The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Friday raised concerns over his safety and those of his political supporters in Kwara State.
Saraki, Director-General of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, at a news conference in Abuja, accused security agencies of giving cover to people who were allegedly unleashing violence on the supporters of the PDP across Kwara State.
A similar allegation had been made by the opposition All Progressives Congress members in the state, who alleged that PDP thugs destroyed billboards and posters across the state and, in one instance at the Emir’s Palace in Ilorin, prevented the APC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, from making a speech.
Saraki alleged that the Police had continued to show hostility towards him and his supporters in Kwara State as part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family.
The Senate President cited three incidents to illustrate his fear about his security, saying that on Thursday, alleged supporters and thugs of the APC attacked PDP supporters at Adewole/Adeta, Ilorin, who were 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 machete cuts on some of them. As a result of this attack, two people suffered bullet wounds.”
Saraki added that on Thursday, the same set of thugs went to his family quarters in Agbaji in Ilorin and vandalised houses, shops and inflicted machete wounds on three persons.
“All this destruction 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 signal these APC elements with support from the Police believe they are sending is definitely sinister, uncivilised and unfortunate.
“Our people have filed reports of the incidents in relevant Police stations in Ilorin, but we have doubts that anything tangible and constructive will come out of these reports.”
Saraki added that the same Police under the directive of Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, on Thursday commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers out of Kwara.
The Senate President said that while the Police were free to take decisions on the deployment of their personnel, he 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.
“The usual practice has been that the Commissioner of Police personally ensures the security of the Senate President whenever he visits his home state. That was the practice during the period of my predecessor and in my first year in office.”
Saraki said that now that he is set to begin ward-to-ward campaigns in the state, he is not sure what instructions the IGP had 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.”
“A situation where political thugs and operatives attack opponents of the APC under the watch and protection of law enforcement agents does not present Nigeria well in the comity of nations,” Saraki said.