The Kwara State Police Command yesterday had reeled out different restrictive measures to curb what a government house source termed as “political excesses” at the Eid Praying Ground along Irewolede Housing Estate, venue of the Eid Fitr celebration in Ilorin.
The Commissioner of police, Mohammed Bagega in a press statement had noted that certain practices that had been on before this year Eid fitri will be curbed. He specifically noted that the use of satchet water would not be condoned within the vicinity of the praying ground. He also harped that political processions and rallies by stalwarts will be outlawed by the Police Command.
The Commissioner of Police was quoted as follow, “Turning the Eid praying ground to a political rally will not be tolerated; nobody found in possession of any dangerous items like arms and ammunitions etc will be treated as a criminal; no sachet water is allowed on the praying ground as adequate water has been provided for ablution; no chanting of party slogan of any kind, praise singing of VIPs within the praying ground will also not be allowed…”
As Kwarans reacted to the pronouncement by the Police Chief, Harmony Times exclusively gathered that some of the decision by the Police Chief had the inputs of players at the seat of power along Ahmadu Bello way.
The decision, Harmony Times gathered was in light of the botched expected presence of Dr. Bukola Saraki, the National Leader of the People’s Democratic Party at the Eid Praying Ground and security intelligence had suggested that certain elements on both sides of the political divide were determined to embarrass the Governor and other Political Stakeholders across the two major parties.
As schemings were going on, a competent source within the camp of Bukola Saraki noted that once the leader(Bukola Saraki) got wind of the plans by the State Government, he immediately thwarted his planned attendance at the Eid Praying Ground as he silently jetted out of the State as against his desire to spend the last 10days of Ramadan in Ilorin.
The Source further revealed that while Bukola Saraki was initially expected to join the Emir of Ilorin at the Eid Praying Ground in his capacity as the Waziri of Ilorin (Prime Minister of Ilorin), some persons close to the Governor had suggested that they explore the option of visiting other Cities and towns in the State following his adopted strategy of breaking his Ramadan fast(Iftar) with the downtrodden in order to observe his Eid Prayers. A development that some vehemently antagonised as it would appear to Kwarans that the Governor excused himself from Ilorin because of probable intimidation by his Political and family foe, Bukola Saraki.
Concluding on the plan, Harmony Times gathered that it was agreed that the Governor should use the instruments of the state to strip Bukola Saraki or any other notable Political leader in the state of any fanfare that is expected to welcome them to the Eid Praying Ground. A fresh development that had put the planned decision of the Governor to have his Eid Prayers in Offa on hold- A move that was termed “masterstroke”, one which is expected to consolidate his energized support base in the Ibolo town. Recall that the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye ll had endorsed the second term ambition of the Governor.
The source who asked a rhetorical question noted that, “Why are these measures exclusive to Ilorin? Why not Offa? Where Political bickering had reached an all time high boiling point that had even pitched the Olofa against certain Political stakeholders in the City”.
Another source that reached out to Harmony Times noted that the decision to ban the use of satchet water at the Eid Praying Ground is not unconnected to the harrasment that was meted out to Bukola Saraki and Former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed by members of the then Otoge opposition party APC. He said that the Government is wary that similar thing might reoccur as some followers of Former Senate President Bukola Saraki are billed to retaliate the treatment meted out to their leader few years ago.
Bukola Saraki in an unusual manner and against his characteristic Engagement during Ramadan had said he will be spending the last 10days of the Holy Month in Ilorin, a promise he eventually jettisoned due to latest development in the state. The source within the camp of Bukola Saraki had noted that his presence and meeting with different groups had been a rallying point for him to revitalize his support base amidst the Reconciliation efforts by the Abubakar Kawu Baraje led Committee and the forthcoming 2023 National elections.- One that had visibly ruffled Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq politically. As against his personality, he hosted a faction of APC Stakeholders and Elders to Iftar dinner after a rumored friction between the Governor and his loyalists was reported few weeks back.581