Senate President Bukola Saraki has raised the alarm, alleging threat to his safety and that of the members of his immediate family in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Friday, Saraki fingered thugs allegedly sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the police as instigators.
Saraki, who is the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, described the alleged conspiracy against him by the thugs and the police as sinister, uncivilised and unfortunate.
He said: “I call you today to bring to your attention the sad development in my home state, Kwara State, and the role of the security agencies in giving cover to people who are unleashing violence on our people because they are surprised and cannot understand how and why the people continue to give massive and overwhelming support to the PDP across the state.
“Also Yesterday (Thursday), these same APC thugs shielded by policemen went to my family quarters in Agbaji in Ilorin and vandalized houses, shops and inflicted wounds with matchete on three people.
“All these destructions took place in the presence of policemen who came with them but watched without any care, as the APC thugs and supporters unleashed violence on our people.
“For me, personally, I believe the decision to attack people and properties in my family ancestral compound is a direct affront and attack on my person.
“And whatever signals these APC elements with support from the police believe they are sending is definitely sinister, uncivilized and unfortunate”.
He expressed regrets that the police have continued to show undisguised hostility toward him and his supporters in the state.
According to him, this latest round of violence was part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family members.
Narrating his ordeals further, Saraki said: “Three incidents will illustrate what I am saying to you. Yesterday, after the APC concluded their campaigns in Ilorin, some of their supporters and thugs moved around town and in areas like Adewole/Adeta, Ile Otan and Ubandawaki/Pakata where they saw our people gathered holding their weekly ward meetings.
“They disrupted the meetings by shouting their party slogan and when our people responded by mentioning our own slogan, they fired gunshots into their midst in Adewole/Adeta.
“They also inflicted matchete cuts on some of them. As a result of this attack, two people suffered bullet wounds”.
The former Kwara State Governor said reports of the attacks were filed in relevant police stations in Ilorin but expressed doubts that anything tangible and constructive would come out of the reports.
He stated further that as part of the plot, the police, under the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, had, on Thursday, commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) out of Kwara State.
Saraki called on Nigerians and the entire world to hold the IGP responsible if anything untoward happens to him and members of his family.
“While the police are free to take decisions on the deployment of their personnel, we found the postings in Kwara State strange and more than a mere coincidence.
“It should also be noted that IGP has posted three different Commissioners of Police to Kwara State in the last six months.
“In fact, the previous and current Commissioner of Police in the state got strict instructions from the IGP not to relate or engage with the Senate President,” Saraki added.
According to him, the usual practice has been that the Commissioner of Police personally ensures the security of the Senate President whenever he visits his home state.
He said all his predecessors were accorded that security cover whenever they visited their home states and that he also enjoyed it in his first year in office from 2015 to 2016.
Saraki expressed apprehensions over his personal safety as the ward to ward electioneering campaign is about to begin across the state.
According to him: “We need to make it clear to the entire world that now that ward to ward campaign is about to begin in the state and I am set to participate in that grassroots campaign, as I have always done, nobody is sure what instructions Mr. Idris has given to the police command in the state.
“Thus, the entire world should hold the IGP responsible if anything untoward happens to members of my family and myself.”
Deploring the role of the IGP in the entire plot, Saraki continued, “Do not forget that before now, this same IGP has tried several tricks to implicate me in some criminal charges.
“First, he arrested some cultists and was about to compel them to claim they worked for me. We exposed the trick early enough and the media also pointed out holes in his story. He quickly withdrew that.
“Later, he went on to the Offa robbery case and politicised the investigation in order to rope me.
“In the process of forcing suspects to implicate me, the principal suspect died in their custody.
“He has also not succeeded with that plot. Who knows what else he may have planned.
“Now, that full campaign is on, which requires my going round, I want the world to hold him personally responsible if anything happens to me.”
Details of IBB’s meeting with lawmakers in Minna revealed
Former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, on Thursday, told members of the Niger State House of Assembly, that they have met the expectations of the people.
IBB stated this when the lawmakers visited him at his Uphill home in Minna.
“I have been looking forward to meeting with you.
“I am proud to say that you have been doing well. You are meeting our expectations.
“We have heard of states lacking synergy among the arms of the government, but in Niger State that should not be your lot.
“Keep a good working relationship between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. You have been doing this and I want you to keep it up.
“You are closer to the people. It is your responsibility to know what the people need and carry them along all the time. Do not leave them outside your projects and programmes,” he said.
Speaker Abdullahi Bawa Wuse explained that they visited the former President, to get the blessings required to run the legislature effectively.
“We are here to get the blessing of our father; this is because we know your concern and commitment to the development of this state and Nigeria.
“Outside office, you have done more than you did while in office. Your role as a father in the nation has ensured that Nigeria remains indivisible,” Bawa said.
Tribunal upholds Ikpeazu’s election, dismisses Alex Otti’s petition
The three-man panel of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, and chaired by Justice A.L. Ogumoye, has dismissed the petition filed by 2019 APGA gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Alex Otti against the declaration of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.
The tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to prove the case of over-voting, non-compliance to the INEC election guideline and electoral act.
Recall that Alex Otti had asked the tribunal to cancel fifteen out of the seventeen local government areas’ election results in Abia State.
Otti claimed that the respondents, PDP, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who was the governorship candidate of PDP perpetrated excessive malpractice in those LGAs in the last March 9, 2019, election conducted in the state.
Importers Smuggling Rice In Tyres, Says Economist
Due to the closure of Nigeria’s borders with Benin Republic, rice smugglers are seeking out more devious ways of importing the product into the country.
National Coordinator of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, Dr Oladapo Ganiyu, while speaking with SaharaReporters said that people have resulted to fitting bags of rice into tyres of automobiles.
Ganiyu, who claims this method is carcinogenic, said the border closure was untimely.
He said, “The closure of the border now is untimely. People are now packing rice inside tyres.
“When the four tyres are rolling, will you suspect there is rice there? The way they are bringing it in, it can cause cancer.
“The people I have spoken with on commercial buses and market women, say the rice is not sweet and it takes time to cook.”
Speaking further, Ganiyu said ICEN will give the government’s new economic team six months before judging their performance.
For over 30 days, Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic and parts of its Northern border with Niger Republic had been closed.
Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, insists that the border closure will not cease until concerned West African states stop the smuggling of parboiled rice from their country into Nigeria.
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