Kwara elders, under the auspices of Kwara Elders’ Unity Forum, have called on the inspector-general of police to carry out a thorough investigation into the Offa robbery.
The Forum made the call on Friday in Ilorin, in a statement jointly signed by a trio of Saliu Ajia, Isiaka Jimoh and Adebayo Daramola representing Kwara central, north and south senatorial districts respectively.
They also called on the Senate President Bukola Saraki to allow the police to do its investigations.
The elders said that revelations and political colorations being given to the confessions of the arrested suspects showed that “the lives of Kwarans are in danger and must be protected”.
According to them, “the robbery in Offa would not have drawn the attention of the public but for the killing of 33 people including nine police officers, pregnant women and the mention of the Senate President Bukola Saraki”.
The Elders’ Forum recalled that “sporadic killings by cultists led by one Lanre Mohammed, the son of Magaji Nda of Ilorin which the IGP ordered to be transferred to Abuja Force Headquarters led to an initial outcry by Dr. Bukola Saraki”.
They argued that the transfer of the case to Abuja was a “normal police procedure” saying; “we hope that this Offa robbery will not overshadow that of the cultists because Kwara people are still waiting for the outcome of the investigations.
“The revelation of Offa Bank robbery and the mention of the leader and government functionaries arming the suspects gives room for more suspicions. As at the time of the case of the cultists killing, the bank robbery had taken place.
“The reaction of the SP Bukola Saraki may not help him and the people of Kwara State over whom he is the leader of his own camp.
“Some pertinent questions bordering the minds of Kwarans is that these boys have confessed to being political thugs of SP Bukola Saraki and must we institutionalize thuggery in Kwara politics?”
The elders submitted that “this is not the first time a top politician would be accused, investigated and found culpable of aiding and abetting crimes”.
The statement referred to the case of Bacita robbery of 1971 in which the suspects implicated S.T Oredehin.
“After police investigation, Oredehin was tried alongside the robbery suspects by a court of competent jurisdiction, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment,” the statement added.
The elders were of the view that the Senate President’s out-crying of a possible unjustified implication when the investigation of the cultist killers were transferred to Abuja was not necessary.
“Kwarans are too innocent to be under siege of these set of people and therefore we want to join forces with those pleading that the issue should not be politicized.
“IGP should be allowed to do a thorough investigation for the sake of the ordinary citizens of Kwara state and for the sake of poor common innocent Nigerians.
“The world is watching what happens as a very important personality is mentioned in a criminal case.
“Sweeping such a case under the carpet will do more harm to the IGP, our security institutions, and indeed the federal government,” the statement added.