…Senate President’s statement incorrect, misleading and false- Police
President of the Senate. Dr. Bukola Saraki, has raised alarm over his safety and those of members of his family while he alleged thick machinations to subvert his security details.
He alerted the nation to hold the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, responsible should anything untold happen to him or any member of his family.
He also accused security agencies of giving cover to thugs of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who have been unleashing terror on supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) across Kwara State.
Saraki expressed this concern while addressing the press on Friday in Abuja on recent political developments in Kwara State.
The Director General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation said police have continued to show undisguised hostility to him and his supporters in Kwara State, claiming that this latest round of violence is part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family.
Saraki buttressed his claim with illustrations, saying: “Yesterday (Thurday), 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 matchete cuts on some of them. As a result of this attack, two people suffered bullet wounds.
“Also yesterday (Thursday), these same APC thugs shielded by policemen went to my family quarters in Agbaji in Ilorin, and vandalised houses, shops and inflicted wounds with matchete 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.
He expressed fear his safety and those of his supporters as the ward to ward campaigns begin in the state and he is set to participate in that grassroots campaign.
“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”.
Narrating his running battle with the Police boss, Saraki said: “Do not forget that before now, this same IGP has tried several tricks to implicate me 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 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.
“It is important for Nigerians and members of the international community to note that this IGP, Idris Ibrahim does not believe his job is to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians, irrespective of political, religious and cultural belief.
“A situation where political thugs and operatives attack opponents of the APC under the watch and protection of law enforcement agents does not present Nigeria well in the comity of nation”, he said.
Saraki accused the IGP further of plot to play ignoble role in the elections in Kwara State, saying: “The same Police under the directive of Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotum Idris yesterday commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) out of Kwara State.
While the police are free to take decisions on the deployment of their personnel, we found the postings in Kwara State strange and more than a mere coincidence.
“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.
Reacting to Saraki’s allegation, the Police High Command in a statement on Friday signed by Force spokesman, Ag. DCP Jimoh Moshood, said all the Police personnel attached to the person of the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, his office and family are intact
and all the statutory security protection on the person of the Senate President are also accorded him all the time and there was no complaint from the Senate President before now to the Police on this.
The Police therefore categorically stated that all the allegations in the statement of the Senate President are incorrect, misleading and false and should be disregarded and discountenanced by the general Public.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a statement in the media credited to the Senate President on the recent political development in Kwara State where he raised allegations that “…the entire world to hold the IGP responsible if anything untoward happens to members of my family and myself”.
“The Nigeria Police Force wishes to categorically state that all the allegations in the statement of the Senate President are incorrect, misleading and false and should be disregarded and discountenanced by the general Public.
The Nigeria Police Force did not give any protection to any political thug or shield any APC thug to go to family quarters of the Senate President in Agbaji, Ilorin and vandalise houses, shops and inflict wounds with machete on three (3) people as claimed by the Senate President.
The Police did not receive any complaint or report of gunshot and wounding as claimed by the Senate President in other areas he mentioned such as Adewole/Adeta, Ile-otan and ubandawaki/pakata.
“For avoidance of doubt, there was no complaint reported at any Police division within Ilorin metropolis or any other Police Division on the 10th January, 2019 to today 11th January 2019 of any attack, wounding, shooting and destruction of any property by any individual(s) or any political party on their members.
However, Security within Ilorin metropolis and other locations in Kwara State has beefed-up to ensure security of all Nigerians living in the state.
“It is pertinent to state that all Police personnel attached to the person of the Senate President, his office and family are intact and all the statutory security protection on the person of the Senate President are also accorded him all the time and there was no complaint from the Senate President before now to the Police on this.
“It is incumbent on the Force to set the record straight and correct the wrong impressions that must have been created in the minds of the general Public and the International Community from the misinformation and misleading account from the Senate President.
The Inspector General of Police did not try any trick to implicate the Senate President in some criminal charges; the facts are in the public domain about the suspects of the Offa Bank Robbery now being prosecuted who implicated the Senate President in the matter.
“The Nigeria Police Force is hereby assuring all Nigerians that the Nigeria Police Force has no any undisguised hostility to the Senate President or his supporters in Kwara State or to jeopardise or undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family.
The Force will continue to be apolitical and will ensure adequate security throughout the Country for all political parties, their members and supporters before, during and after the 2019 General Election”.