Home News Saraki, AbdulRazaq clash over Ilorin Durbar attendance

Saraki, AbdulRazaq clash over Ilorin Durbar attendance

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Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday, said he stayed away from the Ilorin Durbar for peace to reign and out of respect for the Sheikh Alimi throne.

He, however, said the state government, led by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, did not want him to attend the Durbar event because of his soaring popularity among the people.

The government countered the statement, which it said was in bad faith, adding that the former Kwara State governor never attended Ilorin Durbar since 2019.

In a statement by his Press Officer on Local Matters, Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir, Saraki, a former governor of the state said he took the decision not to attend the event after the intervention of prominent Islamic scholars and leaders of the community who appealed to him not cause a breach of peace in the ancient town.

“Saraki, who is the Waziri Ngeri of Ilorin, again restated his love for the Ilorin Emirate community and his commitment to an atmosphere of peace.

“So, for the sake of peace and the highest respect for the throne of Sheikh Alimi, he stayed off the Ilorin Durbar event today.

“Saraki’s decision not to attend was taken after respected traditional titleholders and top Islamic scholars appealed to him not to attend the event.

“This he disclosed after he was briefed that the government of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq does not want him around the festival for their personal and political reasons”, the statement read.

While asserting that AbdulRazaq was jittery that Saraki would steal the show, the statement said the rejection of the AbdulRazaq-led government by the people was because it failed to eradicate poverty.

“We understand that tremendous pressure was put on the Ilorin Emirates Council by the government of the state to stop the Waziri of Ilorin from attending the event. AbdulRazaq is jittery that the former governor, Dr Saraki, will steal the show as usual.

“The rejection of the AbdulRazaq-led government by the people is because it fails to eradicate poverty, provide quality leadership and the inability to deliver on good governance. We implore the governor to sit up and stop blaming Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki for the problem he created for himself and his government.

“Saraki, who is the highest ranked traditional titleholder of Ilorin, is staying away from the traditional festival for peace and orderliness. He is not responsible for the failure of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration and should not be a nightmare or means to cover for the government’s failure”, the statement added.

According to the media aide, the Waziri Ngeri was in a high spirit to join the peace-loving people of the emirate to celebrate the traditional festival, adding, “Regrettably, I wish to announce that for peace and tranquillity, I am staying away from the Durbar celebration this year”.

The government, asked Saraki to leave AbdulRazaq out of the predicament he was facing in the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said, “Senator Bukola Saraki should leave Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq out of his self-inflicted shame of not being able to hold himself to the standard expected of a statesman, who should exhibit decorum, decency, and good behaviour.

“The governor has repeatedly shown humility and a large heart to accommodate everyone to operate as they wish as bonafide citizens. He is not about to go low because of Senator Saraki’s provocative behaviour and intent to foul the atmosphere with his unstatesmanly conduct at public events.

“Repeatedly, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has demonstrated his belief in politics without bitterness through his all-inclusive politics that addresses the needs of all citizens in the state, irrespective of any differences.

“In a sustained demonstration of his statesmanship and large-heartedness, the governor shook hands with the former Senate president and other opposition politicians at the Ilorin Eid praying ground.

It added that since the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, Saraki had never attended Durbar and would not see a reason for the sudden change of mind.

“Landslide victories of the 2019 and 2023 elections in Kwara are clear testimonies of how the people of Kwara State have preferred the governor to lead the state. He is thankful to God and to the people for the vote of confidence in his humble leadership.

“Finally, to the best of our knowledge, Senator Saraki has never attended the Ilorin Durbar since 2019. His statement, therefore, reeks of mischief and bad faith, which we leave history to judge”, the statement said.

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