• Minister berates Saraki over N10m donation claim
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kwara State youths under the aegis of Kwara Youths Strategic Movement yesterday in Ilorin asked the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to exercise restraint over his persistent attempts to blame the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for the April 5, 2018 armed robbery incident in Offa.
This is coming as the minister has also cautioned Saraki, to stop dancing on the graves of the innocent souls who died in the April 5, 2018 armed robbery attack in Offa.
The youths warned the minister to desist from making unguarded wrong assumptions about the incident because they were capable of overheating the polity and causing political instability.
This was contained in a statement issued by the youths in Ilorin, which was signed by the Coordinator of Kwara Youths Strategic Movement, Mr. Gegele Ahmed Ibrahim.
The statement accused the minister of having “a demonstrated proclivity for propagating outright falsehood and peddling misinformation.”
The youths said Mohammed was only being clever by half by insinuating that Saraki had a hand in the Offa bank robbery.
The youths said that, “We are completely taken aback, by the statement credited to the Minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in an attempt to score cheap political points, linking the Senate President with the Offa bank robbery.
“It is on record that Alhaji Lai Mohammed is a politician that is renowned for going overboard, by fabricating unsubstantiated allegations and peddling misinformation”.
They added, “In the case of the Offa bank robbery, it is common place that the suspects arrested in connection with the robbery neither implicated the Senate President or dropped his name in the course of investigation, despite unrestrained attempt by his political adversaries to implicate him.
“The Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, responded in writing to the Police when he was asked to do so, reiterating his innocence and till date, neither the Nigerian Police or any court of competent jurisdiction has found him culpable.
The youths noted that,,”We call on the Minister of Information not to throw caution to the wind in an attempt to score cheap political points.
In a related development, the minister has warned Saraki, to stop dancing on the graves of the innocent souls who died in the April 5, 2018 armed robbery attack in Offa.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by his media aide, Mr. Segun Adeyemi, the minister repeated his earlier warning against playing politics with the unfortunate incident, after Saraki said in a radio interview that he donated N10 million when he visited Offa to commiserate with the people in the aftermath of the robbery, even when (he said) the amount that was stolen from the robbed banks’ vaults was N7 million.
‘’Instead of stopping at that, which in itself constitutes an acceptance of wrong-doing, Dr. Saraki went ahead to hurl insults at me, even when I have been largely restrained in issuing my earlier warning. Had I not been restrained, I would have gone ahead to divulge what actually transpired.
‘’For example, the claim by Dr. Saraki that he donated N10 million to care for the victims of the Offa robbery is patently false. He did not! The N10 million he referred to was donated when the Offa market got burnt, and it was made in Ilorin, not Offa. When Saraki visited Offa to commiserate with the community in the aftermath of the robbery, he did not donate a dime! I challenge him to prove me wrong.
‘’But with politics in the air, the truth becomes the first casualty,” the minister said.