From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from being used to settle political scores by powerful politicians.
Speaking on the background of invitation of the wife of former governor of the state and current Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, by the EFCC with journalists in Ilorin on Friday, the state chairman of the APC, Alhaji Isola Balogun-Fulani, said the invitation was politically motivated and ill-timed.
Balogun-Fulani, who said that the anti-graft agency should tread softly in order not to ignite political turmoil in the country, added that some people in the ruling political party were not happy with the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate president, hence they want to get at him by dragging his wife before the anti-corruption agency.
The party also said that the invitation of Mrs. Saraki by the EFCC was allegedly aimed to discredit her and smear the image of her husband.
The APC chairman, who addressed journalists after the party’s emergency state executive council meeting, said the APC was not saying that the anti-graft agency should not do its mandatory duties, stressing, however, that it should not politicise its functions and duties.
He said the party had to calm the frayed nerves of women in the state, who had planned to stage a protest against the invitation of the wife of the Senate president.
Balogun-Fulani said: “We as a party received the news of the invitation of the wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, as a shock. After five years of leaving office as the governor of Kwara state, it is now that the EFCC thought it necessary to invite wife of Senate President Bukola Saraki for questioning. Kwara APC thought the invitation is politically-motivated.
“Everybody is aware that the emergence of her husband as the Senate President did not go down well with some people. Her invitation is a way to throw mud on the person of the Senate president and the Senate in general.
“It is also a political way of discrediting the person of Mrs. Saraki and her husband. Though, we in the state will not say the anti-graft agency should not do its lawful duties, but it should be mindful of how it does its duties. I urge the EFCC not to politicise the invitation of Mrs. Saraki.
“We have to calm the nerves of Kwara women otherwise they would have been on the streets demonstrating against the malicious invitation by the agency. I want to appeal to EFCC to please tread softly in order not to ignite political turmoil in Kwara State, North-Central and Nigeria at large. The Senate is there for the whole of Nigeria and the Senate president is representing the whole of Nigeria. This too should be extended to the wife. The EFCC should not allow itself to be used by political gladiators.
“Kwara women and North-Central in general say that the EFCC should not allow itself to be a tool in the hands of politicians. Her invitation now is ill-timed and wrong.”