Published On: Mon, Sep 28th, 2015



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. This is just as the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC has denied asking Saraki to resign. 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.

Emir of Ilorin speaks

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.

NLC didn’t tell Saraki to resign—Wabba

Also, the leadership of the organised labour has denied the report credited to the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki who is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false asset declaration should resign. The factional President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba told newsmen in Abuja, Sunday, that the NLC, though fighting corruption, believed  in the rule of law. According to Wabba, as a law abiding institution, the labour movement believes in the rule of law and due process.

He said: “The NLC believes in the rule of law and we believe that whatever is right should be done. By our laws, the mere allegation  that somebody has committed an offense, we don’t judge the person as guilty until it is pronounced by a court of law. “To me that would be following due process and the rule of law than to midway begin to make pronouncement and criminalize people. I think what is right should be done rightly.

“I think those statements cannot be credited to us. You can consult the people that have issued those statements but certainly they are not from us. We believe in due process, we believe in the rule of law. “We are championing the war against corruption, we also believe that we should follow due process in whatever we want to do. People should not be stampeded into making pronouncements on behalf of the NLC,” he said.

He said that the labour movement had well defined channels of making public comments on national issues, while also stating that the person who purportedly spoke on behalf of the union is not known to the NLC.



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