Kwara State Traditional Rulers have thrown their weight behind their own, Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, in his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over false declaration of assets.
The monarchs argued that it was obvious the Senate President was being persecuted, even as they pledged to continue to pray for him.
Reacting to the ongoing trial of the Senate President, the traditional rulers at the weekend warned the present administration against politics of persecution.
In a statement yesterday by Saraki’s media office, the monarchs also reminded the Muhammadu Buhari led administration that Nigerians who voted for the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the last election, voted for change and not for political harassment of perceived opponents.
The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, spoke when he led top Kwara traditional chiefs on a solidarity visit to Saraki’s residence in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital. Sulu-Gambari urged Nigerians to be wary of bad elements bent on dividing the country on account of political vendetta.
The Chairman, Kwara State Council of Traditional Rulers, stated that since nobody can claim perfection, the resort to hurling political enemies before the courts over spurious charges is harmful. Sulu-Gambari said: “We are here for good reasons and to bring the goodwill of the Council of Chiefs, representing all the chiefs and traditional rulers of Kwara State. We came here to join our son (Bukola Saraki) with whom we are much pleased.
“We are ready to support him. We are here to see him on the various constitutional challenges, we would not call them problems, may God not make them problems for us. “It doesn’t take long for a 10-year old child to realize that our dear son, our precious son is being persecuted. The politics of persecution is not the right change for Nigeria.
“We want changes, we want it to be clean. He who seeks equity must come with clean hands. If you want equity, you yourself must do equity. There is a situation where you must come with clean hands, there is situation where you must do equity to ask for equity. “We know there are several stages of challenges before our leader (Saraki) in Kwara State, such that nobody in Nigeria can ever be clean enough. But do we want to upset the whole Nigeria community because we want beautiful change? Time and posterity will tell.
“But we want to appeal to men of goodwill that politics should not be with bitterness. Politics should be about the unity of this country. “We have come so far, we have tried many forms of political structures. The one before us now, which God has given the APC, the APC has been given strait-jacket power of this country. We want to appeal for their understanding to keep what God has given them jealously from those who are ready to dismantle them.
“This is where Kwara State has been given a chance to be part of the government of this country. We intend to retain it, we don’t want anything to preclude us. “Therefore, you are a test case for the whole country, and if I say test case, I believe men of understanding will understand what I mean. We should not fail, and you will not fail. We will continue to pray for you”, the Emir of Ilorin said.
Responding, the Senate President informed the Monarchs that he was being persecuted rather than prosecuted over alleged false assets declaration. He however thanked the royal fathers for identifying with him over his current travails, saying he will overcome.
Saraki said: “I am greatly honoured and at the same time humbled to receive this visit from our royal fathers in my domain. The last time I had this honour was when I was still the governor of Kwara State. “There is nothing more for me to add because you have spoken. You have spoken from your years of experience as a father, and as someone who has headed a very great arm of government – the judiciary.
“Your words of wisdom and encouragement will continue to give me great confidence. As you rightly said, it is a challenging time, not only for us the politicians, but generally the country. “Be rest assured that with your support and your prayers, Insha Allah (God willing), we will overcome it. Because the entire people in this country know that this is not about prosecution, but persecution,” he stated.
Other royal fathers on the delegation included the Emir of Gwanara, Alh Abdullahi Idris, Alofa of Iloffa, Oba Samuel Dada, Olusin of Isanlu Isin, Solomon Ilufemiloye, Olomu of Omu-Aran,Oba Charles Ibitoye, Olofa of Offa, Oba Muhammad Muftah Esu Woye II, Emir of Kaima, Alhaji Sheu Muazu Umar, Etsu Tsaragi, Alh. Abdullahi Ndakoto and the Olosi of Osi, Oba Salihu Adasofegbe. – Vanguard.