The stoning of the Senate President Bukola Saraki at the Ilorin Eid Prayer ground during last year’s Eid el Kabir prayer on September 24, has continued to engender fear and insecurity among the victim, Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed and the Emir of Ilorin, Alh. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari.
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At the Eid-el-Fitri festival, which marks the end of Ramadan on July 6, 2016, Gov. Ahmed and Saraki as well as top government functionaries were conspicuously absent at the prayer ground. Though the emir was in attendance, he was sneaked into the place.
The prayer was also hurriedly observed around 8.30am, about an hour before it normally takes place in the Kwara State capital under tight security. Not few were denied observing the prayer by the stern security men.
What happened in July at the Eid Prayer Ground is about to repeat itself next Monday when the Eid prayer will take place, OrijoReporter was told.
Sources said Saraki, Gov. Ahmed and Alh. Gambari have combined to strengthen security in Ilorin because they feared being attack at the prayer ground on Monday. They have increased security presence as gun-wielding police are currently on patrol in massive security operation.
Mobile policemen and plain clothes security agents were sighted on Friday along the Yidi road rehearsing against Monday celebration.
The trio have also attempted to placate their attackers, many whom are civil servants and are being owed by the state and local governments about seven-month salary arrears with Sallah gifts.
Rams and bags of rice were distributed to Muslims both civil servants and politicians just as a negligible part of those arrears were paid to workers including non-Muslims by the state and local governments.
To ward off possible attack, Senator Saraki at the time of publication is distributing cars, tricycles, motorcycles, grinding and sewing machines, and hairdressing equipment in a Greek empowerment programme at Mandate, his late father’s Ilorin office at Olohunsogo-Geri Alimi area in Ilorin.
OrijoReporter gathered that the emir ordered the Baloguns, Magajis, Daudu, Alangwa and other traditional chiefs in the community to send 10 delegates to accompany him to prayer ground with the promise of gifts for them.
Alh. Gambari has equally directed Islamic clerics to preach against violence in mosques.
On Tuesday, the Kwara State Chapter of the National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE), protested against the state government and dragged Gov. Ahmed to court over non-payment of six to seven month salaries in the name of joint account.
The labour union blamed the governor and his predecessor, Senator Saraki, for non-payment of workers’ salaries, calling the duo unprintable names.
Consequently, on Thursday, the state government released N250m for the payment of August salary for the local government workers.