Lai Mohammed, minister of information, has described Senate President Bukola Saraki as a desperate political warlord who is attempting to trivialise the calamity that befell Offa community in Kwara state in April.
Armed robbers had invaded the town, killing 20 persons and raiding banks.
After arresting some suspects in connection with the incident, the police said some of them confessed to be loyalists of the senate president.
Saraki has since denied this, saying the police planned to nail him at all cost.
Speaking at the 2018 Ijakadi festival in Offa on Saturday, Mohammed asked the people to resist any attempt to play politics with human lives.
He said a certain warlord had boasted of giving N10 million to the community, asking if the individual also brought back to life those who were killed.
Although he did not mention the name of Saraki, it was clear he was referring to the nation’s number three citizen.
Recently when he featured on a radio station in Ilorin, capital of Kwara, Saraki mentioned that he donated N10 million to Offa when he paid a condolence visit to him after the heist.
But Mohammed said Saraki’s statement is an attempt to trivialise the dastardly act.
“In recent days, there have been attempts by some political desperadoes to trivialise the calamity that befell this community when those armed robbers attacked banks and the police station, among others,” he said.
“These desperadoes were quoted as saying that when they visited this town to commiserate with the people after the attack, they donated 10 million naira even when what was stolen from the banks vault was 7 million naira.
“Now, let us ask them; how many of those who were killed in that attack have they also been able to bring back? How can any sane person equate human life with money?
“No amount of money is worth any human life. And no one should play politics with human life. All people of conscience must condemn this glib comment by a desperate political warlord.”
The minister commended the resilience of the Offa people for organising an elaborate festival, despite the calamity that befell their community.
He said Ijakadi festival itself is a celebration of the Offa virtues of strength and determination, as well as equity, justice and wisdom.
“In line with our promise during the 2017 Ijakadi Festival, to help train the managers of this festival, I am happy to announce that come January 2019, a manager of the Ijakadi Festival will be travelling to Ghana to attend the training which is being organized by the ministry in collaboration with the British Council,” the minister said.
“I congratulate the nominee and I am sure he or she will make the best use of this opportunity.”
On his part, Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II, olofa of Offa, said the Ijakadi Festival is aimed at sustaining the cultural heritage of the people and fostering cohesion in Offa community and its environs.
“Today, the Ijakadi festival has, of course, attracted national attention, corporate bodies and government at all levels. Without any iota of doubt, this festival has brought development and benefits to Offa community,” he said.
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