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Kwara APC, Saraki clash over 2024 Eid el-Kabir Durbar

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Kwara State APC, Saraki Clash over Eid el-Kabir Durbar

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kwara State and former Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki are embroiled in a dispute over the 2024 Eid el-Kabir durbar held on Tuesday in Ilorin.

Dr. Saraki announced his decision to abstain from the event, citing appeals from respected traditional titleholders and Islamic scholars.

He emphasized his commitment to peace and respect for the Ilorin Emirate Community, stating that he would stay away from the durbar to maintain harmony.

Saraki’s press officer on local matters, Abdulganiyu Abdulkadir, released a statement explaining that the government of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq did not want Saraki to attend for personal and political reasons. Saraki, the highest-ranked traditional titleholder of Ilorin, expressed that his absence was to ensure peace and orderliness.

“Regrettably, I wish to announce that for peace and tranquillity, I am staying away from the durbar celebration this year,” he stated.

The press officer’s statement criticized the Abdulrazaq administration, arguing that Saraki should not be blamed for the government’s failures. He noted that Saraki had intended to join the Ilorin Emirate community in celebrating the festival but chose to stay away to avoid conflict.

In response, Governor Abdulrazaq’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, claimed Saraki’s statement was disingenuous, as he had not attended the Ilorin Durbar since 2019. Ajakaye defended the governor, stating that Abdulrazaq had shown humility and inclusiveness, allowing everyone to participate in state affairs.

Ajakaye highlighted the governor’s statesmanship, referencing a recent handshake between Abdulrazaq and Saraki at the Ilorin Eid praying ground as a gesture of political goodwill. He criticized Saraki’s statement as provocative and unstatesmanlike, asserting that the governor has consistently demonstrated a politics of inclusion.

The statement concluded that Saraki’s absence from the durbar was misrepresented and left it to history to judge his actions.

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