Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Senate President Bukola Saraki has cried out that his life and that of members of family are in danger.
Saraki, who raised the alarm at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, should be held responsible if anything untoward happens to him or any member of his family.
He said in the run-up to the general elections, the police have continued to show undisguised hostility towards him and his supporters in Kwara State.
According to him, the security agencies in Kwara are allegedly giving cover to some persons, who are unleashing violence on his supporters.
He noted that, “this latest round of violence is part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine my personal security and that of my immediate and larger family.”
Saraki who is also the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign said that this is because those against him are surprised that the people of the state have continued to give massive and overwhelming support to the opposition party across the state.
“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 gun shots 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.
“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 machete 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 signal these APC elements with support from the police believe they are sending is definitely sinister, uncivilized and unfortunate,” the Senate President explained.
Saraki said although his supporters have filed reports of the incidents at relevant police stations in Ilorin, there are doubts if anything tangible will come out of these reports.
He added that the Kwara State Police Command, under the directive of the IGP commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) out of the state.
The senate president stated that while the police is free to take decisions on the deployment of their personnel, the the postings in Kwara State is strange and “more than a mere coincidence.”
Saraki said, “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.
“ 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 before Idris has tried severally in the past to implicate him 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 politicized the investigation in order to rope me in.
“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,” he said.