Senator Gbemisola Saraki, the eldest daughter of the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr Olusola Saraki, dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday April 7, 2015.
Gbemisola announced her decision to team up with APC in a statement she personally signed, copies of which were made available to newsmen in Ilorin.
In the released statement, She said:
“After wide consultations, we found in APC a platform that mirrors the ideals of our political family, both in content and context, especially with under the leadership of General Muhammadu Buhari.
“We are assured in the promise of the APC for a new Nigeria. We are confident in the commitment of the President-elect to social justice, rule of law and economic posterity for all.
“I therefore call on all my supporters from across the state to take what we have started a notch further by going out to register with the All Progressive Congress Party, APC, and to work actively for a resounding success of the APC in the forthcoming polls.
“Given the choices and the times, I am convinced beyond doubt that Kwara will be better served by the APC-led government in the state.
On the eve of the presidential election, the two-term former senator who in her statement revealed she had directed her supporters to vote for the APC. Her statement read in part:
“I come before you for a formal declaration of our move to the APC. This is not to underplay the reality that we had joined the APC a fortnight ago, just before the presidential and National Assembly elections, but I believe I owe you the obligation to formally announce this move to you out of a deep respect for your love and your support of the GRS Movement over the years.
“This decision is a product of wide consultations with members of the GRS Political Family that cut across all the 16 local government areas of the state on the one hand and the leadership of APC on the other. It was in furtherance of this that, on the eve of the presidential and National Assembly elections, I asked all my supporters to troop out en mass and vote for all the candidates of the APC.”
However, the former senator used the occasion to respond to those who wondered why she was taking this step.
“Several friends and associates have asked me why we moved and I have responded by telling them that the reasons are not far fetched; the reason is as important as who we are as political organization.
“Our ideology finds root in championing the cause of the grassroots, upholding equity and justice, and especially the vision for a meaningful and passionate leadership. We believe that a true leadership must be predicated on certain values that must be sacrosanct, which must also follow the sanctity of democratic ethos.”
She noted in her statement that she and her followers initially joined Kwara PDP for the main reason of re-engineering the processes of leadership through the party in order to mirror the true aspirations of “Kwarans” but the party was hijacked by some persons.
“Thus, instead of presenting pragmatic solutions and workable templates for developing Kwara, the party abandoned presenting alternative policies and went on meaninglessly attacking and castigating not only the opposition, but even those within the party, especially my very self for no other good reason other than the accident of my birth – a birth of which, by the way, I am very proud of.”
The last straw in the Senator’s statement was the failure of the PDP to respect the place of women in politics and their collective struggle for equity and fair play in the country and especially in the state.
“Yet we have all had to endure the patronizing campaign adverts of the PDP’s self-proclaimed “generosity” towards women, the self-patting of its achievements of the number of women appointed into the president’s cabinet.”
She explained how true representation starts at the grassroots and builds up, as such women wants true representation at all levels, and especially into elected positions and not to have to lobby for positions on a platter.
“The APC has shown that it believes in ensuring that women are treated with respect and dignity and assisted to excel in the political arena as shown by the emergence of the Taraba State gubernatorial candidate,” she said.
“The choice was, therefore, clear, a bold step into the future that guarantees fairness, justice and hope. Thus, the move from the PDP into the APC was an easy decision for us considering our history with PDP and our vision for our future.”