Senate President Bukola Saraki has raised the alarm, alleging threat to his safety and that of the members of his immediate family in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Addressing reporters in Abuja on Friday, Saraki fingered thugs allegedly sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the police as instigators.
Saraki, who is the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, described the alleged conspiracy against him by the thugs and the police as sinister, uncivilised and unfortunate.
He said: “I call you today to bring to your attention the sad development in my home state, Kwara State, and the role of the security agencies in giving cover to people who are unleashing violence on our people because they are surprised and cannot understand how and why the people continue to give massive and overwhelming support to the PDP across the state.
“Also Yesterday (Thursday), these same APC thugs shielded by policemen went to my family quarters in Agbaji in Ilorin and vandalized houses, shops and inflicted wounds with machete 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 signals these APC elements with support from the police believe they are sending is definitely sinister, uncivilized and unfortunate”.
He expressed regrets that the police have continued to show undisguised hostility toward him and his supporters in the state.
According to him, this latest round of violence was part of efforts to jeopardise and undermine his personal security and that of his immediate and larger family members.
Narrating his ordeals further, Saraki said: “Three incidents will illustrate what I am saying to you. Yesterday, 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 gunshots 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”.
The former Kwara State Governor said reports of the attacks were filed in relevant police stations in Ilorin but expressed doubts that anything tangible and constructive would come out of the reports.
He stated further that as part of the plot, the police, under the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, had, on Thursday, commenced the transfer of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) out of Kwara State.
Saraki called on Nigerians and the entire world to hold the IGP responsible if anything untoward happens to him and members of his family.
“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,” Saraki added.
According to him, the usual practice has been that the Commissioner of Police personally ensures the security of the Senate President whenever he visits his home state.
He said all his predecessors were accorded that security cover whenever they visited their home states and that he also enjoyed it in his first year in office from 2015 to 2016.
Saraki expressed apprehensions over his personal safety as the ward to ward electioneering campaign is about to begin across the state.
According to him: “We need to make it clear to the entire world that now that ward to ward campaign is about to begin in the state and I am set to participate in that grassroots campaign, as I have always done, 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.”
Deploring the role of the IGP in the entire plot, Saraki continued, “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 politicised 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.”