Bukola Saraki and his thugs’ perennial disrespect for the Emir of Ilorin, by Farook Kamaldeen

When last year, the former senate president, Bukola Saraki, and his strategically positioned thugs turned Ilorin’s central Eid into a ground for a campaign of vilification and subsequently halted the Emir from delivering his annual speech,

I thought he would withdraw those sponsored cheerers in this year’s Eid, given the backlash that followed the apparent disrespect. But no, he watched them disturb and disrupt the longstanding tradition and revel in the Emir’s almost fruitless struggle to give his speech.

Given the positions the former Senate President has held within and outside the State, one would expect him to accord properly traditional rulers deserved respect and know when and where to play politics. But the ex-governor of Kwara State seems to be living in a fool’s paradise where he is made to believe he can do anything and get away with it. If not so, Saraki wouldn’t turn the Ilorin central Eid into a place where he would serially disrespect the exalted throne of the Emir of Ilorin.

What the heir of the banished Saraki dynasty and his thugs have repeatedly done for Alhaji (Dr.) Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, CFR, they can’t try it with the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty Oba Ewuare II, and the late Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III. The duo have a history of giving Saraki’s ilk their size: Reproach. But because the Emir has chosen to be a father to all, Mr. Bukola Saraki thinks he can continue to disrespect him as he did to other traditional rulers in the state when he was in the saddle.

Or what could have made Saraki organised and watch some uncouth elements in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to prevent the Emir from delivering his annual speech if not for politics? He had the power to prevent the sacrilege but didn’t because the nonpartisan Emir refused to join him in his struggle to reclaim the State from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Some observers have also said he mobilised those thugs to show Abdulrazaq that he has more political influence than him in the state.

Isn’t that a campaign after an election, as my people will call it? You wanted to prove that you have more political influence than a man whose party defeated you and other candidates your steamless party presented in the 2019 and 2023 elections? Let’s assume Saraki has more political influence than Abdulrazaq in the state, which cannot be proven. Is the central Ilorin Eid the best place to prove such? As a Muslim, Saraki can do better and take his politics somewhere else.

It’s high time the Emirate and other concerned authorities called Saraki to order. This madness must stop before it snowballs into something else. I fear that in subsequent years, some genuine and well-meaning sons and daughters of Ilorin might not have the patience to watch the former Senate President and his blind followers disrespect the Emir at the central Eid ground as they have obviously made it a habit. To avoid this impending crisis, the elders in the state must act now.

And for Saraki’s followers, particularly the youths who are being used to make a mess of our tradition. Don’t let your overly likeness for him and the peanut you receive from him to act unreasonably and outlandishly scuttle your future. Do Not Die In Their War is an instructive book by a human rights lawyer, Dele Farotimi. No politician is worth acting unreasonably or dying for. Think! Think!! Think!!!

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