Kwara State government has reacted to a trending video, where some people disrupted an event Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq attended in 2018 before he became governor, describing it as a throwback to Kwara’s dark age.
A statement by Alhaji Bashir Adigun, Special Adviser to the Governor, alleged that loyalists of the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, were behind the video.
However, in a quick reaction, the spokesman of Saraki, Yusuf Olaniyan, said that the former Senate President “would not want to be dragged into their local politics.”
He said it was wrong to allege that the mischief came from them.
“Anybody could have done that, even within their party. It’s possible,” Olaniyan said, adding that the Saraki group had been victims of such mischief in the past.
“We don’t want to be involved as we don’t know anything about it,” he said with some finality.
Meanwhile, the statement from Bashir Adigun read: “Some opposition figures sought to trend a video in which supporters of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, threw caution to the wind and disrupted an event held on December 26, 2018 by the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) at the Emir of Ilorin’s Palace.
“This video showed the Saraki crowd, known in those years for intimidating people, heckling the then governorship candidate of APC, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, as he gave his remarks at the community event in the presence of the Emir and dignitaries from the Emirate.
“Attached to the video (they tried to trend now) is a caption that the Governor was booed at Kwara State Polytechnic. It is false. No event took place in Kwara Polytechnic on August 7, 2022, to warrant the Governor being there.
“The video was taken in 2018 at the annual event organised by Ilorin Emirate’s apex socio-cultural body, the IEDPU. The Governor who was a candidate then, attended the event as a special guest of his home community association.
“It is well known that this riotous and disrespectful action by Saraki supporters was the last straw that caused the Saraki’s loss of every single elective seat in Kwara at the 2019 elections.
“Those who trended the video desperately meant to send the signal that an incumbent governor was being booed. That probably misled the wrong audience. For the Kwara audience, however, the video did the opposite.
“It reminded them of the terrible old days when anyone who held different views was treated with contempt and harassed with thugs loyal to the deposed dynasty.
“The video reminds them of the dreaded dark days when respected royalty and elders of the community were humiliated for daring to differ. The video brought back memories of when opposition leaders were denied access to public places.
“But the fake video came at a wrong moment in history. Over the last three years of the AbdulRazaq Administration, Kwara has enjoyed unprecedented peace and security. Scheduled flights to the city of Ilorin have quadrupled.
“Less than a month ago, this conducive environment allowed all Ilorin sons and daughters and residents of the capital city to enjoy a very peaceful Eid as well as a joyous Durbar at which the Governor and other dignitaries rode on horseback along with the Emir amidst a cheering tumultuous crowd.
“Such events were never held peacefully in those dark years.
“It was a video that retold the story of the horrors of those years, in contrast with the convivial atmosphere that the same man they harassed in the old video has now created in Kwara State.
“It is a rude awakening of Kwarans to the ugly past administrations and a time call for them to exercise their imminent civic duty of voting to permanently bury the bad old days and its ruthless rulers.
“While the Governor represents a bright new dawn of free speech, those behind the video are purveyors of fake news reminiscent of the old order.
“Certainly, no reasonable Kwaran wishes a return of those years where to hold a contrary view earns you jeers, indignation and violence.
“Members of the public are kindly urged to ignore the old video clip which is clearly one propaganda gone awry.”