From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
Despite his ongoing trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, traditional rulers in Kwara state have thrown their weight behind the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.
The monarchs, led by their Chairman and Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu- Gambari warned against politics of persecution, saying the trial of Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal was not the change mantra of All Progressives Congress (APC) Nigerians bargained for.
Sulu-Gambari, who led prominent traditional rulers in the state on a solidarity visit to Saraki’s residence in Ilorin, said the trial was a pointer to upset Nigerians.
The Emir of Ilorin who spoke on behalf of his colleagues stated that “it would be unwise to disguise under political altar to cow perceived political enemy”.
He admonished Nigerians to be wary of bad elements bent on dismantling
the country on account of political vendetta.
“We are here for good reasons and bring the goodwill of the Council of Chiefs, representing all the chiefs and traditional rulers of Kwara State. We come 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 it problem, may God not make it a problem 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 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, as such that nobody in Nigeria can ever be clean enough. But do we want to upset the whole Nigerian 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 played 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 straight 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.
“We therefore came here to declare our unalloyed support, solidarity
to our precious son. If you (Saraki) look back, you will see us in various forms, begging
Almighty Allah to protect you. Nigeria should beware of destructive elements. Nobody is perfect. We are in this scheme to make Nigeria very strong in the comity of nations.”
The Emir added: “We have capable Nigerians who can turn Nigeria around for good. Let us therefore face the issue before us instead of belabouring those things that will divide us permanently. God has given this administration leverage, God has given them all the powers. If there is no enemy from outside, let there be no enemy from within. Enough is
enough for those who are wise.
“We should learn from our lessons of the past. We should learn very seriously, we should aim for the best. The greatest happiness of the greatest number of Nigerians is the most important thing, not the one that will create havoc and disunity.
“May God help you (Saraki) in your present challenges. You will survive by the grace of God. The whole of Kwara is behind you. Even in the PDP, they are behind you. This is not a question of politics or political parties. I mean it is politics, but not political parties.
“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, Saraki thanked the monarchs for their support and solidarity.
He 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 put, 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 we will overcome it. Because the entire people in this country know that this is not about
prosecution, but persecution”.
On the visit were Olofa of Offa, Oba Muhammad Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II; Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Charles Oladele Ibitoye; Emir of Tsaragi, Alhaji Abdullahi Nda Pkoto; Olosi of Osi, Oba Salihu Adesofegbe; Emir of Kaiama, Alhaji Sheu Muazu Umar and Alofa of Ilofa,
Oba Samuel Dada.