Saraki, AbdulRazaq spat over Ilorin Durbar 

They pointed out that since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019, Saraki had consistently snubbed the Durbar celebrations, and it was unlikely that he would suddenly develop an interest in attending now, suggesting that his recent claims were insincere.

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said he deliberately avoided the Ilorin Durbar in order to maintain peace and as a sign of respect for the Sheikh Alimi throne.
He alleged that the state government, under Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s leadership, deliberately excluded him from the Durbar event due to his immense popularity among the people, which they perceived as a threat.
The government responded by dismissing Saraki’s claim as being made in bad faith, pointing out that he had not attended the Ilorin Durbar since 2019, during his tenure as governor, and was therefore not invited to this year’s event.
According to a statement issued by Saraki’s Press Officer on Local Matters, Abdulganiyu Abdulqadir, he decided to skip the event following the intervention of respected Islamic scholars and community leaders, who urged him to prioritize peace and avoid any potential disturbance in the ancient town of Ilorin.
The statement said: “Saraki, who is the Waziri Ngeri of Ilorin, again restated his love for the Ilorin Emirate community and his commitment to an atmosphere of peace.
“So, for the sake of peace and the highest respect for the throne of Sheikh Alimi, he stayed off the Ilorin Durbar event today.
“Saraki’s decision not to attend was taken after respected traditional titleholders and top Islamic scholars appealed to him not to attend the event.
“This he disclosed after he was briefed that the government of AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq does not want him around the festival for their personal and political reasons.”
The statement said that AbdulRazaq was anxious about Saraki upstaging him and further alleged that the reason the AbdulRazaq-led government had lost public support was its inability to tackle and alleviate poverty, not because of any personal popularity of Saraki.
Saraki said: “We understand that tremendous pressure was put on the Ilorin Emirates Council by the government of the state to stop the Waziri of Ilorin from attending the event. AbdulRazaq is jittery that the former governor, Dr. Saraki, will steal the show as usual.
“The rejection of the AbdulRazaq-led government by the people is because it fails to eradicate poverty, provide quality leadership, and the inability to deliver on good governance. We implore the governor to sit up and stop blaming Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki for the problems he created for himself and his government.
“Saraki, who is the highest-ranked traditional titleholder of Ilorin, is staying away from the traditional festival for peace and orderliness. He is not responsible for the failure of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration and should not be a nightmare or means to cover for the government’s failure.
“I was eagerly looking forward to joining the warm and peaceful people of the emirate in celebrating this meaningful tradition, but unfortunately, I have decided to abstain from attending this year’s Durbar celebration in order to maintain peace and tranquility.”
The government responded by telling Saraki to stop dragging Gov. AbdulRazaq into the personal difficulties and challenges he was facing in the state, and to take responsibility for his own issues.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, “Senator Bukola Saraki should leave Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq out of his self-inflicted shame of not being able to hold himself to the standard expected of a statesman, who should exhibit decorum, decency, and good behaviour.”
“The governor has repeatedly shown humility and a large heart to accommodate everyone to operate as they wish as bona fide citizens. He is not about to go low because of Senator Saraki’s provocative behaviour and intent to foul the atmosphere with his unstatesmanly conduct at public events.
“Repeatedly, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has demonstrated his belief in politics without bitterness through his all-inclusive politics that addresses the needs of all citizens in the state, irrespective of any differences.
“In a sustained demonstration of his statesmanship and large-heartedness, the governor shook hands with the former Senate president and other opposition politicians at the Ilorin Eid praying ground.”
They pointed out that since the All Progressives Congress (APC) took over power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019, Saraki had consistently snubbed the Durbar celebrations, and it was unlikely that he would suddenly develop an interest in attending now, suggesting that his recent claims were insincere.
The statement said: “Landslide victories of the 2019 and 2023 elections in Kwara are clear testimonies of how the people of Kwara State have preferred the governor to lead the state. He is thankful to God and to the people for the vote of confidence in his humble leadership.
“Finally, to the best of our knowledge, Senator Saraki has never attended the Ilorin Durbar since 2019. His statement, therefore, reeks of mischief and bad faith, which we leave history to judge.”

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