From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has rejected as “false, malicious and unfounded,” the story published by Saharareporters.com on Friday, September 25, 2015 which claimed that Senate President Bukola Saraki blamed him for the miscreants’ attack on dignitaries at the Ilorin Eid Prayer Ground last Thursday.
In a statement issued in Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital, Dr. Muyideen Femi Akorede, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the governor, said that at no time did the Senate President accused the state governor of leaving him vulnerable to attack by the miscreants at the Eid Prayer Ground, Ilorin.
Neither did Ahmed blame Saraki for the miscreants’ attack on dignitaries, Akorede said.
Describing the report’s claim that Senator Saraki got N1billion out of the N4.3b bail-out loan received by the state government from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as “preposterous, malicious and provocative, Akorede said the Senate President neither receive a kobo out of the money which was fully used to pay the two-month salary arrears owed the state civil servants in August, 2015 nor any other money from the state government.
He stressed that “Saraki is fully preoccupied with the onerous task of law-making and providing leadership at the National Assembly and has no time to either interfere with or control the state’s finances which are fully under the jurisdiction of the state government and its authorized officials.”
Confirming that majority of state government workers, local government employees and teachers received their salaries a day before the Eid celebrations, Akorede stressed that Ahmed’s decision, like most Nigerians, to observe the Eid prayers in Share, his hometown rather than Ilorin, was driven by a desire to spend time with the people, rather than by security reports of a possible attack.
Continuing, Akorede said “Dr. Saraki attended the Ilorin Eid Ground on Thursday not in defiance of any security reports or for any publicity stunt as was reported but in fulfilment of his religious obligation as his popularity in Kwara State is not in doubt.
“As the state’s political leader who is well loved by the people, Dr Saraki does not need to prove his popularity or induce people to demonstrate their support for him through radio announcement as was insinuated by Saharareporters,” Akorede said.
According to him, “Saraki’s popular appeal is so strong that people come out of their own volition in huge numbers to welcome him every time he visits Ilorin.
Accusing the medium of “grasping at straws,” the statement also dismissed the claim that Dr. Saraki was displeased with the governor’s media team for releasing a statement condemning the attack on dignitaries at the Eid Ground. It described the insinuation as “a clear manifestation of a fruitless effort to embellish falsehood with a semblance of truth.”
“Truly and convincingly, the report could only have been stirred up by disgruntled elements, threatened by the peace and harmony in the state with the sole aim of creating disaffection by the state government and the good people of the state”, Akorede stressed.
Akorede therefore urged Saharareporters “to insulate itself from partisan politics and endeavour to balance its reports instead of relying on fallacious accounts of events or wicked fabrications that lack facts or substance.”