, the better for him and the prospect of a better governance in the next four years.”

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