All Progressives Congress (APC) youth, under the aegis of Kwara North All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) at the weekend accused the state government and Senate President and leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Bukola Saraki of using strong arm tactics to coerce traditional rulers in the state to vote for PDP in this year’s general elections.
Meanwhile, in a reaction issued by Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfattah Ahmed, Dr Muideen Akorede said Saraki and the governor hold traditional rulers in high esteem as reverred leaders of their communities.
“At no time, therefore, did Dr Saraki or Governor Ahmed treat or address their Royal Highnesses with anything less than the respect, decorum and courtesies that their positions demand and that has always been accorded them.
“The allegations are false and are accordingly dismissed as politically motivated antics of the opposition which has embarked on a futile effort to turn the traditional rulers against the political leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki and the administration of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.”
The group said that the people of Kwara north extraction vowed not to pitch their political tent with the Bukola Saraki-led government in the state in the forthcoming elections.
Kwara north comprises Baruten, Edu, Patigi, Kaiama and Moro local government areas of the state.
APYF specifically alleged that PDP and its leader had opted to harass, intimidate and embarrass the traditional rulers to impress it upon their subjects to vote for the PDP candidates in the elections.
Addressing journalists in Ilorin, the state capital, spokesperson of the forum Zakari Baba Yusuf said, “APYF Kwara north is deeply concerned on the unwarranted manner our royal fathers are being frequently invited to Ilorin, the state capital by the state on the instructions of Senator Bukola Saraki, all in an attempt to turn the traditional leaders against the will of the people.
“We are aware that the frequent invitations of our royal fathers by the PDP led government are not unconnected to the forthcoming 2019 general elections, as this has been one of their election strategies for the past 16 years.
“Some of those tactics adopted by Bukola Saraki in collaboration with some traitors from Kwara North against our traditional leaders are disregarding their personalities as leaders and major stakeholders in their various communities and local governments, total contempt for the traditional institution and the people they lead, denying them their entitlements and above all threatening to dethrone them if they don’t do their bidding of ensuring that people of Kwara north support PDP and its candidates.
“Bukola Saraki and PDP have deceived, impoverished us and deliberately kept us underdeveloped in the areas of education, employment, infrastructure, health facilities etc for too long.
“We the youth of Kwara north, our women and elders, who have given PDP and Bukola Saraki 16 years of benefit of the doubt, have decided at this point to say ‘enough is enough’ (Oto ge) to their misrule, oppression, deceit and unfair treatment.
“We make bold to categorically state here that the decision to support President Muhammadu Buhari and other APC candidates across the senatorial district is the decision of the youth and the people, not that of the traditional leaders.