APC, Saraki trade blame over IEDPU event’s disruption

Senate President Bukola Saraki and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Kwara Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq have blamed each other for the abrupt end of the annual convention of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU) on Christmas day.

Political urchins disrupted IEDPU 53rd annual conference.

The event which was being held at the Emir of Ilorin Palace forecourt had been going on smoothly until the launching of the 2019 calendar of the union which was opened by Alhaji Fatai Ishola Ajidagba, Chairman of Ifelodun LCDA, Lagos state who donated N5 million at the occasion.

It then came to the turn of Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in the state who was called to launch the Almanac but some groups who dressed in the same uniform (Aso Ebi) were shouting to prevent him from speaking while his supporters were shouting his slogan “O to ge”(Enough is enough) to counter the opposing side.

The incident forced the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu- Gambari to leave the venue of the event in anger when the crowd became uncontrollable.

When the APC governorship candidate was called to the podium to announce his donation, he made an attempt to echo the slogan of his campaign organization.

AbdulRahman was however shouted down by people believed to be supporters of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who countered him by sporadic shouting of “Sai leader, Sai Bukki, Atunwa 1”.

All attempt by the organizers to restore normalcy and continued the programme proved abortive.

The security guards did a yeoman’s job before the Emir could be ferried out of venue of the event.

The highly disappointed IEDPU National Executive Council members led by their National President, Amb Usman AbdulAziz later went into the palace to apologize to the Emir.

The IEDPU’s calendar, a major source of revenue generation for the union could not be launched because of the unfortunate development.

Amb. Abdulaziz warned politicians against turning the state to a battle ground with their behavior and utterances.

He said that politics should foster peace and and co-existence among the people stated that it should not be used to promote ethnic or religion sentiments and other negative tendencies in the society.

He said “politics should not be reduced to unnecessary bickering, unproductive name calling, mischievous allegations, callous comments, character assassination, hate speeches, encouragement of chaos, and whipping up religious or ethnic sentiments among other negative strategies which politicians exploit and explore to win the sympathy of gullible voters.

“Our take on 2019 elections is very simple. Ilorin should not be turned to a battle ground by political gladiators.”

Reacting to the incident, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s media team said that “the development at the IEDPU programme where some touts and street urchins shouting ‘Sai Bukky’ disrupted a community event is disappointing, embarrassing and antithetical to good moral and ethics for which Ilorin community is known.

“Apart from reminding everyone of the desperation for which the evil status quo in Kwara is known, the sad event clearly points at the extent to which the parasitic gangs will go in the coming months to continue to keep Kwara and its people down.

“The disruption of the event just when the Kwara APC governorship candidate AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq was about to give his speech exposed the shenanigans of the urchins and their paymasters whose uninspiring radio programme earlier in the day has drawn the scorn and condemnation of every Kwaran home and abroad. The disruption was probably a damage control for their insulting radio programme.

“The intention was to damage the good image of the APC candidate and slow down the tsunami that is already consuming their unproductive political fiefdom in Kwara. But they clearly failed in their evil plot as their thugs — similar to what they did in Offa where their ankara wears betrayed their allegiance — were too crude to conceal the fact that they were on an errand to attack AbdulRazaq and make it look like the fine gentleman was going about with thugs.

“Like a cobra fighting for its life, everybody knows that they have since lost the battle of ideas and are unabashedly desperate to wrestle in the mud to survive. It is too late. The people of Kwara are saying ‘Otoge’ – enough is enough.

“We will not wrestle with the pigs. We won’t fall for their gutter politics. We are for decent debate, even as we mobilise the people of Kwara to end the years of tyranny and corruption.

“Regardless, we wish to state that we are bonafide of not just Ilorin Emirates but Kwara State and we won’t watch while some political merchants who have no real stake in Kwara deploy their sidekicks and thugs to unleash violence on our people. We will ensure that the characters who disrupted the IEDPU event for political reasons are arrested and made to face the full weight of the law. We call on the police and other security agencies to be alive to their constitutional duties and bring those characters to book.

“The development is a red flag and should be nipped in the bud. We believe our security agencies are competent enough to ensure that people who don’t conform to basic ethics of proper behaviour in public space are made to account for their deeds.”

Media Aide to Saraki, Abdullahi Olesin said “Saraki was not the cause of the disruption because he was not present at the convention but for people to act that way when he was not there indicated how popular he is among his people.

“What happened at d IEDPU convention today showed how much d people of d state love Saraki. It was a clear signal to d opposition that Kwara remains d stronghold of Saraki. Those who rose in stout defence Saraki are not politicians but ordinary citizens who appreciate the purposeful leadership that Saraki was rendering.”

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