By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Senate President Bukola Saraki has alleged that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, is after his life and that of his family, saying he should be held responsible if any harm befalls him or his family.
Saraki lamented that the police had continued to show undisguised hostility towards him and his supporters in Kwara State, noting that this latest round of violence was part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family.
The Senate President disclosed this Friday, at a press conference in Abuja, where he said that it should also be noted that the IG has posted three different Commissioners of Police to Kwara State in the last six months.
He said the previous and current Commissioner of Police in the State got strict instructions from the IG not to relate or engage with him.
Saraki stressed that the usual practice had been that the Commissioner of Police personally ensures the security of the Senate President whenever he visits his home state, saying that was the practice during the period of his predecessor and in my first year in office.
According to him, “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.”
Saraki noted, “Three incidents will illustrate what I am saying to you. Yesterday (Thursday) 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 gun shots into their midst in Adewole/Adeta. They also inflicted matchet cuts on some of them. As a result of this attack, two people suffered bullet wounds.”
“Also yesterday, these same APC thugs shielded by policemen went to my family quarters in Agbaji in Ilorin, and vandalised houses, shops and inflicted wounds with machetes on three people.
“All these destructions took place in the presence of policemen who came with them but watched without any care, as the All Progressive Congress (APC) thugs and supporters unleashed violence on our people.
“For me, personally, I believe the decision to attack people and property in my family’s ancestral compound is a direct affront and attack on my person. And whatever signal these APC elements with support from the police believe they are sending is definitely sinister, uncivilised and unfortunate.”
Saraki said that while his people have filed reports of the incidents in relevant police stations in Ilorin, he expressed doubts that anything tangible and constructive would come out of these reports.
He stated, “The same Police under the directive of IGP Mr. Ibrahim Idris yesterday commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) out of Kwara State. 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.”
“We need to make it clear to the entire world that now that ward to ward campaigns 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.”
The Senate President recalled that the same IG had tried several tricks to implicate him in some criminal charges.
Saraki said, “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.”
Saraki said it was important for Nigerians and members of the international community to note that this police boss does not believe his job is to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, irrespective of political, religious and cultural belief.