By Nimi Princewill.
Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s imminent dissolution of his cabinet and eventual selection of new ministers to serve in the Federal Executive Council, the Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress APC, is in a battle of supremacy between two of its most prominent chieftains: Alhaji Lai Mohammed, former national Publicity Secretary of the APC and current Minister of Information and Culture, and Gbemisola Saraki, daughter of late ‘kingmaker’ of Kwara politics, Olusola Saraki.
With both perfecting plans to outwit the other, Gbemi Saraki and Lai Mohammed have a strong hankering for the only ministerial slot for Kwara State. The Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, hopes to retain his position being a loyal and long-serving member of the party, while Gbemi aims to covet the Kwara slot, taking her first shot at elite politics as compensation for leading the ranks in ousting her brother and outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki from his grip on Kwara politics.
As the scramble thickens, both stalwarts will be relying on their “Abuja connection” as a competitive edge. With Gbemi reported to be a confidant to the APC national chairman Adams Oshiomhole; of which she enjoys his goodwill, Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s close relationship with the APC national leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu, (having served as Chief of Staff during his first term as Lagos governor) will come in handy.
Supporters of both chieftains have been trying to rally prominent APC leaders to their cause, with admirers of Lai Mohammed insisting that Gbemi’s contribution to the party pales in comparison to Mohammed’s loyalty and long-suffering having fought with the APC into power, while Gbemisola, a supposed rookie, only joined the party in 2015.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as leader of Kwara APC will be counting on the loyalty of his foot soldiers, while Gbemisola Saraki will intensify her overtures to win them over. It remains a mystery on who gets the nod ahead of the other. President Muhammadu Buhari holds it very dearly in his heart.