Saraki, a man of peace, can't harbour criminals - Kwara APC
The Publicity Secretary, All Progressives Congress, Kwara State chapter, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, tells SUCCESS NWOGU that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed are unnecessarily being victimised over the Offa bank robbery saga
some people feel that the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, is being victimised by the police over the Offa bank robbery. What is the opinion of the party?
Everybody knows that what is happening is a clear case of witch-hunt. It is not good for our democracy. One can recall how they started with him. The executive started with the issue of asset declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal which he said he was ready to face in order to prove his innocence. He had earlier raised the alarm that there was information from Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed that he was to be implicated in a cult-related case. We know the efforts and mechanism he put in place to banish cultism in the state. So within a short time that he raised the alarm, the police came up with another allegations in connection with the Offa armed robbery allegation. The police said he knew something about the Offa armed robbery. It is a laughable matter to be sincere.
We know the antecedent of the Senate President. He declared an asset worth almost N40bn in 2003. How can such a person, a two-term governor, a senator who has been in the National Assembly for seven years and the President of the Senate for three years, be involved in armed robbery? What is he going to gain and achieve from that? It is totally uncalled for! He has never been involved or sponsored any political crime within or outside the state before because he is not a violent person. He does not appreciate or encourage violence. He does not even encourage thuggery.
But some of the arrested gang leaders said he emboldened and empowered them with vehicles and other logistics?
It is possible for a kind-hearted personality like him to empower anybody with vehicles and this happen everywhere. Go to Lagos State, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajiabiamila, gave out buses to people. Many people are doing that. Many state governors are also doing it.
Saraki did not give out vehicles to the boys so that they could use them to rob people. One of the suspects categorically said the Senate President did not send them to rob. So the Senate President has been exonerated already.
But there is also the belief that the suspects are part of the Saraki's political family and card carrying members of the APC. What is your reaction?
If people are saying that the suspects are part of the Saraki political family, does that also mean that the almajaris, who are fighting in some parts of the country, are also members of the Buhari political family? No! You cannot say that they are part of his family. In as much as he is the political leader of Kwara State, everybody can be part of the political structure.
But one of the suspects was allegedly sighted with Saraki in a picture believed to have been taken at a social function?
They guy that was sighted in the picture is not the same person that was paraded. The guy in that picture is not Akinbode. The social media are being used in a negative trend to distort information disseminate falsehood to the unsuspecting members of the public. We should be very careful.
So, who is the person in the picture?
The person in the picture is Tunde Murankinyo if I got it right. He is a businessman. He is not the same person that was paraded. So, if you look at that picture, you will bear witness to this fact. I saw the picture too and I was annoyed because people had been misled.
Do you agree that the suspects are political thugs of Saraki based on their confessions?
I do not know any political thug because political thuggery is strange to me. I have never identified anybody or group as political thugs. Such does not exist in our party.
But you have people known as 'good boys'?
Who is a good boy? If you say somebody is a good body, it means he is a nice person. It is different from political thugs. Or if I check the dictionary today and see that it is referred that anybody that is called 'good boy' is a political thug, then I can succumb to that.
But there is an allegation that your party harbours some young men that do hatchet jobs such as disrupting election processes where you cannot win or to fight your political opponents?
Such a situation has never happened here. Have you heard of such record in Kwara State where political thugs disrupted elections? Have you heard of any political violence in the state before? Kwara is a peaceful state. That is why our mantra is 'State of Harmony.'
There are allegations that the state government equips the so called 'good boys' with guns. What is your reaction?
I do not know about that and I do not think that is true. The law is there for everybody to prove whether what they are saying is true or not. But as far as I am concerned, I have never seen such a thing since I became part of the Saraki political structure because we do not encourage such.
But there are allegations that they are on the payroll of the state government.
They should provide evidence of being on the payroll. If you are on the payroll of the government, there should be evidence of what the person is collecting every month. There should be a record. I do not think the government can give somebody money without record of such transactions. So, they should provide the evidence of payment of the money they are receiving from the government or from the Senate President.