Politics are dividing families like never before. Recently, several congressional, presidential and gubernatorial campaigns have run attack ads featuring their opponents’ siblings criticizing the candidate.
There are few subjects that can divide families more quickly than politics can – mother against father, father against son, son against daughter. Well, you get the idea. And then there’s this.
Today, a former federal lawmaker Gbemisola Saraki, a sibling of Senate President Bukola Saraki has granted media interviews against the Senate president and his candidates, saying the candidate of the PDP is not fit to be governor of Kwara. This is just the latest example of a politician’s family feud going public.
Gbemisola, sister to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, belongs to the APC while her brother is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Gbemisola Saraki, said she would work hard to ensure that the All Progressives Congress produces the next governor of her home state, Kwara.
“We can’t stop until progressives lead all states to the next level of our collective prosperity.
“So for each and every one of us, we must not relent, we have the elections of next Saturday, March 9 to go.
“In my state, Kwara, we are all out to ensure that AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of our party, the APC, emerges the next governor of Kwara State, Insha Allah.”
Since leaving office as a member of the kitchen cabinet during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Andy Uba has been contesting for political office, either for governor or for senate and his younger brother, Chris, had always opposed him.
In 2019, Chris Uba intensified the feud by picking the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Anambra South, Senate seat, while the incumbent senator Andy Uba, emerged as the candidate of All Progress Congress, APC.
“My brother has been in the Senate for eight years and he must take a bow this time, Chris said last month.
” I pray for my brother to go higher and he can become a governor or vice president, but he will not be a senator again. It is now my turn and I want him to throw in the towel because the battle between us is going to be very serious.”
Unfortunately, they both lost to Ifeanyi Ubah.
The Obasanjo, Okupe families are not left out of the bitter political feuds across Nigeria.
Political disagreements within families are hardly new, but fights seem to be spilling into public view more frequently with the rise of social media and the political polarization of the current ruling class.
“It used to be politics stopped at the water’s edge. Now, politics doesn’t even stop at the dinner table,” said Craig Shirley, a presidential historian and President Reagan biographer. “The difference is that the parties are so sharply divided now — that, plus social media, plus cable television have sharpened the divide.”
Family political disputes date back as early as Benjamin Franklin, whose son was imprisoned for being a steadfast loyalist during the American Revolutionary War.
And in 1912, President Theodore Roosevelt’s son-in-law supported William Howard Taft over his own Bull Moose presidential candidacy.
But the trend seems to be escalating in modern history, which historians attribute to a more combative political environment and the growing number of platforms where people can voice their public opinions.
Even in the U.S some of President Ronald Reagan’s children were outspoken liberals, including Patti Davis, an activist who openly protested her father’s nuclear policies.
“Reagan’s own children were both very liberal. They never agreed with their father on anything,” Shirley said.