Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
A special prayer was Tuesday organised in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, byÂ Â women in the state, asking God to grant the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, victory in his present travails in the hands of the Nigeria Police.
The women recited verses from the Holy Qurâ€™an and prayed fervently to God to protect Saraki whom they described as their benefactor.
Also, Offa Descendants Union (ODU), an umbrella association of indigenes of Offa ancient town, has asked the police authorities to be thorough in the investigation of the robbery incident which occurred in Offa in April to ensure equity and justice.
Addressing journalists during the prayer session in Ilorin, the leader of the group, Alhaja Ramat Oganija, said they resorted to prayer because they were convinced that Saraki, who they said was being implicated in the recent Offa bank robbery incident, â€œcannot hurt a fly.â€
She said Saraki had encouraged entrepreneurship by empowering women and youths in the state to be economically self-reliance.
Oganija said the news of â€œthe invitation of our God-given leader and benefactor, President of the Senate, by the police over the recent Offa robbery attacks came to us a rude shock.
â€œWe were and are still shocked by the development because over the years, we have known our leader, Saraki, as a compassionate and kind-hearted man who could not hurt a fly. Our leader abhors violence in all its ramifications.â€
She added: â€œJust like every right thinking individuals, we the women of Kwara State see the police latest action as nothing but a fresh plot by the headquarters of the Nigeria Police to implicate him in the April 5, 2018, armed robbery attacks on banks in Offa.
â€œNigerians from all walks of life have blamed the wanton killings of harmless citizens in Offa on that â€˜black dayâ€™ on the inefficiency of men and officers of the Nigeria Police.
â€œItâ€™s instructive to note that this latest ploy to frame Saraki came after an earlier failed attempt by the Force Headquarters to frame our leader in a murder case involving some suspected cultists.
â€œIt is on record that Saraki, because of his love for the people of Offa, was the first public officer to visit the town after the robbery incident to commiserate with Olofa and the people of the town over the unfortunate incident.
â€œWe are also pleased that both the Senate president and our amiable state Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, had dissociated themselves from the armed robbery suspects.
â€œWe are using this forum to call on stakeholders in the Nigeriaâ€™s affairs to prevail on President Muhammad Buhari to call the Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, to order.
â€œThis becomes necessary in view of the fact that the suspected gang leader had during an interview with journalists in Abuja confessed that â€œone dismissed police officer, MichaelÂ Â Adikwu, was the one who brought with ammunition, and as well, exonerated Saraki and Ahmed from the incident.
â€œWe want Buhari and his cohorts to leave our leader, Saraki, who had through his numerous empowerment programmes put smiles on the faces of women and their families in the state. Saraki has through his philanthropic gestures saved a lot of women from engaging in street begging and other demeaning vocations.â€
She said: â€œHe had helped many women with money to start their own businesses and facilitated the training of young womenâ€™s in vocational skills as well as kitted them upon graduation.
â€œWe want to use this forum to make it clear to the police hierarchy that Saraki is our leader and a law-abiding citizen whose passion is to improve the lots of the common man, especially the women folk.â€
Meanwhile, the ODU has asked the police authorities to be thorough in investigating the robbery incident in Offa to ensure equity and justice.
Reacting to claims by the police at a press conference in Abuja that some of the suspects arrested in connection with the robbery incident had implicated Saraki, the ODU President, Alhaji Najeem Yasin, and the Secretary General, Mrs. Wosilat McCarthy, in a statement, said Saraki had always considered Offa as a second home.
Yasin, who said the community would not want to prejudice the ongoing investigation by the police on the robbery case, added that the Offa people are well bred citizens and are always appreciative of kind gesture and immeasurable benevolence.
â€œThe community therefore holds the Senate President in high esteem, however, this is not to distract or disturb the investigation by the police,â€ he said.