Angry worshippers today attacked the President of the Senate, Dr. Olusola Saraki , the Emir of Ilorin, Alh. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, and many political figures at the Eid Praying Ground in Ilorin in protest against the state of the economy of Kwara. The Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alh. Muhammadu Bashir was not spared the wrath of the protesters.
Others who were victims of the spontaneous mob action were ex- Minister Bolaji Abdullahi, the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Ali Ahmad, ex-Speaker Razak Atunwa( now a member of the House of Representatives) Rep Amuda Kannike, a former National Chairman of the PDP, Alh. Kawu Baraje, the Taliban of Ilorin, Prof. Oba Abdulraheem, members of the State House of Assembly, all the Baloguns, Magajis and prominent leaders in Ilorin Emirate.
The protesters were said to be angry because of non-utilization of the bail out funds given to the state by the Federal Government to offset workers’ salaries. They alleged that the bail out funds were used to offset the bill incurred on crowning Saraki as the President of the Senate. Although the prayer was fixed for 10am, there was tension as early as 8am at the Eid Praying Ground.
It was evident that most worshippers were out for showdown because initial sermon segment of the Sallah celebration fell on deaf ears. As Saraki and others arrived the praying ground, there was intermittent shout of “Ole! Ole!! Ole!!!(Thief, thief, thief). Others were shouting “Ebi n pa wa!” “Ebi yii tito Saraki!””A o ki run, e fun wa lounje”( We are hungry, enough of hunger Saraki, give us food, teach us how to fish.” The thunderous vituperations were hardly subsided when stones and missiles were thrown at the dignitaries.
The police, security agents, and members of the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, battled spiritedly to curtail the protesters who remained defiant. There were sporadic firing of teargas canisters by the police and security agents. After about 30-minute protest, temporary calm was restored which gave way for the observance of the two Nafilats( prayers). But as the dignitaries were filing out , the protesters started hurling missiles again.
As at press time, there was tension in Saraki’s camp over who was responsible for the attack. Ahmed, who was probably aware of security reports, went to Share, his hometown, to observe the prayers.